Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Wife's Choice of Dinner Date Is Hard for Man to Swallow

DEAR ABBY: My job requires me to travel out of town several nights a week, leaving my wife home alone. She recently invited a mutual (male) friend out for dinner during my absence. He's the other half of a couple we socialize with frequently. (His wife was also out of town.)

I told her I was uncomfortable with it. I don't think married men and women should go out alone with members of the opposite sex. She maintains that it wasn't a "date," that she was just having a meal with a friend.

I value your opinion and would like to know how you feel about this. Did I overreact? Is it appropriate for a married woman to go out for a meal alone with a man other than her husband? -- FEELING CHEATED ON IN ILLINOIS

DEAR FEELING CHEATED ON: With some couples this wouldn't be an issue. However, how I feel about it is not as important as how you feel about it. If you have explained your feelings to your wife and she knows it made you uncomfortable -- innocent as it was -- then it shouldn't be repeated. I can't help but wonder how she would react if you told her you had run into the man's wife on one of your business trips and the two of you had had dinner together -- and plan to do so again in the future.