DEAR ABBY: My husband, “Ralph,” and I have been married for 30 years. He recently started receiving sexually oriented texts from a male co-worker I’ll call Mike. What Ralph once read aloud to me saying, “He’s such a goof. Listen to this!” has now become covert reading for him.

Ralph and I have no secrets. Our phones are accessible to each other, so sometimes if his phone is lying around, I’ll see things such as “Sitting on the deck with just a towel on the bits and pieces. Nice breeze!” with heart eye emojis. They are later deleted.

I have asked Ralph point-blank if he has feelings for Mike, which he denies. But he won’t ask him to stop, either. Ralph knows this worries me and has me questioning our relationship. I’m tempted to contact Mike myself, but I’m not sure if that’s the best way to proceed. Thoughts?



DEAR BAFFLED: Your husband may not have feelings for this co-worker, but his coworker appears to have some for him. Either way, Mike’s behavior is unusual. While I don’t think you should contact him, this is something you should revisit with your husband because you find it threatening.

DEAR ABBY: A man came to my home today to fix a tech problem and proceeded to hit on me. Abby, he was at least 10 years older than me (I’m 23), and it was so unprofessional. I was home alone, and being faced with that situation caused me to turn red. He then commented on my blushing, and I just sat there saying nothing.

I am berating myself for not speaking up, and I’m disgusted that he assumed I was blushing because I liked the attention when it was the opposite! At the same time, I am fearful of a man reacting aggressively if I were to say something.

I was hoping you could tell me what to say or do in order to better handle these situations in the future. I want to be more vocal; I just don’t know how to be.



DEAR BLUSHING: Whether you were red with embarrassment or pale with anger is irrelevant. You should report him to his employer to make sure he will never come to your home again.

A way to protect yourself in the future might be to arrange to have someone else present under those circumstances. If someone behaves inappropriately during a service call to your home, you are within your rights to tell the person you want him to leave IMMEDIATELY, and that is what you should have done.

DEAR ABBY: I recently went to the movies with a couple of friends. At the concession stand, I bought popcorn. They did not. However, as we sat down, they eyed my popcorn as I was munching. I didn’t offer them any. I figured they could have bought their own if they wanted some. Should I have? It’s been bothering me ever since. Was I selfish?



DEAR MUNCHER: The polite thing to do would have been to offer them some of your popcorn. As to whether not doing so was selfish, the answer is: “Mmmmhmmmm.” (I’d say it more clearly, but my mouth is full.)

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