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Dear Abby 6/26
Third husband is no charmer when he puts down his wife
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    DEAR ABBY: I was divorced twice before I met my present husband, "Lou." We have been married seven years. When we're with his extended family or new acquaintances, Lou makes a point in his loud, animated way of letting everyone know that he is my third husband. It's embarrassing. And because I am at a loss for words, I usually stay silent.
    I have asked Lou in private why he offers that information when no one asks. I think he's trying to make me look bad. I told him maybe he should have a "3" tattooed on his forehead if he's that proud.
    If someone pays me a compliment in his presence, Lou will say, "She really has you fooled!" But, Abby, Lou is the one who has everyone fooled. If his family knew the things he has said and done over the last seven years, they would be shocked.
    Early on, his first wife stopped going anywhere with him. I have reached the point where I have begun trying to avoid going out with him. How should I respond — if at all — when he tries to make me look bad? Perhaps I should just say, "Yes, you are No. 3. But when you talk about me like that, it makes me wish you weren't." -- OBJECT OF RIDICULE
    DEAR OBJECT: If you haven't already done it, tell your husband privately that you don't appreciate being embarrassed in front of family and friends. Tell him that you want it stopped immediately. Your husband appears to be insecure and trying to make himself look better at your expense. If he persists, the next time it happens, smile sweetly and say, "And I'd like you all to meet my soon-to-be third EX-husband." (Come to think about it, that might not be a bad idea.)
    DEAR ABBY: I am 38 years young and still single. I enjoy my friends, my freedom and rock concerts. My issue is that at the last two concerts I went to, I heard men — or boys — say, "Watch out. Here come the cougars!" I think this is insulting. Or is it?
    Can you define a "cougar"? I don't know whether I should be insulted or take it as a compliment. -- STILL ROCKIN' IN IRVINE
    DEAR STILL ROCKIN': A "cougar" is a woman who likes to date — and aggressively pursue — much younger men. Whether it's an insult, an accurate description or a compliment depends upon how you wish to be perceived. But from my perspective, the comments you heard were stereotypical and "catty," to say the least.
    DEAR ABBY: I am a young man who is having some trouble working for "the man" — you know, the corporate culture. I have always worked for large companies, but have found that my current employer is not open to accepting new ideas or suggestions.
    I feel I'm hitting a brick wall when I look at a problem and come up with a solution, but no one will take me seriously because of my youth. Any advice on how to deal with this? -- EAGER IN CUMBERLAND, MD.
    DEAR EAGER: When someone is hired by a company with a strong corporate culture, that person is usually expected to conform and not shake up the status quo. I can think of few things more depressing than going every day to a job where you do not feel your input is valued. Feeling as you do, you might be wise to explore opportunities at another company — or even a field — that is more youth-oriented.
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