Dear Abby • My husband works with a group of men who often become vulgar in their conversations. My husband was raised to have respect and dignity, so he is uncomfortable with it.
The men discuss their wives and girlfriends in explicit detail. Some of them have daughters. It is just insane. Would they want someone talking about their daughters like that?
My husband tries to ignore it or change the subject. Although he gets stressed about it, he can’t go to the boss because his boss chimes in. The boss once said, “Oh, it’s just men talking.” My husband finds the whole thing disrespectful. He could go to Human Resources, but he’s not sure he should. What should he do? — Uncomfortable in Wyoming
Dear Uncomfortable • Your husband should not have to be subjected to conversations in the workplace that make him uncomfortable. He should have spoken up when it first happened. And he should still make his feelings known and bow out of these interactions. If HR in that company is strong enough to institute some rules that will be respected, he should alert someone there to the uncomfortable work environment in his department.
Dear Abby • I’m a widow of two years who is taking my first steps getting back out there into the dating world. The dating sites scare me for lots of reasons. My biggest concern is the sexual part of dating. How do you know if the person is healthy? Do you ask if they have been tested lately, or ever? Should I have to ask if they have protection?
I’m way past getting pregnant, but I don’t want any surprises either. I do plan on getting to know the man before I get to the romantic part, but would like to know how to address my concerns. — Ready to Move Forward
Dear Ready • You are a wise lady. According to the Centers for Disease Control, STDs like herpes, gonorrhea, hepatitis B and trichomoniasis are spreading like wildfire. In 2017, nearly 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis were reported in the United States. You should also be aware that 1 in 6 new cases of HIV diagnosed were among people over the age of 50.
This is why, before getting to the “romantic part,” it is imperative you have a frank, honest, open discussion about sexually transmitted diseases and to refrain from having unprotected sexual contact unless you and your partner are in an exclusive relationship and you both have been tested, preferably together.
Dear Abby • This may seem a bit crazy. While out to dinner with friends, I noticed a ring on my girlfriend’s finger. My husband and I had traveled with them in Portugal last year. About the same time, I lost a ring that closely resembled the one my friend was wearing. What’s the best way to ask her where she got it without sounding accusatory? The ring is unique, and I think it is mine. I look forward to your advice on handling this. — Lost Ring up North
Dear Lost Ring • Ask your friend if she “found” that lovely ring because it is similar to one you lost during that trip to Portugal. If she denies it, drop the subject unless you prefer to drop the friend.
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 DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.