DEAR ABBY: My wife and I disagreed with your advice to the woman whose husband was upset about his wife going out for drinks with her male co-workers. ("Pulled in Two in Pennsylvania," April 2). We have been happily married for many years, and neither she nor I feel comfortable with a female employee going for drinks with mostly males.
Drinking can lower inhibitions. Many office affairs begin in similar situations. In addition, no one should be driving home after two or more drinks. Office parties or get-togethers should not be held at bars. Employers can be held responsible for a multitude of things that can happen after these socials.
That woman's husband may be too protective or controlling, but he is not out of line to be upset about the situation.
— BOB IN LEWISVILLE, TEXAS
DEAR BOB: Thank you for your comments. I told "Pulled in Two" that her husband appears to be insecure and can change only if he's willing to own up to it. However, many readers felt differently — distinctly differently. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: As someone with a "jealous" husband, I beg to differ. There is a positive definition of jealousy — rightly guarding what belongs to a person. This man may be guarding the relationship he has with his wife. He may sense some danger from her "friendly" and "happily married" co-workers that she doesn't see. Although they have been married 16 years, it seems his jealousy arose only after she took this job.
I speak from experience as someone who didn't realize I had boundary issues with men. I thought I was just being friendly, but my husband helped me understand where to draw the line. In doing so, I have seen how much he values our relationship and wants to protect it.
I am a college graduate and have worked in my profession more than 25 years. I'm not a throwback to the days of male domination. I appreciate my husband's concern and wisdom.
"Pulled" needs to find a way to put her marriage ahead of having fun with her co-workers. Jobs come and go; a great marriage can last a lifetime.
— JO ANN IN GEORGIA
DEAR ABBY: Every company I have ever worked for invited employee spouses to attend almost all after-work social events. Only rarely, once or twice a year, may they have had an employee-only function. I suspect "Pulled in Two" enjoys the extra attention she is getting from her male co-workers. Otherwise, I bet she could invite her husband.
— BEEN THERE IN AZTEC, N.M.
DEAR ABBY: It does seem that the husband is insecure, but there may be another explanation. Some of the most jealous spouses I have witnessed were the ones who caroused the most. Obviously, since they cannot be trusted, they project that unwarranted lack of trust onto their mate.
— ILENE IN CORPUS CHRISTI
DEAR ABBY: Any time social drinking is a part of a "work" event, the opportunity for inappropriate behavior presents itself. Many marriages have been ruined because of a "mistake" or "I didn't mean it to happen — it was the alcohol."
If "Pulled" wants to go out drinking with male associates rather than go home to her husband, she is taking the road that leads away from a strong marriage. I faced that crossroad many times throughout my life and have never once regretted telling the ladies I couldn't join them because I already had a commitment at home. The result has been 30 years of wedded bliss with no "mistakes."
— JOHN IN THE SUNSHINE STATE
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.