DEAR ABBY: I am a 29-year-old mother of four. I have had the same problem with my husband ever since we were dating.
My husband is a fifth wheel! When I have friends over, he is always right there. My girlfriends and I can be sitting at the kitchen table talking about anything from childbirth to table settings, and he will come in, sit down, and throw in his 2 cents' worth. It's embarrassing; no one else's husband ever hangs around. They are all somewhere watching football, having a brew or whatever else men do when women aren't around. (And sometimes when we are around!)
It makes me so mad I could spit fire. Abby, I don't sit in the middle when my husband's friends come over. I try to respect his privacy. What would I have in common with a bunch of men anyway? That's why I can't understand why he's always sitting around with all of us women.
How can I tell him to get lost without hurting his feelings? The only thing that has kept me from blowing my stack so far is the fact that I love this man, and I know how sensitive he is. He will be hurt if I tell him I don't want him around my friends and me all the time. No matter how nice I am, he'll take it as an insult. -- MUST I SHARE EVERYTHING?
DEAR MUST I: You married a man who doesn't fit the usual masculine stereotype and appears to have broader interests than your friends' husbands do. Many women would love to have a husband like yours, someone with more than the usual common male interests.
However, since you're feeling encroached upon, rather than waiting until you explode with frustration, find a time when he's receptive and explain that there are times women like to discuss "private" things, that the presence of a male is inhibiting, and your friends need some time alone with you.