Abby: Stranger’s boyfriend looks like friend’s husband

Dear Abby
Jeanne Phillips

Dear Abby: I work in customer service and was helping a guest. During my eight- to 10-minute chat with her, she showed me her phone. The wallpaper on her phone was a picture of the guest and her boyfriend in Times Square. Without mentioning it to the guest, I recognized her boyfriend as the husband of a friend of mine I’ll call Julie.

Julie and her husband have two young children. Part of me wants to confront him, but part of me says this would destroy a family. I have resolved to remain quiet unless I hear of marital difficulties, but would that be a disservice to my friend and her children? I feel like I’m carrying a grenade that may devastate many innocents.

Wants To Confront Him

Dear Wants To Confront: Unless you are 100 percent certain that the man you saw on the phone was who you think he was, and not someone with a strong resemblance to Julie’s husband, do NOT involve yourself.

Dear Abby: My mom told me that when I get engaged, she is going to hire a PI to investigate my fiance! I know that parents can be concerned, but this seems to me like total paranoia.

She told me a story she saw in the news about a seemingly normal man who ended up killing people to steal their money to pay for his wedding. That’s scary, but I don’t think it warrants hiring a PI to follow my future fiance around. I think my mom is going beyond being overprotective. What do you think?

Feeling Conflicted

Dear Feeling Conflicted: I agree with you. What your mother is proposing is the definition of helicopter parenting. If your boyfriend were to find out, it would be the end of your romance. Perhaps you should ask your mother how she would feel if your fiance’s family hired a detective to shake your family tree. I’ll bet she wouldn’t like it one bit.

Dear Abby: I would like to see how other wives would handle this. I have a “friend” who constantly calls my husband her “boyfriend.” She’s married, and I’m sure this irks her spouse too. Every time they come over, she has to give my husband a really big hug (she has a large chest).

I feel what she’s doing is inappropriate and want to know what you recommend to put a stop to this. It has reached the point I wish they would quit coming here. My husband and I are both polite people, but I would like for this to cease.

Polite Pat in The South

Dear Polite Pat: I’m a wife and here’s how I’d handle it. I would have your husband tell your friend privately that her effusiveness is embarrassing and to please stop doing it. If he doesn’t feel comfortable doing this, talk to the woman yourself and tell her that when she calls your husband her boyfriend, it offends you, and that HER husband should be her boyfriend.

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