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POLL RESULTS: At Flirt's Glance: (14 comments)

POLL: At Flirt's Glance

Friday, April 17, 2009 - 12:00 AM

A reader writes... Q: My wife and I recently moved to a new home and we’ve begun socializing with the couple who live a few houses away. There is just one problem. The wife dresses and acts very provocatively and is very touchy-feely. Her husband doesn’t mind it at all. My wife ignored it at first, but after our third evening with them she said that it really bothered her. She feels like the woman is coming on to me and wants to stop socializing with them. Any suggestions?
POLL: What would you suggest?
 
31% (422) Stop socializing with the neighbors.
 
5% (75) Stop socializing with the neighbors in front of his wife.
 
12% (174) Stop socializing with his wife.
 
16% (218) Invite *me* for the next party.
 
34% (458) Seriously. I have no plans for the Fourth of July at all.
1347 people have voted in this poll. (This poll is not active.)
nemodos
Lover

From: Saint Louis, MO

Posts: 10

Registered:
Apr 2009
Re: At Flirt's Glance (Score: 1)
posted Friday, April 17, 2009 - 01:01 AM (#47472)

I'm not married, but having been in a few relationships, I have an understanding of basic jealousy. It's not a bad thing at all; in fact, it shows that your wife really cares about you and doesn't want to share. It will only become more and more uncomfortable to her if you continue to socialize with this woman, or even her husband. That will only grow into bigger problems in your relationship, and damaging your wife's trust in you is the last thing you want, especially since you're still becoming comfortable in your new house. You'll make other friends; leave them alone for a while. If they come around, asking why, it's up to your wife to decide whether you give the reason or not.


--
Me gustas cuando callas porque estás como ausente... --Pablo Neruda
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Murgatroyd
Lover

Posts: 300

Registered:
Jan 2008
Re: At Flirt's Glance (Score: 1)
posted Friday, April 17, 2009 - 01:19 AM (#47473)

She feels like the woman is coming on to me ...

Are you sure she isn't?

Some of the people who comment here are polyamorists. I can hardly wait to read their advice ...


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HandEFood
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Posts: 11

Registered:
Apr 2009
Re: At Flirt's Glance (Score: 1)
posted Friday, April 17, 2009 - 02:20 AM (#47477)

Where's the option to discuess it with the neighbours? I suggest you and your wife speak to the neighbour's husband about it in casual conversation. Just raise that her actions make you uncomfortable. He may be able to reassure you both that there's nothing to be worried about.


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DanialArin
Lover

Posts: 92

Registered:
Apr 2009
Re: At Flirt's Glance (Score: 1)
posted Friday, April 17, 2009 - 05:41 AM (#47479)
In Response to HandEFood (#47477):

I have to generally agree here, but advocate a less confrontational first step. I'd suggest your wife take the neighbor's wife aside and ask her to refrain from being so hands-on with you. If that has zero effect, then you should probably talk to her husband about it, again one-on-one, and let him know it's a problem. If the neighbor's wife becomes defiant about it or otherwise gets worse after your wife asks her to back off, or if you talking to the husband doesn't help, then, yeah, keeping some distance between you and them would be best.


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CasualNotice
Lover

Posts: 49

Registered:
Jun 2008
Re: At Flirt's Glance (Score: 1)
posted Friday, April 17, 2009 - 06:53 AM (#47480)

I hate to burst you and your wife's bubble, but she's probably not coming on to you. Some people are just touchy-feely. Others seek attention (usually from a non-demonstrative spouse) by acting in what may be considered an outrageous way. In either case, it's not really a desire to jump you as it is a means of relieving other issues.

I would suggest you not cut off your new friends, but that you spend more time when you guys are out talking to her husband, possibly even going so far as to separate for short periods by gender. Also, you should assure your wife in every way possible that you would never invite her into your bed unless your wife was present and fully enthusiastic about it.


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Cat1864
Lover

Posts: 12

Registered:
Dec 2008
Re: At Flirt's Glance (Score: 1)
posted Friday, April 17, 2009 - 07:41 AM (#47482)

Most flirtatious people I know (my husband included) respond to the feedback that they are given. Do you flirt back? (Is that what really bothers your wife?) If you give signals that the playing is going too far does she backoff?

This may sound like a strange way to handle it, but bring up flirting in casual conversation. You might bring up a comic that you read or a letter to an advice column talking about flirting and see where the conversation goes from there. It may give you a firmer foundation for a serious discussion of the personal situation.


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smparadox
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Posts: 11

Registered:
Mar 2009
Re: At Flirt's Glance (Score: 1)
posted Friday, April 17, 2009 - 08:45 AM (#47483)

I think that you may be over-reading into this woman's personality, as may be your wife. Something to consider: jealousy is not really an indication of love, so much as an indication of ownership. A loving spouse trusts you - a possessive spouse worries that you might find actual love elsewhere. I suggest that the two of you deal with the jealousy in much the same way that you would treat a phobia, by exposure to reduce its power. Spend more time with these neighbors, have your wife practice trusting you by letting you spend time with the neighbor's wife alone while she socializes with the husband. As others more learned than myself have noted, "act the way you want to be and you will be the way you act." By practicing acting as if she loves and trusts you, your wife will be able to come to gradually grow to actually love and trust you. Once she is comfortable letting you out of her sight, she can increase the exposure therapy to include encouraging you to flirt with the neighbor. Over time your wife will become more comfortable with the neighbors, and both couples could become much closer, which would be a win-win outcome.
*If the neighbor turns out to be actually coming on to you, then you will have to decide what you can get away with, and what you are willing to get away with. This is something you should think about ahead of time.


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TheOriginalJes
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Posts: 205

Registered:
Jan 2008
Re: At Flirt's Glance (Score: 1)
posted Friday, April 17, 2009 - 09:22 AM (#47488)
In Response to smparadox (#47483):

I mostly agree with smparadox here, but, with small alterations.

*You* are the un-important factor here.

People are just as much animals as dogs and cats. And we react pretty much the same, regardless of our higher reasoning skills.

What you have here is a basic turf war.

Women travel in packs more than men. And the social structure must be established in the beginning.

The flirty neighbor may enjoy the attention she's most likely used to receiving in this regard. And she's not likely to change if this is her established norm. (Look for "Swingtown" on DVD.) But, she's not after your body. Just your attention.

Your wife has already established you as her property through proven legal means. She's obviously not the type who wants to prove it over and over.

So, if you're exhibiting any sort of positive reaction to the flirty neighbor (any at all); then you are unintentionally giving your wife all the reason in the world she may need to be jealous.

However, if your not, which is very hard to do when she's initiating physical contact; then your wife is just metaphorically lifting her leg to your tires.

"You" are just a placeholder variable in this equation. Once you realize that, you can relax and let the women sort it out.

If you're wife insists on making you help decide on what to do; that is a clear indicator that the placeholder variable is also the whipping post. You have no real safe options here. She's going to take it out on you regardless of what you do (again, that's if she insists on making this your problem).

P.S. - If this is a surprise to you, or you don't believe it's possible; then you probably haven't been married very long.

When people get emotional, the ones closest to them suffer most.


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bknabe
Lover

Posts: 8

Registered:
Dec 2008
Re: At Flirt's Glance (Score: 1)
posted Friday, April 17, 2009 - 09:36 AM (#47489)

There are any number of ways to handle this, including breaking ties, and all of them have potential pitfalls. First you have to decide if you (as a couple) really want to break off the (potential) friendship. Is that the only thing you don't like about hanging with them? If they seem like good friends and neighbors otherwise, you and your wife need to discuss how to keep the budding friendship. My wife wants me to "put women in their place" if they get flirty. She believes it is more effective coming from me, and sometimes she's right. There have been times that she approached women and they became MORE flirtatious.

You don't have to be rude, you just have to say something simple like, "I'm really not comfortable when you do that." Or you could talk to the husband.

It could be that you are both misreading her actions, or they may have an open marriage, or maybe they like swapping, and she's the one who tests the waters. Whatever it is, if her flirtations are causing problems for you and your wife, you have to either get her to stop, or stop seeing them.

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Noire
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Posts: 4

Registered:
Apr 2009
Re: At Flirt's Glance (Score: 1)
posted Saturday, April 18, 2009 - 03:04 PM (#47510)
In Response to bknabe (#47489):

I mostly agree with bknabe, but you might also want to ask your other neighbors that you and/or they socialize with, to see if her behavior is similar with others, and perhaps how they handled it.

All of us are shooting blind, since we don't know about the personalities involved, but unless both you and this couple are really new to the neighborhood, others in the area might have advice on how to deal with her, or experiences with this couple that you can draw on to solve your problem.


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TheOriginalJes
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Posts: 205

Registered:
Jan 2008
Re: At Flirt's Glance (Score: 1)
posted Monday, April 20, 2009 - 09:50 AM (#47529)
In Response to Noire (#47510):

Getting other neighbors involved is a bad idea, unless you enjoy living in a true life soap. All that will really do is spread some rumors and hurt some feelings.

You may think is sounds like a cop-out, but give is some space and time, or let you wife work it out for the two of you (although she should learn to give it space, too). And just steer clear of the flirty neighbor.

Proactive is not always the best course when you're caught in the middle.

In the mean-time, you should make friends with some other neighbors. But, I'm sure they don't want your drama, so leave it at home.


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bknabe
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Posts: 8

Registered:
Dec 2008
Re: At Flirt's Glance (Score: 1)
posted Tuesday, April 21, 2009 - 12:42 PM (#47544)
In Response to TheOriginalJes (#47529):

That's a really good point, and a really good idea. If you get to know your other neighbors, and she's a habitual flirt/perpetual problem, sooner or later someone will mention it.

If you want to find out as much about the neighborhood relationships as possible as quickly as possible, host a "getting to know our neighbors" party, invite the people in the houses around you (how far is up to you) and observe. Even if everyone is on their best behavior, you will learn a lot about who gets along with who, especially on anyone who stays more than 20-30 minutes. If everyone seems to avoid, or seems uncomfortable around your new friends (or the wife, anyway) that could be a definite danger signal.


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DorianDecay
Lover

Posts: 1

Registered:
Apr 2009
Re: At Flirt's Glance (Score: 1)
posted Wednesday, April 22, 2009 - 04:40 AM (#47558)

Working through insecurities is always something that should be brought up carefully and privately. Since your wife has already asked you to stop socializing with the couple, defending yourself to maintain the friendship can easily be misconstrued as trying to see more of this woman. If you know for certain that the husband isn't bothered by it, because you actually discussed it with him, then the dialog has already begun and asking him to bring it up to his wife isn't out of the question. If the conversation is brought up with the neighbor while you're there, make sure you're the one who asks his wife to refrain from touching you. This will strengthen your wife's feelings towards you; Whether it is about ownership, insecurity, love, whatever. At least from this point your wife can't logically use the situation against you and together you can progress towards being less jealous.


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Caffeine
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Posts: 46

Registered:
Feb 2009
Re: At Flirt's Glance (Score: 1)
posted Wednesday, April 22, 2009 - 01:20 PM (#47566)

If your wife does not feel comfortable, she could simply make her point. I think everything else would make her look weak. If she can take the other woman aside and tell her calmly that she does not like the whole touchy-feely thing, it should be over in no time...


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