DEAR HARRIETTE: I get invited to events all the time with my work. Occasionally my husband wants to go, but not most of the time. His work is demanding, and he likes his day to end at 6, not start up again at 7 or 8.
I often invite other friends or colleagues to go with me when it’s best to have a plus-one. My husband is fine with that, but occasionally if my companion is a man, people will assume he is my husband. I always correct them to say who the person is, colleague or friend. I don’t know what else to do. I am certainly not out and about with a “boyfriend.” How can I ensure that roles are clear when my husband rarely goes out with me? -- Who Is That?
DEAR WHO IS THAT?: You are not alone in terms of going to events with friends or colleagues when your spouse doesn’t want to attend. As long as you are clear about who is with you and what that person’s role is -- and your husband is in agreement -- you should be fine. When you introduce your plus-one, state who he is and call him your friend or colleague. Be sure to be clear in all of your introductions so that you leave no room for curiosity or rumor. Be confident that you are handling yourself with integrity, and keep it moving. If people ask about your husband, be sure to give a brief update on how he is.
Don’t give up on your husband. When an event seems perfect for him, encourage him to attend with you. It can be fun for the two of you to go out together and can help reinforce to any haters out there that you do indeed have a loving husband who makes an appearance from time to time.