DEAR ABBY: I recently retired after 26 years of working with a professional partner of the opposite sex. Now my wife expects me to cut off all communication with her. There was never any intimacy or sexual attraction at all, just a friendship established over many years.
I have explained this to my wife many times, but she refuses to believe me and wants this person out of my life for good. How can I explain this to someone I have worked with for so many years? Is my wife's request reasonable? Can't married males have female friends, or am I restricted to only male friends for the rest of my life? -- FENCED IN, IN WASHINGTON
DEAR FENCED IN: No, I do not think it is reasonable, and the implication is insulting not only to your former working partner but also to you. However, unless you can get to the bottom of your wife's obviously deep insecurity, find a way to reassure her and get her to deal with it, that is exactly what is going to happen. You may need the help of a marriage counselor, but it will be worth it because men who feel fenced in -- trapped -- don't usually stay happily married. How sad.