General Question

kheredia's avatar

Should I tell my friend that her husband tried to hit on me?

Asked by kheredia (5561points) March 26th, 2009

I visited some friends in TX recently and I was surprised by some things that my friends husband told me. He told me I was a temptation for him and that next time I go visit them I should not take my bf so that he could get fresh with me. I really wanted to believe that he was just jocking with me but he made me feel so uncomfortable afterwards that I felt guilty being around my friend. I’ve known them both for years and his reaction towards me really caught me by surprise. Should I just keep this to myself or should I tell her?

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47 Answers

IBERnineD's avatar

Wow, that’s intense. I honestly don’t know what I would do about that. I would probably ask on here as well. I’m interested in the answers…

RedPowerLady's avatar

I started to compose a long answer with no real point. But then I thought to myself. What does my counseling training say about this kinda thing. So here it is:

You should think to yourself: What is the purpose of you telling your friend?? Do you want to serve her best interests or make yourself feel better. If you feel you should tell her because it would benefit her then do it. If you feel you should tell her because it would benefit you then you should think on it some more. Basically assess your motivation for telling her.

ronski's avatar

hmm, you should do what you think is right. you may risk your friendship, but if she doesn’t believe you, it’s not worth the friendship anyways. at least you are giving her an honest choice.

kheredia's avatar

I was actually thinking about not telling her this time around but if he does it again I think I’ll have no other choice. If he’s trying to get fresh with one of her friends, I could only imagine who else he’s tried to get at, if he hasn’t already. I’m just so disappointed in him! I’ve known him almost as long as I’ve known her and I never imagined he would do something like this!

RedPowerLady's avatar

@kheredia Have you thought about talking it over with him?? Perhaps even through the internet so you don’t have to feel so awkward (and if he does say something weird over internet you will have proof if you ever needed it to show your friend, which I am hoping you don’t).

kevbo's avatar

How soon will it be until you go back? If it’s easy enough to just avoid, I’d go that route.

I think with other people’s relationships it’s best if they figure it out for themselves. She may already know (in general, I mean) that something is up and is trying to figure out how to deal with it, or in denial or whatever. Anyway, let it be her process.

Also, if it comes up with him again, just confront him and tell him what you think of his behavior.

Excellent Freudian slip, by the way.

edit:: and maybe they are open or don’t ask don’t tell. It is all the rage these days.

kheredia's avatar

@RedPowerLady He hardly ever goes online. He sometimes texts me but every since that incident, I’ve just tried to stay away from him. He sometimes talks with my bf and tells him to tell me he says hi, but thats the only contact we’ve had since the incident.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@kheredia I suppose you could always text him but perhaps its just better to leave it alone instead of aggravate the situation. You got the right idea though, if it comes up again then say something for sure. If your friend confronts you about this incident and why you didn’t tell her you can always say that part of you believed he was just joking around with you.

ronski's avatar

kevbo could be right. It kind of depends on your relationship with her. Is she rational? Has this kind of thing come up in their relationship before? On the other hand, you don’t want her to get jealous of you…so, i guess better safe than sorry. ek, tricky situation. I believe in honesty, but I guess if you don’t have to say anything don’t.

hug_of_war's avatar

I would try talking to him first. If that didn’t clear it up, I would tell her. But that’s because I consider my friends very dear, and if the roles were reversed I would want to be told. I would feel mad if someone knew my SO was saying those things and I found out they didn’t tell me, I don’t know if we could be friends anymore.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Were it me in your place I would mention it but that’s a dangerous thing to a friendship if she decides to side with her husband

Yet if you say nothing that invites a different risk to your friendship if she finds out you knew and did nothing

I’ll stop short of giving advice on a situation I know nothing about but I tend toward the side of truth in most situations

Good luck to you

kheredia's avatar

I’m just so sad that behavior towards me is going to affect my friendship with both of them. I didn’t even tell my bf because I know that would ruin their friendship as well. I’ve just been going in circles thinking about her and if I would be harming her or doing her a favor by telling her what her husband is up to. And quite frankly, I’m afraid of talking to him! I’m afraid that I’m going to make our friendship even worst. I’m just going to leave it alone for now and hope that I won’t have to talk to him or her about this incident.

ronski's avatar

@kheredia I think your boyfriend deserves to know the situation if it is bothering you this much.

DesireeCassandra's avatar

Why don’t you talk to your bf about it? He might know more about how this guy is with other guys, and his view on women.

Although, I would tell my friend if I were in the same situation. I wouldn’t want her with some jerk.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@kheredia Just remember that fear shouldn’t be your primary driver. Your well being and compassion would be better drivers.

RedPowerLady's avatar


I think this is a good idea. Talk to your own boyfriend.

kheredia's avatar

@DesireeCassandra I thought about telling my boyfriend but then I know that if I tell him, he’s not going to want to talk to him anymore and then I wont be able to be as close to my friend anymore, then she’s going to start asking questions, then eventually its all going to come out. That’s why I’ve decided to keep this to myself for now.

Lupin's avatar

Look in the mirror and ask yourself this: “Was I doing anything that might encourage him in any way?” Only you can answer that. I’d avoid the situation in the future.
I’ve met married women as well men who flirt all the time. Sometimes that gives mixed signals. Example: “Wow! 20 pounds! You look great! Next time you visit come alone!”

DesireeCassandra's avatar

@kheredia Would you want to know if your bf was in your shoes? If yes, tell him. I honestly feel that there is no excuse for this mans behavior.

kheredia's avatar

@Lupin I did loose a little bit of weight since the last time he saw me but I was not flirting with him. I was just being myself like always. He knows me!

kheredia's avatar

@DesireeCassandra yes, I would. But I know how I would react to that situation and I know how he would react to this situation. He would just want us to stay as far away from them as possible and I really don’t want to loose my friend.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@kheredia Maybe staying away from them for just a little while isn’t a bad idea, enough time for your bf to cool down and enough time for this guy to get “ideas” out of his head if he is having them.

Lupin's avatar

@kheredia And by “just being myself as always” does that mean hugging him when he was alone with you in the kitchen, for example? Where was your friend?
I’d avoid the situation and make sure I was not alone with him.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@Lupin I think it is illogical to assume SHE is at fault. Even if she did give an old friend a hug it does not warrant inappropriate talk from him. This is his bad, not hers.

kevbo's avatar

@kheredia, in addition, tell your friend’s hubby that if he wants to fuck up mutliple friendships over something he’s not going to get anyway to keep doing what he’s doing.

Lupin's avatar

@RedPowerLady I am not assuming She is at fault. I think We do not really know what happened and it is foolish to immediately assume he is the only one at fault. That is why I said only she can answer the question.

Mr_M's avatar

You can talk to your friend, but HE’s going to tell her you came on to HIM (WITH examples).

I’s a good time to end the relationship. You can’t do anything good with it, anyway (and it’s HIS fault).

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

If you tell her, she will confront him, and he will deny it, and say you came on to him.

Perhaps if you write him tell him that you’re really saddened by his actions, because it’s changed your friendship with both of them, and that you can never visit them at their home again, because of it. It should be written, because it’s not open to discussion or explanation on his part. The only acceptable recourse for him is an apology, but that will not put things right.

Stay friends with the wife, but only on your turf. She will need a friend, because there’s something not good going on in that relationship.

ubersiren's avatar

I think you need to tell HIM that it was inappropriate and that it made you uncomfortable. You can tell him this is his one and only warning. Tell him he’s on probation and that you’re keeping an eye on him and will report anything else you see or hear to his wife.

galileogirl's avatar

@kheredia You said you weren’t sure if he was serious or just joking around. (Actually when guys say things they think are funny but are actually stupid “jocking around” is the perfect description) He actually may just being a boor and you will be stirring things up for no reason.

You have stopped direct contact which is a good thing. If you are unsure of his intentions, just avoid being alone with him again. If you are going back to TX alone, stay elsewhere. If your friend questions you just tell her you don’t like her boyfriend’s sense of humor and leave it at that. Don’t initiate anything.

Jack79's avatar

If the husband is hitting on you, don’t take it personally. He probably does it to other women too. And that means there’s some problem in their relationship anyway. Whether it’s his fault or hers, we can not know, neither does it matter. But he’ll be “getting fresh” with someone sooner or later.

So what feels right for you? Do you think your friend is a decent girl who deserves to know as soon as possible, and maybe save her some heartache in the long run? Do you think she may actually be happier not knowing? Is her husband someone you’d actually want to have sex with? From your question, it seems you’ve already rejected his proposal. Why is that? Is it purely on moral grounds or do you simply not like him?

Many years ago, my then gf hit on my best friend. He only told me afterwards. I didn’t care and I wouldn’t have cared anyway. I guess I’d feel weird if they had actually done something while we were still together, but somehow I feel there are much worse things that someone can do to you than just cheating. And I’ve had them done to me. Which is why it’s not such a big deal after all.

jca's avatar

i would not tell her because it will change the way she feels about you (she will feel weird and she will probably be always watching you carefully around him, so she probably won’t enjoy your company so much as a result). When people say “then she wasn’t such a good friend in the first place, they are ignoring the fact that she is only human and therefore, she can’t not feel differently about you. i would not be alone with him any more. i would not see him without my boyfriend present, when i went to visit i would stay in a hotel, and i would not find myself alone in the kitchen or whatever when he’s around. that should stop him. if some years go by and he’s still making advances, i would retreat even more by not visiting her at all, maybe meeting in restaurants or whatever. it will affect your relationship and it will take some effort on your part, but the alternative is to not see both of them any more. i don’t see what good it can do for you or for her to tell him. let her find out he’s looking to cheat from somewhere else.

basp's avatar

Don’t say anything to anybody. Keep your distance. Socialze as couples in public and nuetral places. If he tries it again let him know that you will not engage in inappropriate behavior.
I have been in that situation before. Chances are his wife already knows he has a rovng eye.

VS's avatar

I would say keep this one to yourself. The guy may just be a real big flirt and he may have just been testing the waters, so to speak, to see if you would be receptive to any moves he might try. Next time you see him, take him aside & very discreetly explain that since his wife is such a good friend and since your bf is HIS friend, any further discussion about anything happening between the two of you is off-limits and any attempt on his part to renew that conversation will require that you bring his wife and your bf into the equation. Nuff said. That’s how I handled the same situation many years ago. Good luck!

dalepetrie's avatar

I’m not even going to read these answers because I don’t want to taint what I have to say. The answer is…it depends on how you answer a few questions.

1) Do you feel she has a right to know?
2) Would you want to know?
3) Do you think she’d want to know?
4) Which scenario produces the better overall outcome.

If you think your friend is married to a sleazeball and that he is going to cheat on her some day (or maybe already has), and that your friend is the type of person who would want to know this and who would want to get out of this situation, then you probably should tell her. But realize that there are plenty of people out there who know on some level what their spouses really are, but as long as they’re not confronted with proof of it, they don’t have to deal with it, and they can live indenial. That’s her right, if she’s that type of person, she’s just going to resent you for telling her.

I guess if it were my friend, I’d need to know what kind of person she was…some women will freak out on you and accuse you of being a whore and trying to steal her man. You don’t need to lose a friendship. But some women conversely would never want to speak with you again if you withheld information like that and as a result she stayed with a jerk for 2 years longer than she had to.

It’s complicated, and you might need to be a little covert about it. You could make up a fictitious friend and run this little moral ploy by her. You could say that you know a couple of other women where this happened, and friend 1 told friend 2, and friend 2 freaked out on friend 1 because deep down she knew but didn’t want to be confronted with it, and say something like, “if it were me, I would WANT to know, I don’t understand how people can live in denial like that.” And maybe your friend wholeheartedly agrees, in which case she’d have to face up to being a hypocrite if she freaked out on you. Or maybe she starts to play Devil’s Advocate for friend 2, and you think, wow, maybe I’d better not.

If she’s the type that will freak out and turn it around on you, but you really do feel she has the right to know, you may have to try an anonymous note, or a little entrapment. Bottom line is, when you’re going to break bad news to someone, you have to know if they need to know this info, if they’d want to know this info, and how they will take it, and act accordingly.

jca's avatar

the friend might know but might be happier or be choosing to live without dealing with it. if you tell her, that may be “putting it in her face” and she might not be too happy. plus since you’re now saying you know he’s a philanderer, she will be forced to deal with it because of your knowing.

dale: i gave you a good answer, because i pretty much agree with all you wrote. the only part i don’t agree with is the part where you said to tell her a story like it’s a friend’s dilemma, because then if you go and tell her that this really happened with her husband, she might be suspicious and confused and it might complicate things.

wundayatta's avatar

I wonder why you are reluctant to tell her. It sounds like you somehow don’t trust that she would believe you—as if you actually had done something more with him.

If she’s a real friend, and you are telling the truth, then she’ll believe you, and the issue, a @RedPowerLady said, is for whose benefit is the telling? If she would lash out at you if you told her, then maybe you don’t know each other well enough.

If you do tell her, I wouldn’t do any interpreting for her at all. Just describe the situation, and your feelings about it, if you want. You might ask, in a neutral tone, if this is common behavior for him. And depending on the answer, you might let her know it makes you uncomfortable. And, of course, you should tell him that his behavior (and describe it specifically) makes you uncomfortable. He should back off.

dalepetrie's avatar

@jca – here’s what I’m thinking.

If and ONLY if she’s not sure how this friend would take it, here’s how I would steer a conversation. I’ll script this like it’s a play, let’s say Cindy and Bob are the couple, Janet is the friend. Bob hits on Janet, and Janet doesn’t know how Cindy will take it.

Janet: “Oh Cindy, I have to tell you about this, it’s unbelievable. OK, so I have a friend who’s friends with this other married couple, so one day my friend is over at their house, the wife leaves the room and the husband starts coming onto her big time.”

Cindy: “Oh my God, what a sleazebag.”

Janet: “I know, but here’s the worst part. So my friend tells the wife what her husband did, and instead of getting mad at her husband, she freaked out on my friend, called her a slut and told her to mind her own damn business.”

Now, does Cindy say, “Yeah, if Bob was doing that, I’d tear his nuts off…I certainly wouldn’t shoot the messenger,” or does she say, “well, you know, sometimes things go on in private and people get a little defensive when others start poking into their private lives, I could see myself getting mad if that were me.”

Now no conversation is going to happen EXACTLY like this, but assuming Janet signals clearly that she would want to know and that she’d take out her anger on the appropriate person, then Janet can say, “Cindy, I have something to tell you. That story, I made it up to see how you’d react, because…I’m sorry, this is hard, but when I was visiting you and Bob, Bob told me next time I visit I should leave my boyfriend home so he and I could screw around and I had to find a way to tell you without destroying our friendship.”

Now not everyone could pull that off, but you’re trying to get at a person’s core values, their own perspective, and sometimes to do that you have to present hypotheticals. It can work, but yes, you can confuse the other person if you’re not careful, you just have to know what you’re trying to achieve and stay on focus.

kevinhardy's avatar

yes you should

cak's avatar

@Daloon – She may be reluctant for the same reason people were reluctant to tell me that my first husband had been cheating on me and with more than one person. It’s not an easy decision for a person, they don’t know how the person will react- will they be angry with me for telling them…especially if they say that they’ve known for some period of extended time; or, will the person get upset and be angry for the accusation?

It’s not easy to be in those shoes.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

This is not complicated and my answer won’t be long like others have been. Yes, you should tell her. You are, after all, her friend.

cak's avatar

@DrasticDreamerI wish I had a friend who thought the way you do…they were too scared to tell me. Instead, I looked like an idiot for months.

Judi's avatar

I only read about 1/2 the posts, but I think that if they are still together the next time you see each other you should have your boyfriend talk to him. He could just say that he made you very uncomfortable last time you were there and that you would appreciate it if he did not treat you with that kind of disrespect again. Guys like that use the same ploy as child molesters. They try to make the victim feel guilty. You feel guilty for telling or not telling. It is just a victimization ploy. Letting him know that you won’t keep his dirty little secret (by telling your boyfriend) will scare the crap out of him. His wife will figure out what he’s up to eventually and you didn’t do anything wrong.

lakersfuture's avatar

You have to ask yourself what would you want her to do if the situation was reversed. That is the only way I can think of it. If it we me I would tell my friend because I would rather them be mad at me for telling the truth, then be mad at me for not telling them at all.

ShauneP82's avatar

I would suggest you talk to your friends husband, first.

Tell him that you do not feel the same way at all and that you are concerned about his relationship with his girlfriend/wife if he is hitting on you.

If he persists after that, then tell your fried.

Word of caution. Regardless if you mean to hurt her or not; it may. But honesty, in this situation, is the only policy.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

YES! Tell her, and the longer you wait the worse it will look on your end. Seriously, walk over to your phone and call her right now!

I’ve been in the exact same situation so I know it’s sticky. Your friend will either blame you and cling to her husband, or believe you and face the issue. If he came on to you strongly and you are her friend, I bet this won’t be the first time she’s heard of his inappropriate actions. He didn’t just lose his composure for you; he is a creep.

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