Abby: Husband working at strip club gets dressing-down

Dear Abby
Jeanne Phillips

Dear Abby: My husband works as a bouncer at a strip club. I was OK with it at first, but then he started making friends with the dancers and waitresses. They exchange phone numbers, and he talks to some of them late at night when I’m sleeping. I get upset and jealous that these women are getting his time.

It causes fights.

What should I do?

Wife Of A Texas Bouncer

Dear Wife: Is your husband placing these calls, or are the women calling him? Tell him you feel they are a threat to your marriage and ask why the calls happen after you have gone to bed.

It’s possible the conversations are innocent. The women may relate to him because his job makes them feel “safe” with him. Many co-workers converse after work. Because a woman works in a strip club doesn’t mean she’s a predator.

However, because the timing of these calls bothers you, ask him if he would have them call before work, rather than afterward, when you would like him in bed with you.

Dear Abby: I host holiday dinners and always invite my husband’s side of the family, as well as mine. Each time, my brother’s wife, “Arlene,” asks if my husband’s family will be there, and says if they are, they won’t attend.

They are the only ones who don’t show up; all the rest of my family does.

When I asked Arlene if she has a problem with my husband’s side of the family, she said no, she just feels we don’t pay as much attention to her when there is “so much family.”

I have tried having separate dinners, but as the years have passed, it has gotten harder to cook two Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter dinners on separate days.

After 30 years of this, I’m tired of having my feelings hurt and trying to please my brother and his wife.

How am I supposed to respond when she texts me telling me that if it’s just our family they’ll attend?

Tired Of It in Iowa

Dear Tired: You are too kind. I wish you had asked this question 30 years ago because, if you had, I could have spared you a lot of grief.

The next time your self-centered sister-in-law pulls that stunt, send her a text saying, “Sorry you can’t make it. We’ll miss you!”

Then add a smiling emoji.

Dear Abby: My daughter sent out save-the-date cards for her wedding next year. Many of our family members live out of state and abroad.

Save-the-date cards were also sent to my co-workers. When the wedding happens, I will have been gone from that company for three months.

Does sending the card obligate us to invite people who will then be my former co-workers?

Unsure in Fort Lauderdale

Dear Unsure: Yes. If you don’t send out an invitation or an explanation, your former co-workers could feel that they were asked to save the date not because they were considered friends, but that it was a bid to receive more gifts for your daughter. And they wouldn’t be wrong.

Dear Abby: My brother is a recovering heroin addict. He stayed clean for almost a year until a few months ago, when he relapsed. He hasn’t used again since his slip and continues to go to outpatient treatment.

My boyfriend, whom I recently moved in with, doesn’t want him to come to the house. He says it’s to protect “his nest,” and I understand why.

I have tried talking with him about it because I feel that I can’t have any other family members over, but that doesn’t seem to matter to him. My brother heard he isn’t welcome and I feel absolutely terrible.

I’m not sure how to rectify the situation.

If my boyfriend can’t accept my family, how is this relationship supposed to last?

But another part of me wonders if his feelings are justified, and perhaps I have been too accepting of all the mistakes and grief my brother has caused my family and me.

Sad Sister in Ohio

Dear Sad Sister: If your brother has stolen from the family in order to feed his habit, your boyfriend has a valid point in not wanting him in the house. His reaction is intelligent.

However, the ban should not extend to your entire family, and this is something you need to clarify.

If your boyfriend’s objective is to isolate you from all of your relatives, it’s a red flag that shouldn’t be ignored.

Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.