Dear Abby: My Friends Get Old When My Husband Calls Them “Madam”

Dear Abby: My husband is a thoughtful and kind person and an excellent partner. We grew up in the South, and we learned to call people ‘Madam’ and ‘Master’. Instead of reserving these terms for only seniors or special people, he uses them with everyone, including when talking to our peers (we’re in our early forties). I noticed it was disgusting to some of my girlfriends when he referred to them as “Mrs. (first name)” or “Madam.” They feel like he’s calling them old compared to himself, and I know it’s not his intention.

I’ve mentioned this to him a few times, but she usually finds it hard to get rid of. I don’t want to hurt his feelings by constantly fiddling with something that seems unimportant, but I also want him to stop being so polite. Do you have any advice for getting around this? Southern style

Dears: Yes, I accept. I advise you to stand by your man and straighten out your highly sensitive female girlfriends. Reassure them that this is how you both grew up, and that kindness is territorial. It would be better than complaining about your husband for not doing anything wrong with those formalities.

Dear Abby: My husband of 35 years left the house three years ago. We only live in one building and I contribute a lot to his family because he has a disability and doesn’t have enough money to make it through the month. I have a great job and travel as a photographer. My job is the reason for his departure. According to him, she “went a lot”.

Recently, we discussed the possibility of a divorce. Although he has not yet done so, he has expressed an interest in dating a man. But then he pulls me back in with the “I love you, and I can’t live without you” stuff. I do not know what to do. He is hostile when I am away at work and constantly accuses me of cheating. I am confused. – On reform in Alabama

Dear in repair: If your estranged spouse is expressing a desire to date another man, he has probably already tried. Another piece of information is the fact that he “constantly” accuses you of cheating. There is an old French proverb that translates to something like this: “A man does not look behind the door unless he has stood there himself.” Talk to a lawyer and discover the legal grounds for divorce in the great state of Alabama. Adultery and desertion may be two of them, which means you may qualify.

Dear Abby: Adam and Amanda are dating. Is it okay for Amanda to braid the long hair of her only, heterosexual boyfriend, “Adonis”? Or is she overstepping the bounds in her relationship? – Just wondering in Virginia

Dear wondering: If Adam doesn’t like Amanda braiding Adonis’ locks, he has a mouth he can use to tell her to cut them. Unless you’re Adam, Adonis, or Amanda, stay away from it and resist the urge to think.

Written by Abigail Van Buren, aka Jane Phillips, Dear Abby, it was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more social person, ask “How to Be Popular”. Send your name and mailing address, as well as a check or money order for $8 (US money), to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, PO Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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