I’m proud that I have a husband who is extremely handy and helpful to friends and neighbors. My troubles are his actions are inappropriate and hurtful toward me. He is in extremely good condition and very attractive. I’ve taken care of myself physically and emotionally to stay healthy and attractive as well. I am, however, 79 years old and feel so hurt by his vocal comparisons of me to this new acquaintance next door. She’s clearly very attracted to him and “jokes” about it constantly. I hate feeling jealous when I feel honestly hurt and like an old shoe. — Feeling Like an Old Shoe
Your neighbor lady — does she run around without pants on and drink lots of wine? And is her name Ramona? Just wondering. Regardless, I think you need to be very upfront with your husband about how much it hurts your feelings when he compares you to a woman over 30 years younger than you (or any other woman, for that matter) and that, while you are proud that he’s such a good neighbor and friend and is so attractive and in great shape, you need to feel like you are his top priority. You need to let him know how it hurts your feelings when he gives attention to other women that should be reserved for you and that, while you aren’t forbidding him to be friends with anyone, he needs to do more to assure you that YOU are the one he wants, now and forever.
And, you know, you may need to step things up, too, and give him more attention and assurance that you find him attractive and impressive so that he’s not as eager to find that attention elsewhere. If you’re able, more frequent quality time together — date nights, weekend getaways, and longer vacations — away from the distractions of your day-to-day life would probably go a long way.
Eh, I think you’re being a bit of a Scrooge. Ten years ago I would have found something like what you’re describing more tacky than I find it now. But life has changed — we move a lot more for one thing, making the keeping of addresses more challenging than ever, we have more demands on our time and energy, and we’re more dependent on technology and new media to maintain social connections and ease some of our organizational challenges. (Plus, who keeps contact info in actual address books anymore?!).
I think you need to appreciate this request for what it is — someone asking for help in expressing holiday greetings. It’s a modernized version of honoring a longstanding tradition where the only thing that is asked of a potential recipient is to share his or her address. It’s not like you’re being asked to send money or donate to a cause or forward a chain letter or any other host of mild modern annoyances that might be a greater imposition than simply opting in or opting out of receiving a card. If you don’t want to participate, then don’t. But I think there are other things more worthy of your side-eye than something as harmless as this.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.