Dear Abby: Husband’s longtime friendship is now forbidden by his wife

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.

Dear Abby: I have a question for you and your readers. Why have baby boomers failed in the way they raised their children?

We were raised with honor, respect for authority (even a little fear), integrity, a hard work ethic, honesty, etc. The millennial generation, for the most part, lacks all of those qualities. They don’t want to work, can’t get off their mobile devices and don’t want to leave home. They expect their parents to take care of them, and have no appreciation and no respect.

I’m not saying they are all that way, but the majority I have encountered are. I blame it on parents who didn’t raise them with the same values they grew up with. What’s your take on this, Dear Abby? How do we fix it? – Anonymous in California

Dear Anonymous: There is no one-size-fits-all answer to your question, and frankly, whether the millennial generation lacks the qualities you listed is a matter of perspective. I would hesitate to paint a picture of an entire generation with one brushstroke. Readers, what do you think?

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.