Dear Annie: I’ve been friends for years with a lovely group of women, divorced, married and widowed. We get together once a month to dine out and catch up on news. We always looked forward to our girls’ night out. Last year, “Agnes” remarried, and she has been bringing the new husband along to our meetings. Everyone was patient at first because we didn’t think she would keep it up, but it’s been 10 months, and her husband has settled in as “one of the girls.” We have discussed the problem, and no one wants to address it because we are afraid Agnes will quit the group. But it is causing a strain and some resentment each time he shows up. We long for the way our group used to be. What do you suggest? – Disappointed in Ohio
Dear Disappointed: This is one of those things that ought to have been nipped in the bud. Agnes should not have brought her husband to begin with, but now he believes you have accepted him and enjoy his company. Removing him will necessitate hurting his feelings and risking Agnes’ displeasure. A couple of you can talk to Agnes privately and explain that you think her husband is a great guy, but you miss the comfort and casual ease of a girls-only gathering. Ask her to please leave him at home next time.
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