Dear Loveawake: My neighbor flirts excessively with my husband. She wears extremely low cut blouses. Then, when she talks to him she rubs up against him and talks dirty. If I say anything, I'm considered "jealous". Well, this has gone on for two years and as a result, our intimacy really suffers. I've confronted my husband numerous times and I think he has finally gotten the message. How do I confront my neighbor "friend"? - Paula
Dear Paula: Talking to your neighbor right now will do nothing to change what is going on. It is your husband who needs to let her know that this has got to stop because it is crossing the line and it is hurting his wife and his marriage. He has no control over what she wears, but he has control over whether he stares or not. He has no control over what she does, but he has control over his reaction to what she does. She is really crossing the line by talking and acting the way you have described. You don't mention whether she is married as well but I will assume that she isn't and could care less about what other people think. I believe that this is a control issue and this woman enjoys "playing your husband" and seeing him squirm and making you uncomfortable. If you confronted her now, she would probably deny it and say that she doesn't know what you are talking about and accuse you of being jealous over nothing. Only when your husband decides that you are more important than the fantasy he may be having or the "emotional affair" they may be having, will this stop. When she does or says something inappropriate, he is going have to say, "I know that I haven't said anything in the past but please don't do that anymore because it makes me uncomfortable and it's affecting my marriage." In order for him to do that, he would have to think that your feelings are more important than hers. That is obviously not the case right now.
I think that most men would feel very flattered if an attractive woman was flirting with them. However, a loving husband would say to himself, "I do know that this is wrong. I certainly wouldn't like it if the same thing was happening to my wife so I will have to put a stop to this now. My wife is hurt by my neighbor's actions and the last thing I want to do is hurt my wife's feelings." The fact that he dismisses this as your problem and that you are "jealous" is hurtful and insensitive. I cannot imagine why or how you could endure this torture for the past 2 years, and then call her a neighbor "friend". She is not a friend in any sense of the word. She is undermining you and your marriage. I very rarely advise people to give ultimatums but in this case I believe it is necessary. Either he puts her in her place or he can pack his bags because you will not stand one more minute of this immoral behavior. If he has a problem telling her face to face, let him write her a note. - Loveawake
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