DEAR HARRIETTE: A family moved into my neighborhood recently, and my husband and I immediately invited them over to welcome them. We included a few couples from our street, and everybody chipped in to make it a special event. We had a good time getting to know these people, but honestly, while most of us liked the wife, we found the husband to be obnoxious and standoffish. He didn’t try to talk to us. More, he bragged about himself and his possessions. It was gross.
We did find the wife charming. She was pleasant and seemingly comfortable in her skin. She was as laid back as he was aggressive. I want to continue getting to know her, but I really don’t want to have to keep inviting her husband to things. Is it OK to scratch him off the list? -- No Husband Allowed, Milwaukee
DEAR NO HUSBAND ALLOWED: Don’t cut the man off just yet. Instead, choose creative ways to engage the wife independently without actually excluding her husband. That could mean inviting her to a girls’ night or day event. Find ways to spend time with her and others in your group so that you get to know her. Occasionally invite her husband to come to a co-ed affair. He may not want to come, depending on how he feels about that first encounter. Be strategic -- but not rude.