DEAR ABBY: I married a proud Scotsman a year ago who often wears kilts. When we go out, women think nothing of coming over and lifting his kilt, which exposes him to anyone who has a visual advantage. These women scream with glee and then become physically aggressive with their hands. Frankly, I am shocked and horrified anyone would do this.
The last time it happened a woman ripped his kilt off and the police became involved. Originally, the police were going to charge my husband with indecent exposure. After several hours, it became clear that it was the woman who assaulted my husband. The police then kinda laughed it off. They didn't plan on doing anything further. We were furious.
Why is there a double standard that women feel they can lift a man's kilt to expose him and call it fun, yet the same women would scream sexual assault if a man lifted their skirt? Women need to understand that lifting a man's kilt is sexual assault and should be treated as the crime it is. Now, every time a woman does it, we immediately call the police and report the crime. The perpetrators are then shocked and angry that they are being arrested for a sex crime for something they thought was innocent fun and games. Your column reaches many readers. With your help, we can help women understand that doing this is unacceptable. -- DOUBLE STANDARD
DEAR DOUBLE: It is no more acceptable to lift a man's kilt "in the name of fun" than it would be to pull his trousers down. I hope any person reading this, who didn't have the common sense to know better, will take note and respect the personal space of Scotsmen and ALL individuals. (It beats finding one's name on a sex offender registry.)
DEAR ABBY: My parents did well financially. Mom passed away 20 years ago. My brother has always been unstable. He's a violent, abusive drug addict and a con artist. Dad was extremely ill during his last few years. My brother abused him, stole his meds, refused to support him and ordered Dad to get out of his life. So he did. Dad wrote my brother out of his will and left everything to me. My brother carries a weapon and, for my family's sake, I have cut contact. Distant family think I haven't been fair by separating myself from him and not splitting the inheritance. Am I wrong? -- HEIRESS IN MISSOURI
DEAR HEIRESS: You are not "wrong"; you are intelligent and prudent. Your sibling has repeatedly demonstrated that he is nothing but trouble and he isn't going to change. You stated that the family members who are urging you be closer to an armed felon are "distant." If you are as smart as I think you are, you will ignore their bad advice and cease contact with them, too.
DEAR ABBY: I've been dating a guy for five years. We were high school classmates and became close friends shortly after that. Abby, he's the man of my dreams. I've been in love with him since we were 16 years old. We married other people, but we are divorced now and we are together.
We are both 46. I want to get married and he knows it. We have discussed it -- but every time I bring it up (and I always bring it up, he never does), he has an excuse. He says it's only a piece of paper, we've both already been married, I have some debt, etc.
I have a 19-year-old daughter, and he has two kids, 13 and 11. We all get along, even our exes. I am tired of being just "the girlfriend." This is not how I want to live the rest of my life. I have always wanted to be his wife.
He's a good man. He treats me great, is respectful, considerate and I love him so much. Must I suck it up and live and die as his girlfriend or leave because he doesn't want to get married? If I leave, I have no plans on dating or trying to marry anyone else. I'm fine alone. Please help. -- WANTS THE PIECE OF PAPER
DEAR WANTS: As you have framed it, your boyfriend -- whom you love very much -- doesn't want to formalize the relationship, and if you break things off, you don't plan to become involved with anyone else. If you are asking me for magic words that will convince your marriage-phobic boyfriend to make a permanent commitment, you are asking something that isn't possible. If he feels as strongly about you as you do him, he may come around one day, but there are no guarantees. And yes, you will have to "suck it up" if you're not prepared to leave, and while you're doing that, make the best of it.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been close friends with a woman named "Louise" for five years. Recently, we were all hanging out, and Louise got very drunk and tried to massage lotion into my husband's hands. She also hugged him and wouldn't let go, although he put his hands at his side and his whole body stiffened.
My husband has expressed to me that these situations made him very uncomfortable, and they do the same to me. We talked about letting Louise know, but he felt it would only make her feel awkward around us.
It has been a month, and I can't seem to let it go. I don't want to text her, and I'm finding excuses to avoid her. Should I continue trying to let this go or is a conversation in order? -- TAKEN ABACK IN NEW YORK
DEAR TAKEN ABACK: If you "let it go," it will probably happen again and the friendship will be over. A conversation with Louise is overdue. She needs to know she must be more careful about her drinking, because the last time she became very drunk, she embarrassed not only your husband, but also you.
DEAR ABBY: I am childless, but I have a niece I've given lots of money to over the years. She's in her mid-40s with a young child and a husband who has a low-paying job.
Although she has several degrees, she has worked mostly as a waitress. They live in a tiny apartment and during these rough times, I have been paying their rent. She rarely acknowledges it. I have never discussed it with her parents, and I have no idea how much they have (or have not) helped her.
I'm conflicted about helping her/them because this is such a tough time. I can't see how they're going to make their lives better without help. I'm wondering if you have some advice on how I can best assist them or if I should stop. -- LOSING FAITH IN COLORADO
DEAR LOSING FAITH: You haven't spoken to your niece's parents about what you have been doing. Why not? If you do, it may give you a clearer picture of her situation. I wish you had been more forthcoming about why she isn't using any of the college degrees she has earned. If her parents are helping her, you may need to be doing less.
Your niece should research to find out whether government assistance is available. If it isn't, and you can afford it, consider continuing the financial assistance until the COVID situation is under control. Then your niece and her husband can get back on their feet, and you can stop being treated like an ATM.
DEAR ABBY: I have a male best friend I adore. When I tell other men about my bestie, they feel intimidated because he has a key to my apartment. We are not dating; we just have sex sometimes, and everyone that I try to be with knows about him. Must I give up on my bestie to be with the man I love even though Bestie and I promised each other that we will never break our bond for anyone? -- COMPLICATED IN TENNESSEE
DEAR COMPLICATED: If you hadn't been having sex sometimes with your bestie, the "man you love" might have been able to accept him. The answer to your question is yes, you WILL have to make a choice. Now, the question I have for you is, which man do you think is the keeper?
DEAR ABBY: I am in a nearly two-year relationship with a man I love. In so many ways, this is the relationship I've always hoped for and, being in my early 30s, I'm feeling ready to settle down. The problem? He doesn't fight fair.
I have put an exorbitant amount of effort into remaining calm and loving during arguments to prevent our relationship from deteriorating, but he seems incapable of meeting me halfway. His unfair fighting comes in the form of aggressive tones, obscene faces, looking at his phone while I'm talking and sometimes ignoring me entirely.
These arguments are usually over minor issues that are nowhere near warranting a full-blown fight (for example, dishes not being done when he came home from work because I work from home and put it off to do during nonwork hours).
Our relationship is otherwise great, but if I'm going to commit to someone for life, I want them to be capable of having calm and healthy conversations. He thinks I'm controlling when I ask him not to use aggressive tones or make faces. What do I do? -- FIGHTING FAIR IN OREGON
DEAR FIGHTING: I will assume that the man you are in love with is around the same age as you. By the time someone reaches their 30s, their personalities are usually set. This man behaves the way he does because it works for him. It enables HIM to control YOU.
If he values your relationship, he should be willing to discuss this in couples counseling so these conversations are constructive rather than adversarial. If he isn't, however, keep looking for a more suitable mate because this Mister ain't Wonderful.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069