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.)