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by Abigail Van Buren

Wife Must Deliver a Message to Husband Opening Her Mail

DEAR ABBY: "Ethan" and I have been married 36 years. He's a good and caring husband, but he has a habit that irritates me no end. He opens our mail -- whether it's addressed to him or not.

I have nothing to hide and I always show or mention what I receive. I don't open mail that's addressed to him and would appreciate the courtesy of being able to open mail that's addressed to me. However, Ethan won't stop and insists that there is nothing wrong with what he's doing.

I'm about to the point of opening a post office box in my name and having my mail sent there, but it seems silly to go to that extreme. Am I being overly sensitive? -- FRUSTRATED IN GILMER, TEXAS

DEAR FRUSTRATED: If this were just about Ethan opening your mail, I'd say that after 36 years you might be overreacting. However, it seems to me that what's really bothering you is less about your mail being opened and more that your husband continues to disregard your wishes and does it over your objection. THAT'S what you need to get across to him, and if opening a post office box in your name will make the point, then that's what you should do.