Author Topic: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6  (Read 18179 times)

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weeblewobble

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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?
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 08:44:31 AM by weeblewobble »

TurtleDove

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Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2013, 11:43:04 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.


weeblewobble

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Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2013, 11:47:26 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.

TurtleDove

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Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2013, 11:53:02 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.

bah12

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Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2013, 11:54:43 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.

JenJay

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Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2013, 12:02:16 PM »
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.

lowspark

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Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2013, 12:03:39 PM »
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.

Nebraska Jones

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Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2013, 12:15:39 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. 
« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 12:19:02 PM by Nebraska Jones »

TurtleDove

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Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2013, 12:20:30 PM »
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). 

MissManager

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Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2013, 12:33:16 PM »
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. 

weeblewobble

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Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2013, 12:39:37 PM »
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!

buvezdevin

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Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2013, 12:42:17 PM »
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.
Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would work great injury to yourself, and never refuse to take a drink -- under any circumstances.
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TurtleDove

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Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2013, 12:44:06 PM »
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!

DavidH

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Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2013, 12:48:54 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. 

buvezdevin

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Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2013, 12:58:55 PM »
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.
Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would work great injury to yourself, and never refuse to take a drink -- under any circumstances.
Mark Twain