DEAR ABBY: I am a successful career woman in my 50s. My husband is in his 40s. We decided several years ago that he could stop working, as my income is enough for both of us. He runs our household and is invaluable to me, not only as manager of our household, but also because he looks after the affairs of both our aging parents. Our kids are grown, so there’s no need for child care.

When we go to social functions, invariably he gets asked, “So, what do you do?” When we say he’s retired, people look at him suspiciously. I suspect they think he’s taking advantage of me, when that couldn’t be further from the truth. There is no way I could be as successful in my career without his support. What would be a good response? I think it hurts his feelings, but he keeps it quiet. — GOOD THING GOING OUT WEST

DEAR GOOD THING: Congratulations on having a partnership that is working so well. People often ask this question as a way of starting a conversation with someone they don’t know. Your husband might answer it by saying, “I’m retired now, but I used to work in ----. What do YOU do?”

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