Husband should outgrow his need for touching

My husband likes to discreetly touch my breasts in public. Tonight, as we paid for our meal at a cafe, he rubbed my breast with his elbow. I shot him a disgusted look and he grinned.

Dear Annie: My husband likes to discreetly touch my breasts in public. Tonight, as we paid for our meal at a cafe, he rubbed my breast with his elbow. I shot him a disgusted look and he grinned.

When we got in the car, I told him his behavior is disrespectful and makes me uncomfortable. He says I am overreacting. How do I stop this? — Kansas Bride

Dear Kansas: Your husband is a case of arrested development. Touching you intimately is his way of saying you belong to him, and he gets a kick out of your embarrassed reaction. He should outgrow it in time, but meanwhile, ignoring it completely is the best way to put a damper on his juvenile hi-jinks.

Dear Annie: This is in response to “Grieving Dad,” whose wife’s grief was getting tiresome to her sisters.

My husband and two young sons were lost in an accident 15 years ago. I know everyone was tired of my grief. It is a heavy burden and never goes away.

What helped was a variety of grief solutions. The Compassionate Friends was wonderful, but I needed more, so I added a weekly grief group (Bereavement Outreach) that featured speakers who educated us. I also attended a local group for Parents Accepting Loss (PALs). My church offered an intermittent grief group, as well, and I had a fabulous grief counselor.

The point is to keep going, talking and crying, especially around people who have been there and are safe. Please let “Grieving Dad” know that time plus resources will help.

Our society is not comfortable with grief, and to this day, it is rare that I share my extreme life event with anyone. — Sadly, Been There

Dear Been: Many readers chastised us for not berating the sisters. We understand the impulse, but doing so would not have changed their unsupportive behavior.

It is more important for Grieving Dad and his wife to find whatever helpful resources they need, as you have so astutely pointed out, and we thank you.

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611.

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