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OT Opinions please: Husband and friend attraction?

Puzzled9401's picture

Hello again!

I thought I would take the opportunity to ask you lovely ladies your opinions on a situation my sister-in-law (SIL) is having (since I couldn’t think of a better website than one full of women used to dealing with BS from their husbands!). Over the weekend I hosted a fall party for my husbands side of the family and my sister-in-law (whom I’ve always been close to) confided in me about her husband and a close friend of hers. She is starting to wonder if there isn’t something going on between them. After hearing the following facts I’ve concluded that it is a strong possibility there is an attraction there:

1. Normally husband is very quiet and reserved but seems to be able to open up and joke with friend
2. Husband casually gives friend little touches and pokes and gently picks on her
3. Husband frequently makes attempts,comments,actions to prove he is in some way superior to friend’s husband.
4. Husband is moody and argumentative with SIL.
5. Husband loudly tells friends husband he better “keep an eye on your wife- she is a wild one” after teasing/joking with her.
6. Affection and laughter and love are getting less and less frequent for SIL and husband.
7. Husband hugs friend’s mom and is “buddy buddy” with her dad, more so than SIL’s parents
8. Husband frequently in private puts down friend’s husband
9. Husband complains constantly about SIL’s kids (he is a step dad) and seems unhappy in his life with her and them. Friend has no kids.
10. Friend seems welcoming to all husbands “advances”.

So what do you think ladies? My intuition says yes something isn’t right but on the other hand I am not 100% sure....


lieutenant_dad's picture

He's one foot out the door most likely. Whether that means he and friend will have or are having an affair, I don't know. However, unless SIL confronts him about it, it's just going to keep happening until something happens - whether that's an affair or leaving completely.

--figureditout--'s picture

I asked my DH. He said that if there isn't something currently going on, SIL' s old man is trying to get something going.

I asked DH because he is a former cheater.

ntm's picture

The little touches are all I need to hear. You don't affectionately touch someone unless you have affection for them.

strugglingSM's picture

Yeah, the little touches was the one that tipped off my radar. The others seem suspicious, but not as much as the little touches. I had a friend who was very stand-offish with most people, but would always make a point of touching one guy when she was talking to him. Turns out they were having a little fling on the side.

I also feel that when you're in that honeymoon stage or infatuation stage of a relationship, you often can't help, but want to touch the other person.

notsurehowtodeal's picture

Her intuition, and yours, is right. He is either already gone or on the way. She needs to start protecting herself emotionally and financially. I have been in her position, where I kinda knew, but couldn't quite decide if I was right. As it turns out, my gut was right on.

Acratopotes's picture

I suggest you stay out of it, do not advice SIL in any way, simply say, So sad to hear this SIL, but you will have to do what you think you have to do. I don't know your husband as well as you do, .... keep on reflecting it back to her, she needs to do this on her own.

You might think you are helping her, but when things back fire it will be all your fault, so do not get involved in this...

still learning's picture

"keep on reflecting it back to her, she needs to do this on her own."

I agree. It sounds like SIL already knows the answer to her question, dragging OP into it will only create more drama. Telling SIL that yes her husband is probably having an affair or going to could make OP look like the meddler and cause of all the issues in her DH's family's eyes. Take Acra's advice and tread lightly.

ESMOD's picture

It sounds like both the guy and the woman he is flirting with are experiencing some unhappiness or feel they are missing some attraction/attention in their current relationships.

The lady likes the attention. It's flattering. It is all out in the open.. so it is even fun for her because of the digs at her DH. She in all likelihood hoping it makes her DH jealous and pay more attention to her.

For the guy it's a little different. Men are more "wired" to be less monogamous. That doesn't mean he IS or WILL have an affair with this lady but he is flexing his flirt muscle with her. It strokes his ego and gives him that attention fix and spark that may be a bit dull in his relationship with the SIL.

So... right now... this may still be in the universe of "harmless flirting"... except for the fact that his wife is starting to feel pushed to the side because of the attention. Honestly, it is probably a little less likely that the two are having an affair given the fact that they are doing this stuff in public and not trying to hide their interaction. I might actually be more worried if two people actively tried to avoid each other lol. I think it is probably time for the SIL to talk to her DH directly about this.

"Hey.. I am not sure you realize it, but you seem to pay an awful lot of attention to F1 and it hurts my feelings. It's embarassing when your husband appears to be flirting with another woman at the party." Now, he is likely to try to downplay and say that he is just trying to cheer the lady up because her DH is a jerk... but your SIL needs to explain that while he might be doing that for HER.. it is making his own wife insecure and sad... so knock it down a few notches!

queensway's picture

My ex was a player. Most people who cheat keep it on the down low. And they deny deny deny. I think it is flirting. Pretty bold flirting.

zerostepdrama's picture

Sounds like there is an attraction there.

I find it very disrespectful that they openly act like that in front of their spouses.

Dovina's picture

From everything that I have read either an emotional or physical (or both) are going on. It is inappropriate for SIL husband and friend to touch, comment, and withdraw from SIL. All the signs are there. Generally when these signs are obvious, you discuss this with friends, then know its happening. Your SIL needs to be straightforward to DH and tell him ALL of this makes her uncomfortable and gage what happens next. If he is in defensive mode , turns it around, gaslights, she will know for sure. Nothing more heart breaking than being with a cheater. Unless you are an insanely paranoid psycho, this behavior does not happen with a committed partner.
We have a sixth sense on this crap, tell SIL to follow her gut.