Her Husband is Embarrassing

Q: My husband's always inviting us to other people's homes and parties. We were at my office party, and a coworker mentioned that she had another party the next night in her neighborhood. My hubby asked her who was having the party and what time, and she responded politely. Then he said he'd always wanted to see what those houses looked like on the inside, and turned to me and said, "Let's go to that party!" I was so embarrassed I didn't know what to say, other than that I didn't think that was a good idea. My coworker didn't know what to say either.

He does stuff like that all the time, and I tell him it's rude. He thinks everyone likes him and thinks it's funny. When we show up at places where people weren't expecting us, I just want to crawl in a hole and die. I'm afraid if I don't go with him, he'll do even more embarrassing stuff. How can I get him to see how bad this is? -- Jenny, 29

Dr. Susan: I'm not sure attending parties to which neither of you are invited is less embarrassing than letting him go by himself. It's time to take a stand and tell your clueless husband that you are no longer willing to show up with him uninvited. He seems to have no sense of what other people are feeling. It might be helpful if you and he asked a therapist, or a friend he really trusts, about this one issue, so that he would find out that it's not just you who is a killjoy. It might be hard for you to confront him, but try suggesting that people aren't laughing with him because he's funny, but AT him because his behavior is so unexpectedly weird. Meanwhile, just don't go along with him. YOU know what's socially acceptable, even if he doesn't.

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