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by Abigail Van Buren

Husband Rebuffs Wife's Efforts to Join Conversation

DEAR ABBY: Recently, my wife and I went dancing with my friend "Dick" and his wife. While I was in the middle of a conversation with Dick, my wife kept trying to interrupt. She even laid her hand on my arm to try to get my attention. I ignored her and told her later she had been rude to try to interrupt my conversation. She thinks I disrespected her and our marriage by putting conversation with my friend above her. This happens often when the four of us are together.

Am I being insensitive to my wife's feelings? We frequently disagree, but we have been married 44 years. Your input would be appreciated. -- ALWAYS A LOVING HUSBAND

DEAR LOVING HUSBAND: It is generally considered rude to interrupt someone when he or she is talking. The next time your wife does it, stop and ask her what's so important. (Could it be that the band is playing your song?)

However, if you have been droning on with your buddy for a long time, she may simply be craving some attention. If that's the case, perhaps it would be better if you saw Dick on a one-to-one basis without the wives around. That way you won't be interrupted.

Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics | Marriage & Divorce