Dear Abby: Husband reads my messages, emails and texts, then deletes some

When his wife tells him to stop, he accuses her of hiding something.

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DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been together for 20 years. I have never cheated on him or given him any reason to believe I have. But he is constantly on my Facebook account. He also reads all my emails and text messages.

I have nothing to hide, but I feel foolish standing by him as he reads my messages. I feel like a student in a principal’s office waiting to be reprimanded for something I did wrong or said.

If he doesn’t read my personal messages when I am up, he waits for me to go to sleep and reads everything. I have not answered messages that friends have sent me because he reads them, deletes them and then doesn’t tell me I got a message.

He gets mad at me if I tell him I don’t want him looking through my messages because he says I must be hiding something. I have changed passwords only for him to demand that I give them to him. His actions are making me extremely stressed. Is this normal behavior? — STRESSED SOMEWHERE IN THE USA

DEAR STRESSED: No, it is not normal, and it’s no wonder that you are extremely stressed. Your husband’s behavior is extremely controlling, and it is a reflection of the extent of his insecurity.

Your situation is unhealthy, to put it mildly. Has this sort of thing been going on for the last 20 years? If not, it could be a precursor to domestic violence. For your own sake, talk to someone at the National Domestic Violence Hotline about what is going on. Its toll-free number is (800) 799-7233. The website is

DEAR ABBY: I just started my first full-time job, and my boss is amazing but a bit overprotective. Last week, our marketing director, “Amy,” reached out and asked me to organize an envelope-stuffing for invitations to an event my department is hosting. This event was not organized by my department. It was being handled by the marketing and membership teams.

My boss thought it was unreasonable for me to have to do that. I didn’t mind, nor did I complain, but my boss was upset and confronted Amy about it. Amy apologized and helped me send out the invites, but since then she has been cool to me. It feels like others in the office have also withdrawn somewhat (although I suppose I could just be imagining this).

I really wish my boss hadn’t said anything. On one hand, I appreciate her standing up for me, but I don’t want my co-workers to think I’m lazy or a complainer, especially because I’m new here and at the bottom of the totem pole in the office.

Should I just let it blow over? Should I say something? — NOT A COMPLAINER

DEAR NOT A COMPLAINER: Your boss may have stepped in because there were tasks she wanted you to spend your time doing that are more important to her than stuffing envelopes. Tell Amy privately that you were glad to help with the invitations, and you never complained to anyone about having been asked to do it. It may clear the air. Then have a talk with your boss about chain-of-command rules, including whether you must get an OK from her before helping out other departments.

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.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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