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    Advice Columns
    Monday, July 22, 2024

    Woman’s handsy male friends thumb their noses at fiance

    DEAR ABBY: My fiancee has a number of male friends she has known for years. One of them stops off at her work, brings food and gifts, and may go out with her after hours. Another called her one evening and invited her out for drinks to celebrate his promotion.

    At a recent party, another one had his hands on her back or shoulders whenever he spoke to her (she was wearing a silk blouse). Prior to that, she had left with him to go to the ATM holding his hand. At another party, I practically had to wrestle another "friend" away from her so I could sit next to her at dinner and later stand next to her for the group picture.

    When I tell her I'm upset about this, especially that she is allowing it to go on, she tells me they have been friends for years and there is nothing sexual going on. (In fact, she says I'm the ONLY man she knows who thinks that way.) She says, "We're all just touchy-feely." Observing these goings-on, I don't see any of her other male or female friends touching anyone else like this.

    I would never touch another woman who was in a committed relationship. She insists it's just me, and that if I say anything, she will be upset. So, here I sit, stewing, while her supposedly non-sexual friends paw at her and vie for her attention. Advice?

    — SEETHING IN NEW YORK

    DEAR SEETHING: Yes. Your fiancee has made it plain that she doesn't plan to change. This is why you should stop seething and end the engagement. Unless you enjoy pain and anxiety, this isn't the girl for you.

    DEAR ABBY: I have one grandchild and another on the way. I have been struggling lately with all the rules and boundaries my children are placing on me. I realize that with the internet and the new parent courses, they are receiving more information than I ever did.

    The latest issue is with my daughter who is due in a few months. We are very close, but suddenly she says I will need to shower and wear clean clothing before seeing her child. She's afraid of third-hand smoke. I am, unfortunately, a smoker.

    I would never smoke around her baby. I don't even smoke in the house, but she has told me it's her rule. I have read everything about third-hand smoke and haven't found any statistics about the amount of exposure it would take to harm a baby.

    I'm going to try to quit, but I think this is crazy. She hasn't said anything about cleaning products, food or anything else. Am I wrong in thinking this is over the top?

    — SAD SMOKER IN MASSACHUSETTS

    DEAR SMOKER: As a longtime smoker, you are probably no longer aware of how unpleasant the smell of tobacco can be for nonsmokers. It clings to the smoker's hair, skin, clothing and surroundings. You are entitled to think whatever you wish, but as you stated, this is your daughter's rule, and if you are going to interact with that grandchild, you will have to respect it.

    I truly hope you will be able to overcome your tobacco addiction and cuddle the baby. If you do, you will be doing all of you (including yourself) a favor.

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