Dear Abby: I caught husband belittling me to his boss on the phone

Man apologized, but his wife feels hurt and insulted

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DEAR ABBY: I am a wife and mother in my late 30s. I’m also a registered nurse, beginning a master’s degree program to advance my career. I consider myself to be an intelligent person, and I did well in college.

My husband is also intelligent, and I’m proud of his accomplishments in his career. However, he can be arrogant at times, giving the impression that he is smarter than everyone else around him — including me.

Today, I overheard him talking to his boss, whom he told about the master’s program I am starting in a few weeks. He then told his boss he would probably have to write some of my papers for me. I couldn’t believe he said that. First of all, it’s not true; I would never have anyone complete my work for me. Second, I found it insulting that he would say I need him to complete my assignments. (We are in different fields. He is an engineer.)

He didn’t know I was home when he said it, but I walked into his office as soon as I heard. He looked startled and apologized, but I just can’t get over it. I feel so hurt and humiliated. Is this what he tells his co-workers about me? How do I move on? — ACCOMPLISHED IN OHIO

DEAR ACCOMPLISHED: Your engineer husband’s ego may be threatened because you are becoming more academically accomplished. He may also have been trying to inflate his image in his boss’s eyes by casting you as “the little woman” when you caught him red-handed. Regardless of what he may say to others, your accomplishments speak for themselves. Don’t you forget that. As for how to move on, it may depend upon your willingness to forgive him for his frailties.

DEAR ABBY: My son “Alex” and his girlfriend, “Dee,” lived together for eight years. We were all very close and did lots of family things together with my other son and his family. Alex broke up with Dee two years ago, although they continued talking for some time afterward. We all hoped they would make up. He was under a lot of stress at the time and suffers from depression and anxiety. He was sorry a month after the breakup, but Dee did not want to get back together.

We have stayed in touch. She still skates with my daughter-in-law, and we met for brunch recently. Dee mentioned she met someone on an online dating site six months ago and it could get serious. This man knows she feels it’s time for marriage and a family. He is eight years older than she is, never married and has no kids. They are not living together. Dee has met his family.

Should I let my son know? I feel Alex needs to move on, and he really hasn’t. I think he still hopes they will be together. — PROTECTIVE MOM IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR MOM: Dee told you she had met someone because she knew you would deliver the message to your son. If he has put his life on hold, hoping to reunite with her, he deserves to know it isn’t in the cards — so tell him.

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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