Recently, I attended a social gathering of women friends (mostly age 40) who’d kept in touch since early college days.
Many of us live in different cities from the chosen venue, so the party became an excuse for those with partners to have a weekend away together.
But I was taken aback when one of the husbands I’d never met came on to me.
He came right over, stood too close, made suggestive comments, complimented my figure, then suggested that we “slip away” for a while.
I’m not a prude, I enjoy casual flirtatious banter with men whom I know/trust. But this man was a stranger to me, though his wife and I have exchanged emails for years, along with photos of our kids, etc.
I felt sick for her that he’d so easily show himself to be a player, with someone his wife knows.
And that he felt that he could do this when she’s in the same room!
I walked away toward my husband and the buffet lineup. Even after that, the man managed to stand beside me during some impromptu speeches.
My husband, whom I’d alerted, thought the guy had too much to drink. We left earlier than I’d normally want. What else should I have done? Should I consider hinting something to his wife?
Her Husband’s Come-On
There’s no excuse for this guy’s crude come-on. With his wife and her friends present, it was insulting to her and you!
Even if you said, “Back off,” he likely would’ve ignored you. His behaviour sounds very practiced, alcoholic-induced or not.
In your next contact with his wife, you could ask her, generally, how things are going. She may not open up… or she may question why you’re asking. Repeat your husband’s observation about his drinking. It may lead to her taking a closer look at her husband’s “party” manners.
I’ve been upstaged socially by my close friend!
She and I went to high school together, married guys who are friends, live in the same town.
We decided to celebrate the big holidays together along with each other’s children and parents, at alternating houses.
Though we’re both 36, I feel she’s competing with me.
It’s a joint effort - helping each other cook, bake, decorate and entertain our combined families.
She’s the queen of Christmas-tree glitter and cookie-baking, I’m always praised for my Easter décor and my glazed ham.
This coming Easter holiday is my turn to host. But she’s changed that.
She got involved in an ancestry search and has been emailing with six new-found relatives of hers. They were eager to meet her.
She insisted that they come for Easter, and since she has the larger house, she insists that she’ll host it.
She was so excited about our meeting her new “family” that I couldn’t argue with her. It’s going to be an unusually interesting celebration!
I feel childish writing this as a “problem,” but I still need your advice: How do I deal with a friend who always upstages me, and still appreciate her without feeling diminished by her?
In Second Place Again
Good for you for recognizing that her gesture of inclusion is more important than who bakes what dessert! She’s a generous friend with an open spirit. You’re both lucky to have kept a long friendship, and raised your children with a joyful, sharing spirit at holiday time.
Being part of bringing new people into this circle of warmth is now a credit to you, too. Enjoy it. They’ll love your glazed ham.
FEEDBACK Regarding the mother-in-law (MIL) who felt that her daughter-in-law (DIL) was cold (March 10):
Reader – “She wants a relaxed relationship, but is critical and judgmental that her DIL spends considerable time on social media while her son works full time. Maybe his wife runs a blog, why is it her MIL’s concern?
“She’s also privately discussed her DIL with her son behind his wife’s back. His wife attends her MIL’S dinners, but chooses not to engage further because of the judgmentalism.
“I’m a mother-in-law with a great relationship with my children's partners. I don’t criticize, judge or offer unsolicited advice. My children have chosen them, their lifestyle is their choice, their issues are theirs to address. I just love them and enjoy their company.
“As Ellie replied, if this mother-in-law truly wants a better relationship with her daughter-in-law, she should begin by accepting her for who she is.”
Tip of the day:
If a friend’s partner comes-on inappropriately, walk away.