Author Topic: Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" UPDATE pg6  (Read 19054 times)

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Fleur

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Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2013, 01:02:35 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.

Twik

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Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2013, 01:06:38 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.
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DavidH

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Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2013, 01:12:33 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.

GrammarNerd

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Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2013, 01:16:03 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?"

Moray

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Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2013, 01:18:56 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. :)"
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snowdragon

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Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2013, 01:29:58 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.

kitchcat

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Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2013, 01:37:14 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."
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TootsNYC

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Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2013, 01:56:39 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.

Bijou

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Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2013, 02:45:31 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.
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bah12

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Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2013, 03:09:16 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.   

atirial

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Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
« Reply #25 on: January 25, 2013, 03:16:23 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.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
« Reply #26 on: January 25, 2013, 03:21:34 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."

Twik

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Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
« Reply #27 on: January 25, 2013, 03:23:45 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.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Moray

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Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
« Reply #28 on: January 25, 2013, 03:26:58 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.
Utah

fluffy

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Re: Do you say, "she behaves inappropriately towards my husband?" (Long)
« Reply #29 on: January 25, 2013, 03:31:26 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.