Dear Annie: My husband, sans wedding band, enters a bar alone and buys drinks for female strangers sitting alone. This invariably leads to conversation between them. On one occasion, the woman was a prostitute.
He says he is just being friendly. I say he is coming on to them. He does not buy drinks for female strangers when I am with him. Am I being unreasonable and jealous, or is he behaving like a horn-dog cad?
- Friendly's Wife
Dear Wife: You don't need our take on this. You already know. Your husband is flirting and, without the wedding band, is seeing whether he can pick someone up. He may not have acted on it yet, but if this keeps up, it's only a matter of time. We doubt he'd appreciate it if you did the same thing. Tell him to knock it off.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Feeling Like My Husband's Mother," whose husband is immature. I felt for the guy. It seems like she wants to fix him. This approach is inherently flawed. He is just having fun. I am sworn by the covenant of men not to share this information with women, but in this case, it seems necessary. The husband is acting normally. Any guy will play out his years until his body tells him to stop. In this case, I suspect it will be a skateboard accident that slows him down.
There is a natural switch in a guy that moves from fun-lover to responsible husband. This change often happens in his 30s, sometimes sooner, sometimes later. This guy is just not there yet. This is why women marry older men. They want a guy who is more mature and secure. This woman did not make that choice. So, she now has a new choice to make. It is important to note that she will not change this guy by nagging him.
OK, you may now ask, "What are her choices?" She should look for the easiest way to secure a future, which seems to be her real goal. They could start that savings account with an automatic withdrawal from each person's paycheck. They could make sure they both have 401(k) accounts with the maximum removed from each check each month. They should learn to live on the adjusted income, which can still be fun. Most importantly, she should invent ways to have fun with her husband herself. Otherwise, she needs to find a new guy who has already made the switch.
Be warned, though: Those mature guys are usually already taken. If not, those guys can come with other baggage she has yet to learn about. She may reach a time when she fondly thinks back on the day when her only problem was an immature husband.
- John in Waikoloa, Hawaii
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.