The wife’s friend is way too flirtatious to the husbands and is aiding in the wrong behaviour.
What Should I Do?
I’m always fascinated by such short questions, with minimal information and a potential goldmine of underlying emotions and attitudes.
Your expressions – “way too flirtatious,” “wrong behaviour” – tells me that you’re angry. You’re also upset at the possible influence of these flirtatious ways on your wife.
Flirting among a close social group of couples CAN become problematic over time. Marriages have their difficulties, and if Wife A and Husband B find it increasingly compelling to joke/drink/tease mostly with each other, there’s potential trouble ahead.
Meanwhile, have you assured your own wife that you’re not vulnerable to the flirting, but worried about her friend upsetting some of the other wives/couples? Have you two discussed that she talk to her friend about the possible repercussions?
Maybe her friend’s unhappy and trying too hard to have fun, without thinking of consequences or reputation.
While her actions aren’t your responsibility, perhaps it’s time to talk to the husbands with a reality check: The flirting has become too obvious to ignore and somebody’s marriage (and family life) is likely to suffer.
You could be the guy who helps everyone see clearly what they thought was “just for laughs” in time to avoid destructive fallout.
However, since we’re still dealing with minimal information from you, here’s a different thought to consider: Is this woman’s “wrong behaviour” being directed at you?
If so, your question may actually be a covert call for help. Your opening two words - “the wife” – is a coolly-distanced way of describing your spouse. It suggests a relationship that’s at risk if this flirty friend is coming on to you.
There’s an obvious response if so – consider all the people in your life who’ll be affected, start talking openly with your wife about your feelings, listen to hers, then get counselling together.
I’ve been with my boyfriend for over six years. Recently, his brother got married. Neither he nor the bride told me about the wedding or invited me. My boyfriend told me about it the night before the event, having assumed that his new sister-in-law would've invited me.
It was apparently very obvious that I wasn't there. I’m deeply hurt and not sure if I should cut off ties with the couple and just be cordial.
Also, my boyfriend and I have been discussing getting engaged soon. Is it the "right thing" to have the new sister-in-law as one of my bridesmaids (though we aren't close) since he’ll be choosing his brother?
I feel that it’s now easier to not include her since she didn't have the decency to even invite me. However, I know that I will invite her, regardless of my feelings. What do you think?
You’re already standing taller than your sister-in-law. You know what’s right and that already guides your decision. But your boyfriend’s in the wrong and you need to discover why he never mentioned that you weren’t invited.
You’re prepared to invite your new SIL to the wedding, despite her excluding you (some day you may hear an explanation – e.g. costs affecting a decision to only have engaged and married couples).
But when it comes to the wedding party, unless you already have a large bridal party, here’s where you can set the role model for family harmony for the many years ahead as in-laws. Include her. Do it with goodwill and grace, she can learn a lot from you.
I’ve never enjoyed Christmas and am currently experiencing a lot of stress in my job. Is it acceptable to say I don’t want to be involved in holiday celebrations this year? I’m being treated by my doctor and my family’s aware of my current mental health.
The Rest of Us
Unfortunately, your email arrived too late for a pre-Christmas response, but it’s not too late for this essential message: Your health and well-being come first.
But your history of never having enjoyed Christmas says this feeling of low spirits has a background of disappointments and perhaps losses, that exist beyond your current job stress.
That’s why taking care of your mental health requires more than avoiding workplace and family parties. Ask your doctor for referral to a therapist/psychologist to help you come to terms with past events, and to raise your outlook for the future. It’s not about Christmas, it’s about you finding your inner peace.
Tip of the day:
Mix high spirits and cross-flirting couples, and “fun” can get out of hand, unless you don’t let it.