Q: When my husband was a teenager, he had an ongoing affair with his mother’s 20-plus-years-older friend “Nicolle.” He would call her by a nickname to signal he wanted sex.
Fast-forward three decades. His family, unaware of their illicit and illegal relationship, regularly invites Nicolle to our family functions. They even call her by that pet nickname, unaware of the connotations.
Their affair ended years before I met my husband. But whenever she is around, she follows him like a lost puppy. How do I get over being uncomfortable and angry at her? I know the truth, but she doesn’t know I know. And, of course, my husband doesn’t want his family to know. What do I do? — Knowing Too Much
A: Have you spoken to your husband about this? He should talk to Nicolle and say, “My wife knows about us, and she is bothered by it.” He should also tell her to stop following him around or decline future invitations to the family gatherings.
Q: One of my dear friends is pregnant with her first child, and she couldn’t be more excited. Even though she’s only in her second trimester, her “baby bump” is conspicuous, and it seems people (friends, family and complete strangers) can’t help but comment that she seems “ready to pop.” When they learn she still has many weeks to go, invariably people ask if she’s having twins (she’s not). Her grandmother went so far as to ask for ultrasound photos to prove she’s carrying only one baby.
It has made my friend very self-conscious. Even though she’s in perfect health, the comments are really getting to her. Any advice on how to graciously deflect these unwanted comments? — No Twins in the Twin Cities
A: When someone volunteers that your friend is so big she must be carrying twins, she should say, “Nope! Only one healthy baby in there, according to my gynecologist.”
She needs to remember that there is no end to the insensitive personal comments that people make and that it’s important to keep her sense of humor and keep in mind she’ll have to hear them only for a few more months.
Q: My husband is in his mid-70s. We live in the Pacific Northwest. When the temperature is warm, my husband walks around the yard with his shirt off. He’s not fat, but he’s not thin either. He has gray hair on his chest. It looks awful and it’s embarrassing. I think it’s rude to the neighbor ladies who see him walk around like this. What do you think? — An Eyeful in Washington
A: You may think an eyeful is awful, but unless your neighbor ladies complain, I’m advising you not to nag your husband about it. While you may find his gray chest hair unattractive, others may not find it offensive at all, and a man walking shirtless in his own yard is hardly shocking.
Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.