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DEAR ABBY: Husband’s younger ‘crush’ reappears in couple’s life

Two couples sitting on rocks by lake, smiling
A wife feels jealous of her husband's attraction to a younger woman. Photo by file photo /Getty Images

DEAR ABBY: When our son went to college years ago, he travelled all summer with a school-sponsored ministry singing group. The members were all smart, attractive, talented young men and women — a group of four.

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I stopped going to his concerts because my husband became attracted to one of the young women. She was very outgoing and annoying, so I didn’t mind letting my husband go alone. After they all graduated, I thought I’d never see her again. Now, all these years later, she’s a missionary, and the church we attend is sponsoring her, so I have had to see her once and I’ll probably have to see her again.

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I know to keep quiet about it because my husband says he doesn’t want to hear it. I don’t honestly think his thoughts are inappropriate. I just think he’s not aware of how obviously attracted he is to this young woman. I don’t act that way toward other men, even if they are attractive. Maybe especially if they are attractive. I wonder if other women experience this and how they cope. — SLIGHTLY JEALOUS IN OREGON

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DEAR SLIGHTLY JEALOUS: This situation occurs with both husbands and wives. They cope in different ways. Some make a joke out of it. Others make a point of accompanying their spouse whenever they know the “crush” is around. Nowhere in your letter did you state that this younger woman is attracted to your husband or a threat to your marriage. He’s old enough to be her father.

Obviously, you have talked to him about it, or he wouldn’t be telling you he’s sick of hearing it. Be patient and let the torch subside. Eventually, she will be transferred to another ministry, and you will be rid of her once again.


DEAR ABBY: My mother and I are super close. I consider her my best friend. My brother, not so much. He ignores my texts and calls, and I know of any news about him only via our mom. My parents divorced when we were very young. When my father passed recently, he left me a decent-sized inheritance, and my brother $500. (They were estranged.) I took the inheritance and the equity in my house, bought a new one, and need to finance only a small amount to remodel.

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Mom doesn’t understand why I didn’t share my inheritance with my brother and says she doesn’t want to talk about it anymore. I am excited about my upcoming move and the furniture shopping and remodelling. It’s killing me that I can’t talk to my best friend about it. I tried explaining that giving money to my brother would be taken out of my loan, which I would have to repay with interest. She doesn’t want to hear it. Can you give me some advice? — MISSING MY BESTIE IN ARIZONA

DEAR MISSING: You were not obligated to share your inheritance with your brother. If your dad had wanted his estranged son to have the money, he would have left him more. Your excitement and wanting to share all the details about buying and decorating your new home is understandable, but because your mom prefers you keep them to yourself, abide by her wishes. She may be your “best friend,” but she is also your brother’s mother and is entitled to her opinion about the inheritance money. It is OK for the two of you to disagree about this.

— Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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