Dear Abby: Retired friend fills my inbox with his commentary emails

Would it hurt his feelings if the overwhelmed recipient told him to stop?

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DEAR ABBY: Shortly after a retired, not-so-close friend moved to another city, he began sending emails about events he had read about in social media, news outlets and magazines. At first there were only a few a day, but as the days increased, so did his emails. I responded to some of them, but he never commented on them. He just sent more and more to the point that his daily emails are more than I can — or want to — read. I am spending too much time deleting them. What should I do? Should I ask him not to send them anymore, or should I stay quiet so as not to hurt his feelings? — INBOX FULL IN MISSOURI

DEAR INBOX FULL: Your friend may be sending these items because, as a retiree, he has little to do but cruise the internet for entertainment. It would not be rude to tell this not-so-close friend you don’t have time to review all of the emails he has been sending and ask him to send fewer. It’s the truth. However, if he doesn’t comply and the barrage continues, feel free to block them or create a filter for these emails that sends them to a folder where they can be easily scanned and deleted.

DEAR ABBY: I’m a young wife. I married after three months of dating my military husband. He was previously in an on-again/off-again relationship that lasted about eight years, during which she had a baby with another man, etc. I believe my husband is still in love with her. He says he just wishes her well and he doesn’t have any romantic feelings. I’m not sure what to do, and I just keep overthinking it. Any thoughts? — HATES HUSBAND’S HISTORY

DEAR H.H.H.: Stop torturing your husband — and yourself — by constantly asking him about his feelings for his unfaithful ex-girlfriend. Get to work building your self-esteem, and you will have less to worry about. Your husband’s history (baggage) is his own. You are making a mistake by dragging it into your marriage. If you concentrate on the positive, you will have a happier marriage, and so will your husband.

DEAR ABBY: My husband of 32 years often tells me women compliment him on his looks or the way he dresses. I compliment him often, but I think it’s his way of telling me that he’s still “got it” and I should be proud to have a husband who’s hot and good-looking.

Am I crazy for not enjoying hearing what other women think? If anything, it has caused some insecurity on my part. I have asked him to stop sharing these comments and told him I’m tired of hearing them — especially since I have told him repeatedly what I think of him, his looks and his way of dressing. Am I wrong? — LOVES HIM INSIDE AND OUT

DEAR LOVES HIM: I don’t think you’re wrong. But has it occurred to you that your husband may do this not out of ego but because HE is insecure? People who are secure within themselves do not feel the need to continually toot their own horns the way your handsome, stylish husband does. Try this: The next time he does it, smile, nod in agreement and tell him you agree with his admirer. And repeat as necessary.

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.

Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: “Abby’s Favorite Recipes” and “More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $16 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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