Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: weeblewobble on January 25, 2013, 10:36:43 AM

Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6
Post by: weeblewobble on January 25, 2013, 10:36:43 AM
EPIC BG:  A few years ago, I met an older woman we'll call Bessie through a community service project. It involved us spending a total of two hours together one afternoon.  She was perfectly pleasant, but I didn't walk away thinking, "That is a person I would like to become my new BFF." She friended me on Facebook later. I accepted.  She seemed to respond to a lot of my posts.  Something about her persistence made me feel guarded so I didn't respond to her very often. 

Later, DH joined a local gym with a specific set of workout equipment he needs.  Because of our work schedules, he can only go to use this equipment at certain days at certain times.  After his first few visits, another gym member he didn't know approached him and started asking about "Weeblewobble" and mentioned a few things that had been going on in our lives lately that I'd posted on facebook. He asked who she was and she said, "Oh, I'm Bessie, I'm a close friend of Weeblewobble's!  I recognize you from your pictures."  DH remembered the conversation in which I described Bessie as a casual acquaintance. He said hi and moved on with his workout.

DH started seeing Bessie every time he went to the gym. She says hi every time she sees him.  He is civil, but doesn't say anything beyond hi back.

A few months later, DH and I joined a large  organization that meets monthly.  Wouldn't you know our luck, Bessie has been a member of that organization for years.  (Small town) She comes rushing across the meeting room to greet us and is sure to introduce us to other members as her "close friends."  And then she tells me that she and the other ladies at the gym just LOOOOOVE seeing DH there, that it's a big treat for them, and thanks me for "sharing" with them.  I didn't respond to this, other than to say he enjoys the gym facilities, then found a reason to be elsewhere.

I went on Facebook, defriended her and changed our privacy settings so she can't see my profile or DH's (at his request).

Now, every month, when we go to the meetings, Bessie is sure to tell me how much she LOOOOOOOVES seeing DH work out at the gym. I am not amused by this. I usually respond with, "Yes, so you have said, several times."

I asked DH how he feels about it and he says it makes him uncomfortable to be spoken to that way, especially when Bessie is his Mom's age.  But he doesn't want the monthly meetings to be uncomfortable.  Plus, as I mentioned before, he can't change his gym schedule, and he doesn't want to make his gym time any more awkward. I pointed out that if a guy my dad's age approached DH every month to tell him how much he enjoyed seeing me bend and flex at the gym, that DH would be steaming mad.  DH conceded, but doesn't think it's a big enough deal to make a scene over it.

So for the time being, we've limited any social media access Bessie has to us and we're coolly polite whenever she approaches in person.  She has never mentioned being defriended. This approach works for us.  Bessie isn't escalating, though she hasn't dialed back, exactly. We're more comfortable with the situation and we don't feel quite as "invaded" as we did before.

END OF EPIC BACKGROUND.  (If you finished this, I will give you a cookie)

So at the last meeting, we were talking with a new member - Erin- when Bessie approached.  We went from being warm and friendly to Erin, to being very cool towards Bessie.  Erin noticed the change in demeanor, and the fact that we returned our "normal" mode of friendliness when Bessie departed, after telling Erin what close friends we were and how she has a big crush on DH.  Erin asked, "What was that all about?"  I played it off and said that we weren't that close to Bessie. Erin didn't mention it again.

But at this month's meeting, it happened again. Another member, Penny, Erin, DH and I were talking when Bessie approached and did her routine. We were civil.  Bessie left.  Penny and Erin both asked, "What the heck is going on with you and Bessie?"  I bean-dipped and said we'd discuss it another time.

Now, my question, when people ask why we're not friendly towards Bessie, should we explain why? I don't want to be a gossip, but I also don't want people to think we're being needlessly rude to her.  Also, part of me wants to warn other members, "Hide your husbands!! They could be the next to be ogled!!"  (But that would be wrong, right?)

Or should I just continue to bean-dip?
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: TurtleDove on January 25, 2013, 10:43:04 AM
If it were me, I would not be cool toward Bessie but rather laugh it off.  That solves everything I think. 

Bessie: "I love to see DH work out at the gym!"
OP: "Hah! I bet you do! Beandip?"

From what you posted, Bessie isn't groping your husband or really saying anything inappropriate (unless you left this out).  She is an older woman who is not a threat to you.  Unless I missed it, neither you nor your DH have expressed that you don't appreciate her comments to her.  She probably thinks she is being flattering and funny.  Either agree that she means well, or tell her to please stop, but don't just be cool to her and expect her to read your mind.

Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: weeblewobble on January 25, 2013, 10:47:26 AM
You make a good point.  She's never touched DH, particularly after the first meeting in which she went for a hug and he deflected it into a handshake. She seems to understand the physical boundaries we've established.  And I guess I'm seeing this from my POV, which would be, "Hey, I've made the same joke every time I see them and they've NEVER laughed.  Maybe I should stop making that joke." 

I don't think I want to laugh about it, though, because I'm afraid it would just encourage her.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: TurtleDove on January 25, 2013, 10:53:02 AM
Well, she isn't getting it with the cool treatment, and it seems to be making waves and problems for you - not her behavior, but yours.  I would be direct with her and politely ask her to stop rather than expecting her to figure it out on her own.  She obviously isn't.

To be clear, I am not saying you should have to put up with this - I totally get that it's irritating.  I am just saying that if you want it to change, you will have to change your behavior before expecting her to change hers.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: bah12 on January 25, 2013, 10:54:43 AM
It sounds to me like Bessie is just over friendly.  I don't blame you or your DH for feeling uncomfortable, and you would know better than I, but it just doesn't seem like she has the intention of being anything other than friendly....and her methods are awkward and innapropriate.

While you have a right to defriend her from FB (and I think that was a good move), I'm not sure that her behavior warrants the "cool" behavior that others are noticing.  Obviously, this method doesn't deter Bessie's behavior, but it is something that makes others take notice enough to ask you what's going.  So, it's really only creating a weird dynamic between you and other members of this group, vs. what you want, which is for Bessie to back off.

I say that you don't change your demeanor so much when she approaches you and shrug off her behavior (since it's not escalating).  It doesn't solve your Bessie problem, but it does solve the problem of others wondering why you're so unfriendly to her.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: JenJay on January 25, 2013, 11:02:16 AM
I would contact her in whatever way you're comfortable and tell her that it makes your DH extremely uncomfortable for her to tell everyone that she has a crush on him, that she enjoys his workouts, etc. and you'd both appreciate it if she'd stop. That may solve the problem right there.

Otherwise, since she's the one telling everyone what a big crush she has on your DH I don't think it's gossip to mention it. I'd probably say "Bessie is a nice lady but, because of her aforementioned crush on DH, we've had to set some boundaries." Then smile and change the subject.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: lowspark on January 25, 2013, 11:03:39 AM
I think you might want to at least tell Bessie that her comments make you uncomfortable. Or I should ammend that to say, tell her that her comments make both you and DH uncomfortable. You're trying to communicate that to her in a few different ways but the message isn't sinking in so be direct.

Bessie, please don't make that kind of comments about DH anymore. It makes both of us uncomfortable.

No rudeness or snarkiness or anything. Just a simple direct statement.

In other words, what JenJay said as I was typing.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: Nebraska Jones on January 25, 2013, 11:15:39 AM
I was working out at the gym alone and this older gentleman came up to me and just started talking about my husband.  I finally asked how he knew me and he said he recognized me solely from my pictures on DH's Facebook.   ??? 

As life often goes of course DH and I ended up joining an organization that he is a member of.  We can't manage to go to one meeting without this man telling DH how much his friends and he look forward to seeing me at the gym working out.  They just LOOOOVEE it and it's a big treat for them.

Even though DH and I both respond cooly it is still brought up every time and makes me quite uncomfortable.  He also introduces us to others as his "good friends."  Since then we have both defended him on Facebook but this seems to have made no difference to him.


I feel like if I posted what is above that some of the posts I would have received would be quite different than some that the OP got.

I don't think it's fair to make the OP feel as though her or her husband are over reacting (especially since DH is not a fan of this behavior).  I personally find it creepy that Bessie never met the DH but went through enough of his pictures on FB to immediately recognize him in public. 
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: TurtleDove on January 25, 2013, 11:20:30 AM
I feel like if I posted what is above that some of the posts I would have received would be quite different than some that the OP got.

I don't think it's fair to make the OP feel as though her or her husband are over reacting (especially since DH is not a fan of this behavior).  I personally find it creepy that Bessie never met the DH but went through enough of his pictures on FB to immediately recognize him in public.

My response would have been the same.  I didn't really see anyone say the OP and her DH are overreacting but rather that their reaction is not getting them the results they want (for Bessie to stop) and is causing problems for them (others commenting not on Bessie's behavior but on the OP's and her DH's). 
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: MissManager on January 25, 2013, 11:33:16 AM
You make a good point.  She's never touched DH, particularly after the first meeting in which she went for a hug and he deflected it into a handshake. She seems to understand the physical boundaries we've established.  And I guess I'm seeing this from my POV, which would be, "Hey, I've made the same joke every time I see them and they've NEVER laughed.  Maybe I should stop making that joke."  

I don't think I want to laugh about it, though, because I'm afraid it would just encourage her.

I'd probably make a comment related to that next time your friends wonder whats going on. "She makes the same joke everytime we see her and its just gotten tired" then bean dip.

Without knowing the full background, which I'm assuming you don't want to go into during a casual conversation, I can see how some people would think you were being dramatic if you said "I just don't like her oogling my husband at the gym."**

**Not my opinion. If it makes you uncomfortable, it makes you uncomfortable, and that's the bottom line. 
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: weeblewobble on January 25, 2013, 11:39:37 AM
You make a good point.  She's never touched DH, particularly after the first meeting in which she went for a hug and he deflected it into a handshake. She seems to understand the physical boundaries we've established.  And I guess I'm seeing this from my POV, which would be, "Hey, I've made the same joke every time I see them and they've NEVER laughed.  Maybe I should stop making that joke."  

I don't think I want to laugh about it, though, because I'm afraid it would just encourage her.

I'd probably make a comment related to that next time your friends wonder whats going on. "She makes the same joke everytime we see her and its just gotten tired" then bean dip.


Without knowing the full background, which I'm assuming you don't want to go into during a casual conversation, I can see how some people would think you were being dramatic if you said "I just don't like her oogling my husband at the gym."**

**Not my opinion. If it makes you uncomfortable, it makes you uncomfortable, and that's the bottom line.

Ah!  That's a really good solution! Thanks!
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: buvezdevin on January 25, 2013, 11:42:17 AM
I get what other posters have said, but in the same situation, I would not want to have any direct one on one communication with Bessie about this matter at all.  By continuing to proclaim and act out in front of others a close friendship with OP in the absence of such, FB defriending by OP, and OP's public coolness to her, Bessie seems to be either missing the social cues OP has been making, or passively-aggressively thumbing her nose at them.  I would not want to give Bessie the opportunity to share with others how "mean and misunderstanding" OP was to ask Bessie to be less "friendly."

I would, however, change my statements to Bessie when others were present, to clarify to *all* that you aren't being cool to an actual close friend, but are maintaining some distance from an over-reaching person.

Bessie:  weeblewobble and I are such great friends, and I have such a crush on her husband!
Ww:  Bessie, I am not sure why you feel a need to keep making that exact proclamation.  We don't know each other well, and it seems odd that you keep saying we are close.  Adding that you have a crush on my husband does not actually make any of us any closer.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: TurtleDove on January 25, 2013, 11:44:06 AM
Bessie:  weeblewobble and I are such great friends, and I have such a crush on her husband!
Ww:  Bessie, I am not sure why you feel a need to keep making that exact proclamation.  We don't know each other well, and it seems odd that you keep saying we are close.  Adding that you have a crush on my husband does not actually make any of us any closer.

To me this is even harsher because it is publicly calling Bessie out.  I think the sentiment is appropriate, but should be done in private.  Otherwise I think this absolutely makes the OP and her DH seem almost cruel!
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: DavidH on January 25, 2013, 11:48:54 AM
I'm not sure that if I were so cool to someone in public that others noticed I'd want to attribute that behavior to them making a boring joke on a regular basis.  It would, I think, come across as an overreaction to a boring joke. 

Since Bessie's behavior bothers you, the first thing to do is tell her.  Nothing you wrote suggests she is doing this to be rude or make your DH uncomfortable (although it's having that effect), so there is every likelihood she'll stop if you tell her that it bothers you.  If she doesn't, then you can always escalate. 

You can say to Bessie, preferably in private, that while she may thing it's flattering or a joke to mention that she enjoys watching your husband work out, it makes you and he very uncomfortable and would she mind not mentioning it again.  If she is the great friend she claims to be, she'll apologize and say she hadn't intended to make you uncomfortable and problem solved.  If she disregards your request, then you can say, quite honestly, they you and she used to be friends but had a falling out and you'd rather not go into details. 
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: buvezdevin on January 25, 2013, 11:58:55 AM
Bessie:  weeblewobble and I are such great friends, and I have such a crush on her husband!
Ww:  Bessie, I am not sure why you feel a need to keep making that exact proclamation.  We don't know each other well, and it seems odd that you keep saying we are close.  Adding that you have a crush on my husband does not actually make any of us any closer.

To me this is even harsher because it is publicly calling Bessie out.  I think the sentiment is appropriate, but should be done in private.  Otherwise I think this absolutely makes the OP and her DH seem almost cruel!

Which is why I explained in my post, before the above quote, why I would not speak one on one with Bessie, but would handle it this way.

If Bessie just seems clueless and overly friendly to OP (which may well be the case), then I agree with you and others that a private discussion would be best.

I was thinking of personal experience with someone I knew, whose behavior was to make incorrect statements in social settings in a very friendly gushing tone, because no one *would* correct her ... Until someone did using a similar non-confrontational but corrective statement.  And that person was warmly appreciated for addressing a behavior that had bothered many.  But, it may not apply here.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: Fleur on January 25, 2013, 12:02:35 PM
I'm not sure that if I were so cool to someone in public that others noticed I'd want to attribute that behavior to them making a boring joke on a regular basis.  It would, I think, come across as an overreaction to a boring joke. 

Since Bessie's behavior bothers you, the first thing to do is tell her.  Nothing you wrote suggests she is doing this to be rude or make your DH uncomfortable (although it's having that effect), so there is every likelihood she'll stop if you tell her that it bothers you.  If she doesn't, then you can always escalate. 

You can say to Bessie, preferably in private, that while she may thing it's flattering or a joke to mention that she enjoys watching your husband work out, it makes you and he very uncomfortable and would she mind not mentioning it again.  If she is the great friend she claims to be, she'll apologize and say she hadn't intended to make you uncomfortable and problem solved.  If she disregards your request, then you can say, quite honestly, they you and she used to be friends but had a falling out and you'd rather not go into details.
I get your point about public perception, but I do feel that this post is perhaps slightly unfair. It isn't just the joke, it is the repeated claiming of a higher level of friendship than has been granted. I would find that highly bizarre, and if I witnessed the behaviour, I would fully sympathise with the OP and her husband, and probably join them in their cold shouldering of Bessie. She frankly sounds a menace. I also agree with the PP who said that the advice would be different were the genders flipped. That said, I don't disagree with your method for dealing with this annoying situation.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: Twik on January 25, 2013, 12:06:38 PM
Actually, Bessie is sexually harassing DH. And sexual harassers often justify themselves by saying that they're "just paying a compliment," or "just joking". Grandmotherly types should not be not given a pass any more than grandfatherly ones.

Since she isn't getting the hint from the coolness or the defriending, I do think it is time to move on to clear statements that her remarks are not welcome whenever she makes them.

"Oooh, I just love watching DH in those tight workout clothes!"

"Bessie, that is inappropriate. Please stop saying things like that."

"But ... but I was paying him a compliment!"

"It's not a compliment to be treated like meat. Please stop saying things like that."

If you have to explain your attitude to others, perhaps the classic "personality conflict" may be invoked.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: DavidH on January 25, 2013, 12:12:33 PM
I agree that the reaction is reasonable given the story, I meant that the recommendation of "I'd probably make a comment related to that next time your friends wonder whats going on. "She makes the same joke everytime we see her and its just gotten tired" then bean dip." might make the OP seem unreasonable.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: GrammarNerd on January 25, 2013, 12:16:03 PM
To an onlooker: "Well, we're really not close at all, not like she says.  I'm not really sure where she gets that from.  And the comments about my husband at the gym?  She makes those every time we see her, and frankly, after about the third time, it started to almost sound a little stalker-ish.  KWIM?"

Although I have to admit, the thought of pre-empting her little ritual would be kind of fun, but I suppose it could be kind of rude, huh? "Oh, hi Bessie.  Yes, I know, you've probably seen my husband at the gym, and you have a crush on him."  Say it in a bored tone, and then turn back to the person you had been talking to.

OP, I don't remember as I'm typing this.  How long has this been going on? 

If you ever talk with her one on one, does she bring up your DH and the gym?  If she does, could you say something like, "So you've said.  You know, Bessie, you mention that fact pretty much whenever I see you.  And since it sounds like you're essentially ogling my husband while he's working out, it's getting a little creepy to hear that so much.  How 'bout we just talk about the weather?"
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: Moray on January 25, 2013, 12:18:56 PM
I agree that the reaction is reasonable given the story, I meant that the recommendation of "I'd probably make a comment related to that next time your friends wonder whats going on. "She makes the same joke everytime we see her and its just gotten tired" then bean dip." might make the OP seem unreasonable.

POD. I like GrammarNerd's idea of actually explaining "Sorry, we actually aren't all that close. Every.Single.Time we see her, she talks about how much she loves watching DH get all sweaty at the gym. Gets old quick. :)"
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: snowdragon on January 25, 2013, 12:29:58 PM
I found that creepy just reading it.  If others ask me why I am cool towards Bessie I would start with " We're not all that close, we have several differences of opinion about what's appropriate" and if it continued I would be telling folks outright that Bessie makes comments about DH's body that make both of us uncomfortable.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: kitchcat on January 25, 2013, 12:37:14 PM
Eep, this sounds really creepy. If there are any officers for this community organization, I would inform them of the situation, because as PPs have mentioned, she is indeed sexually harassing your husband and generally overstepping boundaries.

As for people asking what the deal is, I think it depends on who is asking and the setting. If you aren't that close or are in a more public setting, I'd beandip, or go with the "We're not that close" answer PPs suggested. If a (real) closer friend asks in a less public setting, I think it would okay to say something like, "We're trying to reinforce some boundaries with Bessie. She's been making DH uncomfortable."
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: TootsNYC on January 25, 2013, 12:56:39 PM
Eep, this sounds really creepy. If there are any officers for this community organization, I would inform them of the situation, because as PPs have mentioned, she is indeed sexually harassing your husband and generally overstepping boundaries.

As for people asking what the deal is, I think it depends on who is asking and the setting. If you aren't that close or are in a more public setting, I'd beandip, or go with the "We're not that close" answer PPs suggested. If a (real) closer friend asks in a less public setting, I think it would okay to say something like, "We're trying to reinforce some boundaries with Bessie. She's been making DH uncomfortable."

IS she "sexually harrassing" him, though? I didn't think the OP's post implied any ogling or comments about his body, etc. It's more about "how familiar she is with him" and stuff. Having a crush on someone doesn't mean you want to have sex with them--lots of people use the term "crush" for people they find interesting and appealing.

It wouldn't surprise me if she just thought he was a cool guy and how fun it is (SOCIALLY fun, not sexually or romantically fun) to see him at the gym.

I *would* go with the "Oh, there's nothing between us--we're simply not at all close, regardless of what she says. We see her here and she exercises at the same time as DH." And stop there. They were in the conversation, they heard


If you found you needed more you might try, "She's overly familiar, we are NOT friends in any way--we just run into her here and at the gym. It's very uncomfortable. And we're trying to establish some boundaries without having to be flat-out direct and possibly rude."

And I might try to find a slightly less cold way to brush her off, just so you don't have other people noticing or being uncomfortable.

And I suppose you could try directly saying something to Bessie so that makes her interaction with you uncomfortable. But it would make other people uncomfortable too, and I get the impression that she's not doing this unless she has an audience. You could say, "We saw you at the meeting last month, right?" in a sort of "I'm just checking the facts, because I think you have the wrong impression" tone.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: Bijou on January 25, 2013, 01:45:31 PM
I was working out at the gym alone and this older gentleman came up to me and just started talking about my husband.  I finally asked how he knew me and he said he recognized me solely from my pictures on DH's Facebook.   ??? 

As life often goes of course DH and I ended up joining an organization that he is a member of.  We can't manage to go to one meeting without this man telling DH how much his friends and he look forward to seeing me at the gym working out.  They just LOOOOVEE it and it's a big treat for them.

Even though DH and I both respond cooly it is still brought up every time and makes me quite uncomfortable.  He also introduces us to others as his "good friends."  Since then we have both defended him on Facebook but this seems to have made no difference to him.


I feel like if I posted what is above that some of the posts I would have received would be quite different than some that the OP got.

I don't think it's fair to make the OP feel as though her or her husband are over reacting (especially since DH is not a fan of this behavior).  I personally find it creepy that Bessie never met the DH but went through enough of his pictures on FB to immediately recognize him in public.
Well put. 
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: bah12 on January 25, 2013, 02:09:16 PM
I love seeing my sister at the gym.  Why?  Because I love her.  She's my sister and my friend.  You can love running into people and it not be sexual.  I'm not saying that Bessie isn't giving off this vibe...she probably is, or else the OP and her husband wouldn't be uncomfortable.  But, if she's not escalating her behavior, touching him, or saying anything else outside of how much she "looooves" seeing him at the gym, then I wouldn't jump to the 'secual harrassment' conclusion just yet.  Would the feeling be any different if they happened to run into each other at the post office and she "loooves" seeing him there?

I think it's a good idea for the OP and her husband to tell Bessie that her actions are making them uncomfortable.  She's not getting the clue otherwise, so perhaps if they are more direct, things will help.   
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: atirial on January 25, 2013, 02:16:23 PM
I think it's a good idea for the OP and her husband to tell Bessie that her actions are making them uncomfortable.  She's not getting the clue otherwise, so perhaps if they are more direct, things will help.
The only thing I would suggest is that the OPs DH needs to tell Bessie it is making him uncomfortable himself. Otherwise Bessie may shrug it off as the OP being jealous or insecure. If she continues after the OPs DH has said something then there is a problem.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: BeagleMommy on January 25, 2013, 02:21:34 PM
Bessie sounds like someone who believes they have "instant connections" with people.  She just doesn't get that she does not have the friendship with OP and her DH that she wants.  She believes that by continuing to be "in your face" friendly that that will make her more endearing.  It is having the opposite effect.

Personally, I would prefer talking with Bessie privately about how I would not consider her a close friend and that her comments about DH at the gym make him (and the OP) uncomfortable.  To those who ask about your difffering demeanors you could say "Bessie has a different idea about how close we actually are.  I really only see her when she's here and she exercises the same time as DH."
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: Twik on January 25, 2013, 02:23:45 PM
In my opinion, you do not stand in front of a man's wife, and tell all and sundry what a big "crush" you have on him. Even if you're old enough to be his mother. It is creepy behaviour, and to repeat it constantly is harassment.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: Moray on January 25, 2013, 02:26:58 PM
I think it's a good idea for the OP and her husband to tell Bessie that her actions are making them uncomfortable.  She's not getting the clue otherwise, so perhaps if they are more direct, things will help.
The only thing I would suggest is that the OPs DH needs to tell Bessie it is making him uncomfortable himself. Otherwise Bessie may shrug it off as the OP being jealous or insecure. If she continues after the OPs DH has said something then there is a problem.

Yes, absolutely.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: fluffy on January 25, 2013, 02:31:26 PM
Your cool demeanor doesn't seem to have discourage Bessie at all. And it appears to be having the unintended effect of making other people think that it's you and your DH who are somehow lacking in social graces. At this point, you're probably better of trying a new technique, for the simple reason that your current MO isn't very effective.

Step 1 is probably to have your husband tell Bessie that she's making him uncomfortable. The next time she mentions how much she loves seeing him at the gym, he could say in as neutral a tone as he can manage that maybe it's time to stop talking about how much she loves seeing him at the gym. As long as she behaves herself, you'll probably find yourself behaving more warmly towards her without even thinking about it.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: bah12 on January 25, 2013, 02:35:21 PM
In my opinion, you do not stand in front of a man's wife, and tell all and sundry what a big "crush" you have on him. Even if you're old enough to be his mother. It is creepy behaviour, and to repeat it constantly is harassment.

I agree it's inappropriate...even creepy.  But if Bessie thinks that she's being cute and endearing (and from what the OP describes, I suspect this is the case), she's not harrassing them until they tell her to stop.  I think I see the harrassment label as a big deal and don't want to just throw it out everytime someone says something awkward.  If DH says "Bessie, those comments make me uncomfortable, please stop" and she continues to do it, then I'm right there with you on the harrassment.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: TurtleDove on January 25, 2013, 02:50:50 PM
In my opinion, you do not stand in front of a man's wife, and tell all and sundry what a big "crush" you have on him. Even if you're old enough to be his mother. It is creepy behaviour, and to repeat it constantly is harassment.

I think it depends.  Depending on personalities and situations, it can be funny.  My 6 year old niece often tells me that my boyfriend is actually her boyfriend and she intends to marry him.  My elderly aunt used to openly flirt with my 60+ years younger husband in front of me.  An IT guy at work is vocal about his crush on me, yet we are both happily coupled with others.  These situations are endearing to me.  They are not threatening and they are not offensive to me in the slightest.  I can see that the OP does not find Bessie's behavior to be endearing, but so far I don't think she has told Bessie that.  I suspect Bessie truly thinks her behavior is flattering to the OP and her DH.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: snappylt on January 25, 2013, 03:00:07 PM
I think it's a good idea for the OP and her husband to tell Bessie that her actions are making them uncomfortable.  She's not getting the clue otherwise, so perhaps if they are more direct, things will help.
The only thing I would suggest is that the OPs DH needs to tell Bessie it is making him uncomfortable himself. Otherwise Bessie may shrug it off as the OP being jealous or insecure. If she continues after the OPs DH has said something then there is a problem.

I agree that it would be more effective for the OP's husband to speak with Bessie about how he wants her to stop, if they decide that they want to speak with her.

(And I agree that it sounds creepy to me.  But I also wonder if Bessie is maybe genuinely clueless as to how this is bothering the OP and her husband.  Or is Bessie aware and continues anyway?)
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: TootsNYC on January 25, 2013, 03:07:29 PM
I might disagree and say that the wife can pull Bessie aside (in the moment) and make the first statement of "this is uncomfortable for my husband--so much so that he wasn't even comfortable asking you to stop. So please don't keep making comments about his gym visits and how much everyone likes looking at him. Okay?" and then walk away.

Then the husband can make the second comment (because one will be needed, I bet), and he doesn't have to pull her aside, he can just say, "I really don't like those sorts of comments, Bessie. Stop them." And walk away.

And he can be cold at the gym.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: rose red on January 25, 2013, 03:09:48 PM
My first thought is she thinks it's funny and cutesy.  Perhaps thinking it's innocent fun because she's not hiding it from the OP, the wife.

I agree the OP and her DH should just tell her to stop because she may just be clueless.  How you deal with her after she's clued in depend on how she responds.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: MrTango on January 25, 2013, 03:11:50 PM
I might disagree and say that the wife can pull Bessie aside (in the moment) and make the first statement of "this is uncomfortable for my husband--so much so that he wasn't even comfortable asking you to stop. So please don't keep making comments about his gym visits and how much everyone likes looking at him. Okay?" and then walk away.

Then the husband can make the second comment (because one will be needed, I bet), and he doesn't have to pull her aside, he can just say, "I really don't like those sorts of comments, Bessie. Stop them." And walk away.

And he can be cold at the gym.

I agree that something needs to be said "in the moment," however I disagree with pulling her aside.  I'd just say right then and there to Bessie "Please don't talk about my husband that way"

Even better would be for the OP's husband to be the one to say it, "Please don't talk about me that way.  I am not a piece of meat."

Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on January 25, 2013, 03:49:56 PM
If this has been said before and I missed it, then I apologize.  But what hit me is: Bessie singles out Weeble-wobble and her DH as her close, close friends, and she doesn't do it to any one else?

Is Bessie a serial crush?  One at a time, she hits on a couple.  The wife is her bestie, and the husband is her honey, and they just love each other. 

Maybe, when other people are eyeing you, they are really thinking, "Oh, it's their turn now."

What I would do is tell the truth: Bessie is an acquaintance.  Have you known her long?
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: Mr Wigglybones on January 25, 2013, 06:12:01 PM
OP, have you told Bessie that these comments are inappropriate and that she needs to stop?
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: chibichan on January 25, 2013, 07:48:21 PM
I might disagree and say that the wife can pull Bessie aside (in the moment) and make the first statement of "this is uncomfortable for my husband--so much so that he wasn't even comfortable asking you to stop. So please don't keep making comments about his gym visits and how much everyone likes looking at him. Okay?" and then walk away.

Then the husband can make the second comment (because one will be needed, I bet), and he doesn't have to pull her aside, he can just say, "I really don't like those sorts of comments, Bessie. Stop them." And walk away.

And he can be cold at the gym.

Toots for the win .

This is exactly the message needs to be given and the way it should be delivered .
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: Delia DeLyons on January 25, 2013, 08:22:02 PM
I would feel disrespected if another woman, of any age, regularly talked about my BF this way, particularly in front of me.  (well, saying those things *not* in my presence would be a whole nother non-etiquette related problem!) I would not hesitate to tell my BF, in private, that he needs to speak up about it the very next time it happens. 

I would recommend a light-hearted comment with an unmistakable under-lying message:

"Bessie, that's really enough with those comments now - you know I am happily-married to Weeblewobble... SHE is the only one who should say those things about me." turn- beandip
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: gramma dishes on January 25, 2013, 08:26:07 PM
I don't think Bessie is in the "Mrs. Robinson" category -- at least not yet.   :-\

I suspect that she thinks her remarks are entertaining to you and your husband, and flattering, at least to him.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and disagree with almost everyone else.  I do realize that this is a double sided sword -- she's also pretending to be super close friends with you and she isn't.

But honestly, I think your husband should deal with this on his own at least at the beginning.  All he has to say (privately) is "I know you're just joking around, Bessie, but to be truthful the things you say about watching me work out (etc.) really embarrass me and make me very uncomfortable.   Would you stop it, please?"

If she doesn't respond to that, then I'd go with some of the more direct approaches other posters have suggested.  But if you approach her first, it's going to look like YOU are the one who is bothered by her 'flirting' with your husband, not so much him.  Bessie needs to understand that she needs to stop it because it bothers HIM.  Only if she doesn't cease and desist, then you let her know it bothers both of you.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: Raintree on January 25, 2013, 09:49:33 PM
Bessie sounds like a rabbit boiler.

I'd start by correcting the first point, openly and in front of people:

Bessie: "Oh, Weeblewobble and DH are my close friends!"
Weeblewobble: "Well.....I don't know you THAT well. After all, the only time I really met you was that two hours we worked on that project, and then ran into you a couple of times at these meetings."
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: Raintree on January 25, 2013, 09:55:31 PM
There was another thread somewhere about a woman who whistled and catcalled a poster's DH as he worked out on his deck, and also tried to find every excuse in the book to get him to do things for her. I think in the end, it turned out to be most effective when the DH said something like, "Please stop catcalling me when I work out."
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: delabela on January 25, 2013, 10:48:36 PM
I think that the suggestion of taking her aside and letting her know the comments make you uncomfortable is best. I don't think it should be done in front of other people - they don't know the background, and it would be very uncomfortable for them to suddenly be in the middle of this weird interaction. I totally get that it's not your fault Bessie has no concept of social boundaries, but I do think it's your responsibility to avoid putting other people in an awkward position if you can.

I agree with the earlier posts that what you're doing isn't getting the results you want, so you probably need to change something.  Either 1. stop caring about her and her comments and act as you would with anyone else 2. take her aside privately and let her know that while you get she's possibly trying to be funny, it's getting old and she needs to stop or 3. stone cold ignore her.

I'd probably go with 2.  Good luck - not a fun situation. 
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: TootsNYC on January 25, 2013, 10:50:49 PM
I would feel disrespected if another woman, of any age, regularly talked about my BF this way, particularly in front of me.  (well, saying those things *not* in my presence would be a whole nother non-etiquette related problem!) I would not hesitate to tell my BF, in private, that he needs to speak up about it the very next time it happens. 

I would recommend a light-hearted comment with an unmistakable under-lying message:

"Bessie, that's really enough with those comments now - you know I am happily-married to Weeblewobble... SHE is the only one who should say those things about me." turn- beandip

This won't work, because Bessie isn't REALLY coming on to him. She thinks she's being complimentary and funny. He needs to say (or his wife can say), "They make me really uncomfortable, and I find them very distasteful."

Bessie is probably a very nice lady, or at least wants to be (even if she is completely without boundaries and living in a fantasy world), so she'll feel mortified (as she should) and she'll have a motivation to stop.

And I like Gramma Dishes' suggestions as well.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: Fleur on January 26, 2013, 03:03:52 AM

I am really surprised at the number of people who think Bessie is just 'being cutesy'. If the genders were reversed, would anyone say that. Inappropriate is inappropriate.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: YummyMummy66 on January 26, 2013, 04:54:42 AM

I am really surprised at the number of people who think Bessie is just 'being cutesy'. If the genders were reversed, would anyone say that. Inappropriate is inappropriate.

I was thinking the same thing.  If this were a man bothering a woman, saying how much they like to watch them at the gym, you can bet something would have been said before now.   
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: oceanus on January 26, 2013, 08:14:11 AM

I am really surprised at the number of people who think Bessie is just 'being cutesy'. If the genders were reversed, would anyone say that. Inappropriate is inappropriate.

I was thinking the same thing.  If this were a man bothering a woman, saying how much they like to watch them at the gym, you can bet something would have been said before now.

This.

Husband should have said something to Bessie a long time ago.  Since he hasn't, he needs to step up NOW, tell her the comments are making him uncomfortable, and to stop.

Focusing on what others might think or how to respond to people who notice coolness is not solving the problem.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: rose red on January 26, 2013, 08:58:27 AM

I am really surprised at the number of people who think Bessie is just 'being cutesy'. If the genders were reversed, would anyone say that. Inappropriate is inappropriate.

I was thinking the same thing.  If this were a man bothering a woman, saying how much they like to watch them at the gym, you can bet something would have been said before now.

Just as the OP and her DH should have said something to Bessie before now.  My feelings and advice are the same no matter what gender.  Men can think they are being "cutesy" too.  First step is telling them to stop and see if they do or not.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: LadyL on January 26, 2013, 09:33:28 AM
In my opinion, you do not stand in front of a man's wife, and tell all and sundry what a big "crush" you have on him. Even if you're old enough to be his mother. It is creepy behaviour, and to repeat it constantly is harassment.

I think it depends.  Depending on personalities and situations, it can be funny.  My 6 year old niece often tells me that my boyfriend is actually her boyfriend and she intends to marry him.  My elderly aunt used to openly flirt with my 60+ years younger husband in front of me.  An IT guy at work is vocal about his crush on me, yet we are both happily coupled with others.  These situations are endearing to me.They are not threatening and they are not offensive to me in the slightest.    I can see that the OP does not find Bessie's behavior to be endearing, but so far I don't think she has told Bessie that.  I suspect Bessie truly thinks her behavior is flattering to the OP and her DH.

I think it's important to remember that the line between "endearing" and "creepy" has to do with personal sense of boundaries, body language, vocal tone, etc. and that is for the OP and her husband to judge. If they're uncomfortable, then it is not endearing and inoffensive. They are not mutually participating in Bessie's little charade because they all think it's funny and cute - she is repeatedly not getting the memo from their cold reactions that it is not funny. Intentional or not she is crossing a boundary.

I also think that given that this really is an ambiguous, borderline situation we should trust the OP's judgement and not try to minimize Bessie's actions as sweet but misguided or what have you. Like other posters have said, if she were male she would not be given the benefit of the doubt. Women can have inappropriate sexual or emotional interest in men too.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: Minmom3 on January 26, 2013, 10:38:08 AM
"Bessie, I don't feel complimented when you tell me you love to watch me work out, or when you tell my wife you have SUCH A CRUSH on me.  I feel pestered, and I DON'T like it.  Please knock it off!"
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: TurtleDove on January 26, 2013, 11:04:11 AM
I said:  I can see that the OP does not find Bessie's behavior to be endearing, but so far I don't think she has told Bessie that.  I suspect Bessie truly thinks her behavior is flattering to the OP and her DH.

Lady L said:

I also think that given that this really is an ambiguous, borderline situation we should trust the OP's judgement and not try to minimize Bessie's actions as sweet but misguided or what have you. Like other posters have said, if she were male she would not be given the benefit of the doubt. Women can have inappropriate sexual or emotional interest in men too.

I say: I think you misunderstood me. I said behavior like Bessie's is not always perceived as creepy in response to a statement that it "always" is, period. I never said that the OP should minimize Bessie's actions or that she is wrong to find it creepy.  I said I believe Bessie believes she is being funny or cute, and the OP and her DH have never directly told her otherwise. I think they should and I suspect Bessie would stop, given what else we know about her.  If she doesn't stop after being asked to stop, then yes, that is a problem.

And as I said before, the genders make no difference to me. 
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: cicero on January 26, 2013, 11:10:53 AM

I am really surprised at the number of people who think Bessie is just 'being cutesy'. If the genders were reversed, would anyone say that. Inappropriate is inappropriate.
I agree.

I find her comments, coupled with the fact that she went up to him after she recognized him from facebook, to be extremely inappropriate.

However, it is up to Mr. Weeblewobble to say something to her, immediately, in the moment - dont' make a joke about, just matter of fact "please stop those comments they are making me uncomfortable".
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: TootsNYC on January 26, 2013, 11:32:46 AM

I am really surprised at the number of people who think Bessie is just 'being cutesy'. If the genders were reversed, would anyone say that. Inappropriate is inappropriate.

None of us are saying that Bessie is NOT behaving inappropriately. I think every one of us is on board with the OP's reaction, and her husband's. We get it, honestly we do.

Bessie's inappropriately familiar in SO many ways. (actually, I think that's proof that *Bessie* doesn't "get it," in ANY of those ways, because she is so consistent. And that's why I'm completely on board with the OP's approach--except that it makes other people uncomfortable, and that's why she needs to change her tactics.)

I think if the genders were reversed, we'd have "Bob" saying how *cute* the OP is, and how all the guys at the gym like looking at her pretty face.

There's something weird in our culture that thinks it's *more* acceptable to admire a man for his body; we admire his build, not his face. We don't admire men for their facial beauty; we admire a generic guy for his muscles or his sexual attraction. Men aren't perceived as being as vulnerable as women, so these invasive opinions aren't seen as being quite so dangerous.

Think about it--a group of women at a bar, and a good-looking guy walks in--their appreciative comments to one another are probably going to be about his build or his sex appeal. People who overhear them are less likely to be affronted or alarmed than they would if a group of guys was overheard discussing a woman that same way.

What TurtleDove said, essentially. I bet Bessie *believes* she is being flattering and funny.

Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: buvezdevin on January 26, 2013, 12:02:28 PM
In the situation the OP has described - from my POV the genders do not make a difference as the issue is general appropriateness rather than predatory behavior.

Bessie is repeatedly asserting, in social settings, that she is close friends with OP, a view which OP does not share and for which the history of interactions (limited initial in person contact, followed by friending then de-friending on FB) would not support most folks making such an assertion - and Bessie continues despite OP's gradual cooling of behavior to Bessie when they are incidentally present at group events.

While Bessie's general inappropriateness extends to also repestedly stating her crush on OP's husband, she is not overtly pursuing him - so I would put this into a category of additional annoying behavior more in line with Bessie making other unwelcome "admiring" comments coupled with the starting point of overstating her relationship with OP. 

Someone who I did not know well, and had felt "guarded" about from first interactions would annoy me if, on future chance encounters, they continually proclaimed to others present that we were close friends, and added any further comments which would - perhaps - be taken in a close friend "joking" manner if we *were* close, i.e. "I just love how she puts herself together, I am going to make her my personal stylist!". But my annoyance would be with the overall comments, not just one particular part.

My mother will comment on my boyfriend being handsome, and I could imagine her joking, on seeing him clear a table after a family meal "oh, it is so attractive when a good looking man clears the dishes!" or something in a similar vein, which i would not find offensive or harrasing, nor do i think my boyfriend would.  Comments and the reaction to same are not based solely on reading a parsing of the words, but generally are read also for tone, and - when they are of a personal nature -  the context of of the parties relationship.

What I would find annoying, and possibly offensive about Bessie's iterative comments is the totality of assuming/stating a closeness which not only does not exist, but for which I had given ample social cues that I did not want to pursue.  It would not be less bothersome, to me, if Bessie stopped stating a crush on my SO, but substituted a different repeat statement which also assumed and put forward an appearance of a close relationship which did not exist.

So, in any statement I might make to Bessie to directly clarify matters, were I aiming to revise her behavior towards me/SO, I would not address solely her "crush" and related comments, but the full scope of the inappropriate comments.  Focussing only on her crush on OP's husband could suggest all other comments Bessie repeatedly makes are just fine.  Of course, if OP is annoyed only by Bessie's crush, addressing only that could work.

Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: VorFemme on January 26, 2013, 02:59:54 PM
There are things that a family member (by blood or marriage - or at least a family member of your SO, if not married) or long term family friend/neighbor can get away with saying & doing because they are "closer" to you due to how long you've known them or how long your SO has known them.

Bessie does not qualify as a family member or a long term friend (it sounds like she barely qualifies as an "acquaintance" due to the lack of frequent interaction).  A "wannabe" doesn't get to pull out the "friend, neighbor, or member of the family" card because they WANT to be a member of your social or family circle.  Slapping Bessie down hard might be cruel - but some people don't get the idea when shown the clue by four or the two pound Cast Iron Skillet of Duh!

They have to actually be smacked down - it can get done in relative privacy or it might have to be done more than once.  Because Bessie really seems to have a blind spot the size of the Gulf of Mexico when it comes to seeing that her behavior is NOT getting her to be considered part of the OP's circle of friends & family by the OP & her spouse....no matter how many times she tries it.

The DH needs to ask Bessie to leave him alone at the gym - he may have to comment about "it almost feels like you are stalking me" to get the point across.  If that doesn't work - he may have to ask her to stop stalking him....because only stalkers keep hanging around after you've asked them to leave you alone.

And the OP needs to come up with something to say to Bessie and any other people watching their interactions at the events that her family and Bessie go to - but the exact phrasing escapes me.   Eye rolling works for teenagers....not so well for anyone after they've gotten out of college.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: HonorH on January 26, 2013, 04:26:03 PM
I might disagree and say that the wife can pull Bessie aside (in the moment) and make the first statement of "this is uncomfortable for my husband--so much so that he wasn't even comfortable asking you to stop. So please don't keep making comments about his gym visits and how much everyone likes looking at him. Okay?" and then walk away.

Then the husband can make the second comment (because one will be needed, I bet), and he doesn't have to pull her aside, he can just say, "I really don't like those sorts of comments, Bessie. Stop them." And walk away.

And he can be cold at the gym.

This is how I'd handle it. There's no need to shame Bessie in front of others at this point. The OP can gently point out that what Bessie is saying is making her DH uncomfortable, and that he doesn't like to feel like he's being watched at the gym. If Bessie truly is harmless, she'll apologize and stop the nonsense. Problem solved. If she's not harmless and keeps doing what she's been asked not to do, obviously, stronger measures will be in order.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: kittytongue on January 26, 2013, 06:38:26 PM
For me this all boils down to one thing: how would I feel if the gender roles were reversed? I'd feel like the guy in question was a big huge creeper and I'd be very cold to him in public. I wouldn't consider this in any way friendly or misguided. So I don't have a problem with the way you're treating Bessie. As long as you remain polite: carry on.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: BarensMom on January 26, 2013, 08:37:18 PM
I agree with a previous poster (can't remember who) who said that OP's husband needs to shut Bessie down at the gym when she approaches him .  If OP says anything, Bessie will see it as either joking banter, or "Oh, how cute!  She's jealous of little ol' me!"  It needs to come from him.

Story time:  Back when DH and I were attending a certain church, there were several older ladies (65+) that thought he was just the handsomest thing.  He also wore his hair long at the time, which tended to curl into ringlets.  I would come into the sanctuary several Sundays in a row to find the ladies pawing his arms, face and hair.  I told them, "If you were 40 years younger, we'd have a problem."  Some got offended, some thought I was joking, some stopped it.  It didn't completely stop until we left the church (for other reasons).
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: oceanus on January 26, 2013, 09:34:55 PM
I agree with a previous poster (can't remember who) who said that OP's husband needs to shut Bessie down at the gym when she approaches him .  If OP says anything, Bessie will see it as either joking banter, or "Oh, how cute!  She's jealous of little ol' me!"  It needs to come from him.

Story time:  Back when DH and I were attending a certain church, there were several older ladies (65+) that thought he was just the handsomest thing.  He also wore his hair long at the time, which tended to curl into ringlets.  I would come into the sanctuary several Sundays in a row to find the ladies pawing his arms, face and hair.  I told them, "If you were 40 years younger, we'd have a problem."  Some got offended, some thought I was joking, some stopped it.  It didn't completely stop until we left the church (for other reasons).

I was one of the posters who said the HUSBAND needs to tell Bessie to stop. (my post is #47)

Quote
Husband should have said something to Bessie a long time ago.  Since he hasn't, he needs to step up NOW, tell her the comments are making him uncomfortable, and to stop.

Focusing on what others might think or how to respond to people who notice coolness is not solving the problem.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: Marbles on January 27, 2013, 01:47:09 AM
I agree that a direct statement is needed. Although inappropriate isn't the only word you can use, OP.

"I/We don't find that funny."
"I don't appreciate you saying that."
"I would appreciate it if you would stop saying that."
"I don't want to hear that."
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: Gyburc on January 28, 2013, 05:47:12 AM
This reminded me of a thread a while ago where the OP's husband was working out at home and one of their female neighbours was constantly watching him and trying to start conversations with him.

When considering what response to make, it doesn't really matter whether Bessie is joking around or being intentionally creepy. The OP's DH needs to tell her firmly but kindly that she is making him uncomfortable and he wants her to stop straight away. Her response to this will make her motivation clearer, and he and the OP can then decide how to handle meeting her at social occasions.

I think that it's possible to take the gender reversal thing too far in this case. One of the PPs already made this point, but I can't remember who, sorry! Here in the UK, at least, it seems to be much more acceptable for a woman to make flirty comments about a man than the other way around.

For instance, there was a series of adverts on UK TV featuring an office full of women ogling a half-naked young (male) window-cleaner. This was generally considered funny, whereas if you reversed the genders I would imagine there would have been huge numbers of complaints! Not very fair or equal, I think, but that seems to be the way things are.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: bopper on January 28, 2013, 09:56:54 AM
You could tell Erin: "I think Bessie has a crush on DH...she keeps saying how she likes seeing him at the gym and that kind of thing. She hasn't really stepped over a line but is standing very near it."
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: MurPl1 on January 30, 2013, 11:14:50 AM
It seems like the focus is primarily on Bessie's comments about DH.  But honestly, the part about her FB behavior, telling people she's close friends with someone she barely knows (likely using tidbits gleaned from FB) and then approaching DH at the gym based on a picture she saw on FB is creepy.

That she goes on about DH at these events makes the whole thing creepier.

I don't think the OP is being too harsh.  This woman has massive boundary issues.  And I would tell people who notice that.  "Bessie has overstepped some boundaries and made both DH and I uncomfortable."

Although I do think something needs to be said to Bessie in that same vein.  "Bessie, I understand that you are a friendly person, however your enthusiasm with telling everyone that we are close and that you have a crush on DH has made both DH and I uncomfortable and we'd appreciate it if you would tone it done."
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: gramma dishes on January 30, 2013, 12:06:16 PM
...    "Bessie, I understand that you are a friendly person, however your enthusiasm with telling everyone that we are close and that you have a crush on DH has made both DH and I uncomfortable and we'd appreciate it if you would tone it done."

LOL!!  I suspect you may have meant to type 'tone it down' but with the typo in it it's actually probably more appropriate.  I think the OP wants this DONE.   ;D
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: MurPl1 on January 30, 2013, 02:43:13 PM
Oh that sure was Freudian!  Heehee!
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: Sign Of The Times on January 30, 2013, 03:48:32 PM
If I'm DH, I tell Bessie off.

"Bean dip" == punt?
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: Slartibartfast on January 30, 2013, 04:00:41 PM
"She seems like a nice enough lady, but she insists on telling everyone we're close friends and we barely know her.  It makes DH and I kind of uncomfortable."
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: Margo on February 01, 2013, 07:54:55 AM
"She seems like a nice enough lady, but she insists on telling everyone we're close friends and we barely know her.  It makes DH and I kind of uncomfortable."

I think this is the perfect response to anyone who notices/comments on the coolness.

And I also agree that DH needs to say something directly to Bessie to make it clear that her comments and attention at the gym are unwelcome. I think Marbles suggestions are good, in terms of the wording.
If necessary he could expand. e.g "I wish you'd stop saying that. It makes me and my wife uncomfortable, especially as we barely know you"
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: Lauren on February 01, 2013, 08:09:36 AM
Quote
Just as the OP and her DH should have said something to Bessie before now.  My feelings and advice are the same no matter what gender.  Men can think they are being "cutesy" too.  First step is telling them to stop and see if they do or not.

Pretty much this.

The only thing the OP has done 'wrong' is not correct Bessie's assumptions. Bessie has overstepeed boundaries, that is clear. But neither the OP nor her husband have told her this. She should have been told to stop.

And it does reflect badly on people who are newcomers to a group acting coolly to an old timer of the group. (and if separate people are commenting on it, everyone has noticed)

If the genders were reversed I would give the same advice. OP's husband needs to tell Bessie that he's uncomfortable. Take the reaction from there.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: GlassHalfFull on February 01, 2013, 09:23:35 AM
I think sometimes people who are acting rude, creepy, or in other undesirable ways get a waiver on being called on said behavior in the name of politeness.  In this instance, responding to people asking about your cooler relationship with her by saying, "She's always spoken to DH and I about how much she and others enjoy watching him work out at the gym, and we find it a bit creepy." , should be perfectly fine.  Easy to say?  Maybe not as much, but really, it should be said.  I think that's why some people get away with acting in ways they do sometimes; everyone around them is too polite to call them on it.  And maybe she really doesn't get that it's creepy and needs more than a cold shoulder and a defriending to understand it.

I wanted to add that it's not just calling such folks on the behavior, it's protecting them in the name of politeness when they needn't be protected.  This lady is acting a certain way, in public; she's not whispering these things to OP and swearing her to secrecy.  So stating what she does and how OP feels about it shouldn't be considered gossiping, or wrong.  And I agree with prior posts in that OP and or husband should have, and now should, respond directly to such statements by her next time with, "Would you stop with that already?  You're creeping us out."  All of these statements can be delivered casually and with a laugh.  And maybe she'll laugh back and still keep on keeping on, which is her right.  But OP shouldn't feel like she can't state the facts.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: GlassHalfFull on February 01, 2013, 09:55:59 AM
Also, I think in many cases being too vague, i.e. "She makes us uncomfortable", or even "I don't appreciate that", is not only unnecessary, but can make for more confusion, and definitely create even more discomfort and awkward moments for those involved as well as those on the outskirts of a situation.  Cutting to the chase by being direct ("You're creeping us out!") seems to work much better for everyone involved.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: Bijou on February 02, 2013, 12:08:47 PM
Also, I think in many cases being too vague, i.e. "She makes us uncomfortable", or even "I don't appreciate that", is not only unnecessary, but can make for more confusion, and definitely create even more discomfort and awkward moments for those involved as well as those on the outskirts of a situation.  Cutting to the chase by being direct ("You're creeping us out!") seems to work much better for everyone involved.
I think this may shock the lady in realizing how creepy she really is being.  Works for me!
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: Lauren on February 03, 2013, 06:05:05 AM
Quote
I think sometimes people who are acting rude, creepy, or in other undesirable ways get a waiver on being called on said behavior in the name of politeness.  In this instance, responding to people asking about your cooler relationship with her by saying, "She's always spoken to DH and I about how much she and others enjoy watching him work out at the gym, and we find it a bit creepy." , should be perfectly fine.  Easy to say?  Maybe not as much, but really, it should be said.  I think that's why some people get away with acting in ways they do sometimes; everyone around them is too polite to call them on it.  And maybe she really doesn't get that it's creepy and needs more than a cold shoulder and a defriending to understand it.

I think this is too harsh. Bessie has never been told this. OP and her husband are uncomfortable with the situation but have never told Bessie this. They've hinted around it, they've been cold (and probably confusing her in the process) but they've never come out and said anything.

If Bessie is told and continues to act in this way, then this advice is perfect. But I would be more likely to take Bessie's side in this story if others are told that they are uncomfortable with how Bessie speaks before Bessie is told this. She shouldn't be getting this information second hand.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: GlassHalfFull on February 04, 2013, 04:03:09 PM
Quote
I think sometimes people who are acting rude, creepy, or in other undesirable ways get a waiver on being called on said behavior in the name of politeness.  In this instance, responding to people asking about your cooler relationship with her by saying, "She's always spoken to DH and I about how much she and others enjoy watching him work out at the gym, and we find it a bit creepy." , should be perfectly fine.  Easy to say?  Maybe not as much, but really, it should be said.  I think that's why some people get away with acting in ways they do sometimes; everyone around them is too polite to call them on it.  And maybe she really doesn't get that it's creepy and needs more than a cold shoulder and a defriending to understand it.

I think this is too harsh. Bessie has never been told this. OP and her husband are uncomfortable with the situation but have never told Bessie this. They've hinted around it, they've been cold (and probably confusing her in the process) but they've never come out and said anything.

If Bessie is told and continues to act in this way, then this advice is perfect. But I would be more likely to take Bessie's side in this story if others are told that they are uncomfortable with how Bessie speaks before Bessie is told this. She shouldn't be getting this information second hand.

While I get your point for this specific instance, that it really would be better had OP and/or husband said something directly to Bessie, I still don't feel that they should be sworn to silence over how Bessie is not-at-all-secretly acting.  People act the way they act, and should know that whatever they put out there is, well, out there, and shouldn't expect to be consulted on how their behavior effects others before said others are allowed to speak of it.  In this specific case, in lieu of speaking with Bessie first, the couple could say, "She's always spoken to DH and I about how much she and others enjoy watching him work out at the gym, and we need to tell her that we find it a bit creepy."  I think hedging or speaking in generalities, in this instance, might make things seem worse than they are.  And then it seems the couple would need to conduct a follow-up to explain things once they talked to Bessie.  Basically the general rule here is to make sure you'd say something to a person's face before you say it to others.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
Post by: jedikaiti on February 04, 2013, 10:07:21 PM
So, OP, any progress? Has DH spoken to Bessie about this?
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6
Post by: weeblewobble on February 05, 2013, 07:44:10 AM
Yes, I was waiting to update until after the organization's meeting this weekend because I wanted to see if her behavior changed.  Last week, she approached DH at the gym and he told her that her comments about watching him need to stop because they make him uncomfortable. DH was careful not to mention me because he didn't want her to "blame" me for this and think he was OK with it. She said she didn't mean anything by it and she was just kidding.  DH said, "Then it should be easy for you to stop." and went on with his workout.  She has stopped saying hi to him at the gym.  DH feels a little bad that he may have hurt her feelings, but he's looking forward to going to our meeting without being harassed by the cougar patrol.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6
Post by: JenJay on February 05, 2013, 07:53:13 AM
He handled that really well, and it was smart of him to leave you out of it so she didn't do the "Oh WW must be threatened by my flirting with her husband!" thing. I hope you're both able to enjoy the meeting!
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6
Post by: weeblewobble on February 05, 2013, 07:56:27 AM
He handled that really well, and it was smart of him to leave you out of it so she didn't do the "Oh WW must be threatened by my flirting with her husband!" thing. I hope you're both able to enjoy the meeting!

Well, I coached him a bit about that part because his original idea was to say, "You're making my wife uncomfortable." I had to explain to him how the female mind worked and how "Weeblewobble is threatened" might come up.  I explained this would just amp up the drama and could stretch the situation out.  His response: "Women are scary and complicated."   :)
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6
Post by: JenJay on February 05, 2013, 08:11:01 AM
He handled that really well, and it was smart of him to leave you out of it so she didn't do the "Oh WW must be threatened by my flirting with her husband!" thing. I hope you're both able to enjoy the meeting!

Well, I coached him a bit about that part because his original idea was to say, "You're making my wife uncomfortable." I had to explain to him how the female mind worked and how "Weeblewobble is threatened" might come up.  I explained this would just amp up the drama and could stretch the situation out.  His response: "Women are scary and complicated."   :)

LOL

Yep, DH and I have had similar conversations. It's like, I appreciate that you care about my feelings and part of your objection to the situation is out of consideration to me, but, if you bring me into it chances are all she'll hear is "I'd love for you to flirt with me but my insecure wife can't handle it."  ::)

He took one for the team, too, because maybe she'll stop and consider whether or not a married man will appreciate it the next time she's tempted to flirt with one. Most people enjoy being flattered but obviously it can cross a line, even if you're not being a creep about it.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6
Post by: TootsNYC on February 05, 2013, 08:44:19 AM
Yes, I was waiting to update until after the organization's meeting this weekend because I wanted to see if her behavior changed.  Last week, she approached DH at the gym and he told her that her comments about watching him need to stop because they make him uncomfortable. DH was careful not to mention me because he didn't want her to "blame" me for this and think he was OK with it. She said she didn't mean anything by it and she was just kidding.  DH said, "Then it should be easy for you to stop." and went on with his workout.  She has stopped saying hi to him at the gym.  DH feels a little bad that he may have hurt her feelings, but he's looking forward to going to our meeting without being harassed by the cougar patrol.

Nice phrase there! And of course smart of him to leave you out of it, because that would dilute the power of what is really going on.

as for feeling bad about hurting her feelings, he should remember this: In many ways, she did it to herself. It's sort of a natural consequence.

He can think of it like a toddler who ran down the hill and then fell and got hurt. You feel bad for the little kid, right? He's crying, and it hurt. And you feel sympathetic.
    But nobody needs to feel GUILTY, because, well, it's just something that sometimes happens when unstable walker run, and especially downhill.
    In this situation, Bessie was not really acting appropriately. Like a toddler on a hill, she perhaps wasn't really aware of the potential negative outcome. And maybe in certain situations it would have been fine. But this time, it wasn't.

And honestly, her feelings getting hurt is not worse than your DH feeling uncomfortable at his workout, uncomfortable at the meeting, etc. She can feel uncomfortable a little at at those places. And since your DH is a good guy and won't go out of his way to make her uncomfortable (and is a SMART guy and won't be approaching HER at the gym), it'll fade.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6
Post by: GlassHalfFull on February 05, 2013, 08:59:26 AM
He handled that really well, and it was smart of him to leave you out of it so she didn't do the "Oh WW must be threatened by my flirting with her husband!" thing. I hope you're both able to enjoy the meeting!

Well, I coached him a bit about that part because his original idea was to say, "You're making my wife uncomfortable." I had to explain to him how the female mind worked and how "Weeblewobble is threatened" might come up.  I explained this would just amp up the drama and could stretch the situation out.  His response: "Women are scary and complicated."   :)

Nice job to you both.  Your DH's bolded comment made me laugh...I've heard that one before, too.  :)
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6
Post by: Bijou on February 05, 2013, 10:14:18 PM
Good for both of you!  Maybe this has given her something to think about regarding her behavior and what needs to change.  She may not know it but you and your husband did her a big favor.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6
Post by: Gyburc on February 06, 2013, 05:44:38 AM
He handled that really well, and it was smart of him to leave you out of it so she didn't do the "Oh WW must be threatened by my flirting with her husband!" thing. I hope you're both able to enjoy the meeting!

Well, I coached him a bit about that part because his original idea was to say, "You're making my wife uncomfortable." I had to explain to him how the female mind worked and how "Weeblewobble is threatened" might come up.  I explained this would just amp up the drama and could stretch the situation out.  His response: "Women are scary and complicated."   :)

This made me giggle too, as did the 'cougar patrol' reference. Good job, Weeblewobble and Weeblewobble's DH!
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6
Post by: Lauren on February 06, 2013, 07:45:25 AM
Quote
Yes, I was waiting to update until after the organization's meeting this weekend because I wanted to see if her behavior changed.  Last week, she approached DH at the gym and he told her that her comments about watching him need to stop because they make him uncomfortable. DH was careful not to mention me because he didn't want her to "blame" me for this and think he was OK with it. She said she didn't mean anything by it and she was just kidding.  DH said, "Then it should be easy for you to stop." and went on with his workout.  She has stopped saying hi to him at the gym.  DH feels a little bad that he may have hurt her feelings, but he's looking forward to going to our meeting without being harassed by the cougar patrol.

Your husband handled this WONDERFULLY. Especially love his 'then it should be easy for you to stop'

Please update after the next meeting!
Title: Re: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6
Post by: dhk on February 06, 2013, 04:02:40 PM

Her comments at the gym are dreadful because of the implications in her little quips.

If she had said something like, "I love to see him at the gym because he's in excellent shape.  He's worked very very hard for those results and seeing him helps me keep up my dedication to my workout routine.  I hope someday I can see results like that!'

It would be one thing, but the way she says she loooovveesss seing him there is eewwwwww!
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6
Post by: Raintree on February 06, 2013, 09:46:54 PM
I can't wait to find out what happens at the next meeting!
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6
Post by: weeblewobble on February 09, 2013, 09:44:02 PM
UPDATE: Well, the meeting was uneventful-ish. 

We went to the meeting and during the "mingling" portion of the proceedings, Bessie stayed far across the room and sent sulky looks in our direction.  We didn't respond, continuing blithely along like we were oblivious.  No one asked us what was going on with Bessie.  We enjoyed ourselves and were able to socialize un-cougared.  We're hoping this situation is going to "wind down" from here.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6
Post by: NyaChan on February 09, 2013, 09:55:21 PM
Nice update  :D
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6
Post by: Bijou on February 09, 2013, 11:01:25 PM
UPDATE: Well, the meeting was uneventful-ish. 

We went to the meeting and during the "mingling" portion of the proceedings, Bessie stayed far across the room and sent sulky looks in our direction.  We didn't respond, continuing blithely along like we were oblivious.  No one asked us what was going on with Bessie.  We enjoyed ourselves and were able to socialize un-cougared.  We're hoping this situation is going to "wind down" from here.
Sounds like she learned a lesson.  It must be nice to know that you no longer have to dread being in the same room with her.  I doubt she will share the recent gym experience where your husband so neatly told her that she should stop what she was doing.  If I were her I would be so embarrassed about my behavior that I would never mention it to a soul.
Title: Re: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6
Post by: PastryGoddess on February 10, 2013, 12:00:46 AM
un-cougared...can we send this in to Websters for a definition :D
Title: Re: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6
Post by: VorFemme on February 10, 2013, 08:01:15 AM
UPDATE: Well, the meeting was uneventful-ish. 

We went to the meeting and during the "mingling" portion of the proceedings, Bessie stayed far across the room and sent sulky looks in our direction.  We didn't respond, continuing blithely along like we were oblivious.  No one asked us what was going on with Bessie.  We enjoyed ourselves and were able to socialize un-cougared.  We're hoping this situation is going to "wind down" from here.

It sounds like Bessie thinks hat men should be complimented that she likes to watch them.

I would bet that if someone older than Bessie watched Bessie and her DD work out at the gym the same way, Bessie would be creeped out.

I wonder if she has ever realizes that what is sauce for the gander is sauce for the goose?  She is certainly being a sulky goose...
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6
Post by: penelope2017 on February 10, 2013, 09:15:52 AM
I realize it's all in a joking manner here, but am I the only one that can't stand the term 'cougar'?

Her comments would be out of line regardless of her age, and I find it sexist that something men have been doing and continue to do for years, be attracted to or date younger women, has had to be 'named' something in the reverse and make women the target of mockery. There's nothing wrong with two adults to express interest in one another as long as it isn't illegal or criminal level or making the OP or her husband uncomfortable.

Why is it that a woman interested in a younger man must be lampooned as predatory and desperate while a man doing the same thing gets high fives?

Unless the OP would welcome such advances and comments to her DH if the woman was younger (in which case I retract my post) the meeting wasn't "un-cougared," it was un-harrassed. I know everyone is going to say it is all a joke, using these terms as jokes just continue to make them more prevalent and acceptable, I guess. Just something to think about when using it. Not everyone thinks it is funny.

Sorry, just a huge pet peeve of mine. And for the record, I'm ten years younger than my husband.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6
Post by: WillyNilly on February 10, 2013, 09:47:55 AM
^ I don't think men do automatically get high fives.  "Dirty old man" was a term coined many decades before "cougar".  Its always been pretty creepy for decades older men to hit on much younger married or otherwise not interested women.

And it should be pointed out 'cougar" isn't a negative.  Its a term that can go either way, and just as often as not is seen as a very positive descriptor for older women, speaking to their prowess and 'top of the food chain' status.

You can certainly still dislike the term, but I think you are assigning it meaning that isn't there by default of its usage.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6
Post by: TurtleDove on February 10, 2013, 02:55:21 PM
Unless I totally misunderstood, I did not get the sense that Bessie was actually hitting on the DH.  Her behavior was not appropriate, but it didn't ring as predatory or expressing some sort of desire to date him or anything.  I am glad the DH let her know she was making him uncomfortable - I bet that solves it.  I am guessing Bessie honestly thought she was being cute and complimentary. Now she knows otherwise!
Title: Re: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6
Post by: VorFemme on February 10, 2013, 03:16:20 PM
I've run into a few women of my own age or not much younger who apparently haven't looked in the mirror lately.

They act like cute college to twenty-five year olds (and they might have been, fifteen or twenty years ago) but they are now old enough to have their own kids graduating from high school and going to college (if they had kids) and at 40+ - the mannerisms, vocal tricks, poses, and facial expressions - not to mention the choice of clothes & jewelry - can be jarring.  Some of them are even older than 45...which is where it really looks odd (black hair dye at 50 might make you look even older than leaving a few lighter "highlights" here & there).

There was an expression in the nineteenth and eighteenth centuries about "Mutton Dressed As Lamb" (for today - Baby Boomer dressed as Generation Y would give pretty much the same information). 

Whether the person is male or female, acting like you are at least a generation younger than you really are only works on stage, with lots of makeup, and everyone KNOWING that the actor is playing a part.  In person, complimenting/hitting on someone who is "not interested"?  It goes from "slightly humorous" to "feels vaguely creepy" to "urk, dirty old man/woman alert" depending on how they are approaching people around them.  If they think that it's still the 1960s, they might be facing medical issues....but if they know it's the 2000 & teens, then.....it isn't funny.

Talking with people is one thing - trying to flirt with them or get treated as "one of their peer group" is another.

It might be fun to be told that you look no older than you did in high school at your 25th reunion, but if you believe the person saying it, then in real life they are trying to sell you plastic surgery, expensive moisturizers, or something.  In reel life, they might have a wooden stake in their back pocket & they are working with Buffy, the Vampire Slayer.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6
Post by: Just Lori on February 10, 2013, 04:12:00 PM
I realize it's all in a joking manner here, but am I the only one that can't stand the term 'cougar'?

You are not the only one.  When an older woman is paired with a younger guy, she's a cougar.  When an older man is paired with a woman young enough to be his daughter, he's called Larry King or Billy Joel.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6
Post by: rain on February 10, 2013, 05:34:13 PM
I realize it's all in a joking manner here, but am I the only one that can't stand the term 'cougar'?

You are not the only one.  When an older woman is paired with a younger guy, she's a cougar.  When an older man is paired with a woman young enough to be his daughter, he's called Larry King or Billy Joel.


or Hugh Hefner is she's young enough to be his grandaughter/great-grandaughter
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6
Post by: Kariachi on February 10, 2013, 05:51:32 PM
I realize it's all in a joking manner here, but am I the only one that can't stand the term 'cougar'?

You are not the only one.  When an older woman is paired with a younger guy, she's a cougar.  When an older man is paired with a woman young enough to be his daughter, he's called Larry King or Billy Joel.


or Hugh Hefner is she's young enough to be his grandaughter/great-grandaughter

Or a sicko/paedophile. Or maybe that's just in my area.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6
Post by: Jones on February 10, 2013, 06:04:59 PM
I'd rather be called a huntress than a sick old man, any day. lol

They're also called "cradle robbers" in my area.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6
Post by: Just Lori on February 10, 2013, 07:13:24 PM
I realize it's all in a joking manner here, but am I the only one that can't stand the term 'cougar'?

You are not the only one.  When an older woman is paired with a younger guy, she's a cougar.  When an older man is paired with a woman young enough to be his daughter, he's called Larry King or Billy Joel.


or Hugh Hefner is she's young enough to be his grandaughter/great-grandaughter

Or a sicko/paedophile. Or maybe that's just in my area.

I don't think that's fair, either.  Assuming no laws are being broken, there's no need to disparage people for being attracted to another person.  I've been in situations where I've had crushes on guys who honestly weren't going to give me a second glance, because they were extraordinarily handsome and popular while I was average and average.  Should I have been chided for having the audacity to be attracted to someone who was so obviously not in my dating pool?  I hope not.  Yet we're calling the woman in the OP a cougar for being attracted to a young guy.

Don't get me wrong.  I think the OP's husband did a great job of handling the situation.  I simply take offense to labeling someone who has the nerve to be attracted to a guy who is younger.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6
Post by: WillyNilly on February 10, 2013, 08:57:51 PM
I realize it's all in a joking manner here, but am I the only one that can't stand the term 'cougar'?

You are not the only one.  When an older woman is paired with a younger guy, she's a cougar.  When an older man is paired with a woman young enough to be his daughter, he's called Larry King or Billy Joel.


or Hugh Hefner is she's young enough to be his grandaughter/great-grandaughter

Or a sicko/paedophile. Or maybe that's just in my area.

I don't think that's fair, either.  Assuming no laws are being broken, there's no need to disparage people for being attracted to another person.  I've been in situations where I've had crushes on guys who honestly weren't going to give me a second glance, because they were extraordinarily handsome and popular while I was average and average.  Should I have been chided for having the audacity to be attracted to someone who was so obviously not in my dating pool?  I hope not. Yet we're calling the woman in the OP a cougar for being attracted to a young guy.

Don't get me wrong.  I think the OP's husband did a great job of handling the situation.  I simply take offense to labeling someone who has the nerve to be attracted to a guy who is younger.

But thats really not the issue the OP was dealing with.

It wasn't that Bessie simply thought the OP's DH was attractive.  It was that she was expressing that attraction inappropriately.
If she had once, or over the course of time maybe twice, made a comment "wow, you two are hot stuff! Weeble you really snagged yourself a catch huh?" and then let it go and never brought it up again, I doubt it would have been a problem.  Or if she had, to other group members described them "oh you know Weeble and her DH, the young couple that joined last year.  She's really tall, he's very attractive, I'm sure you've seen them at meetings," and it'd gotten back to them, I bet that would have been ok.

But that's not what she did.  She repeatedly tried to claim a much closer relationship, she studied the OP's FB photos, and she repeatedly openly oogled and harassed the OP's DH about his physique.

If genders were reversed, I doubt people would "high five" the guy or compare him to a celebrity positively.  In fact earlier in the thread many people even pointed out if the genders were reversed this behavior would be a bigger, worse issue to most.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6
Post by: TurtleDove on February 10, 2013, 09:35:19 PM
If genders were reversed, I doubt people would "high five" the guy or compare him to a celebrity positively.  In fact earlier in the thread many people even pointed out if the genders were reversed this behavior would be a bigger, worse issue to most.

I certainly would not high five the guy or think it was okay, but since the DH never said (until recently) he did not appreciate the compliments I would take this as a misguided compliment.  Regardless of gender! I still did not see that Bessie was actively hitting on the DH. 
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6
Post by: WillyNilly on February 10, 2013, 09:39:14 PM
If genders were reversed, I doubt people would "high five" the guy or compare him to a celebrity positively.  In fact earlier in the thread many people even pointed out if the genders were reversed this behavior would be a bigger, worse issue to most.

I certainly would not high five the guy or think it was okay, but since the DH never said (until recently) he did not appreciate the compliments I would take this as a misguided compliment.  Regardless of gender! I still did not see that Bessie was actively hitting on the DH.

I don't think she was hitting on him either.  I think is was more subtle a thing, like oogling or general "eww this person is making me feel watched and dirty" thing.  Now to her credit, she honestly might not have realized how she came across and honestly might have thought she was being endearing and cute, but it was still a sexualized behavior on her part.  She was essentially reducing OP's husband to eye candy and telling him so. Also to her credit, when asked to stop, it seems she did.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6
Post by: Amava on February 11, 2013, 12:10:17 AM
But that's not what she did.  She repeatedly tried to claim a much closer relationship, she studied the OP's FB photos, and she repeatedly openly oogled and harassed the OP's DH about his physique.

If genders were reversed, I doubt people would "high five" the guy or compare him to a celebrity positively.  In fact earlier in the thread many people even pointed out if the genders were reversed this behavior would be a bigger, worse issue to most.

Exactly my thoughts!

I hardly think there was a lot of "double standard making the woman look worse than it would have been if the gender roles were reversed" was going on here...
The problem was not her gender, nor her age. It was her behavior.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6
Post by: Raintree on February 11, 2013, 12:54:22 AM
Quote
Why is it that a woman interested in a younger man must be lampooned as predatory and desperate while a man doing the same thing gets high fives?

He doesn't. He's called a creepy old fart. (Interested is one thing, as long as cues to back off are taken; obnoxious comments and creepy behaviour is labelled in the negative for both genders).
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6
Post by: strawbabies on February 11, 2013, 08:36:05 AM
Why is it that a woman interested in a younger man must be lampooned as predatory and desperate while a man doing the same thing gets high fives?
Actually my FIL (who is almost 70) runs a website full of pictures of women in their early 20s posing in bikinis.  I think it's pathetic and gross.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6
Post by: dawbs on February 11, 2013, 08:48:26 AM
He handled that really well, and it was smart of him to leave you out of it so she didn't do the "Oh WW must be threatened by my flirting with her husband!" thing. I hope you're both able to enjoy the meeting!

Well, I coached him a bit about that part because his original idea was to say, "You're making my wife uncomfortable." I had to explain to him how the female mind worked and how "Weeblewobble is threatened" might come up.  I explained this would just amp up the drama and could stretch the situation out.  His response: "Women are scary and complicated."   :)

It's also the perception of power.
We've had 'harassment'-y issues come up where  work.
I explain to my employees that I want/need to be kept abreast of all issues.  I also have explained that they *NEED* to be the person who says "that is inappropriate"--if I march myself over there and say "quit asking the employee out, it's inappropriate", then tomorrow, when my back is turned, the activites continue. 

It'll continue because "big mean Dawbs isn't looking, and, really she just wants to destroy this special love we have", "But YOU like it, only your boss Dawbs doesn't like it, right?", and "It'll be our little secret".

The person who addresses the harassment is the person seen as empowered to stop it.  So the person receiving the harassment, should to be the person who ends the harassment.

(the moment the worker tells someone to knock it off, I'm there the moment after.  And I come down like a ton of bricks.  But it works better if the worker says it first)
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6
Post by: TurtleDove on February 11, 2013, 09:22:18 AM
It's also the perception of power.
We've had 'harassment'-y issues come up where  work.
I explain to my employees that I want/need to be kept abreast of all issues.  I also have explained that they *NEED* to be the person who says "that is inappropriate"--if I march myself over there and say "quit asking the employee out, it's inappropriate", then tomorrow, when my back is turned, the activites continue. 

It'll continue because "big mean Dawbs isn't looking, and, really she just wants to destroy this special love we have", "But YOU like it, only your boss Dawbs doesn't like it, right?", and "It'll be our little secret".

The person who addresses the harassment is the person seen as empowered to stop it.  So the person receiving the harassment, should to be the person who ends the harassment.

(the moment the worker tells someone to knock it off, I'm there the moment after.  And I come down like a ton of bricks.  But it works better if the worker says it first)

This is very wise.
Title: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6
Post by: weeblewobble on February 11, 2013, 11:58:36 AM
But that's not what she did.  She repeatedly tried to claim a much closer relationship, she studied the OP's FB photos, and she repeatedly openly oogled and harassed the OP's DH about his physique.

If genders were reversed, I doubt people would "high five" the guy or compare him to a celebrity positively.  In fact earlier in the thread many people even pointed out if the genders were reversed this behavior would be a bigger, worse issue to most.

Exactly my thoughts!

I hardly think there was a lot of "double standard making the woman look worse than it would have been if the gender roles were reversed" was going on here...
The problem was not her gender, nor her age. It was her behavior.

THIS.