Let’s just get to it.
I don’t want your husband. I’ve met a number of wives, and we get along great until I meet your husband. Maybe he shook my hand too long, paid me too many compliments, or declared he would’ve have gone for me if he met me first. Let me assure you he wouldn’t, because he DID meet me first.
Okay, it wasn’t me Joye. But he knew a focused, independent-minded woman who didn’t flirt but still had something about her. He liked her looks and her humor. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, said he should go for it.
But he decided not to because she was ‘too honest’. She didn’t act helpless or praise him for wearing pants. She laughed at his jokes, but only the funny ones. She turned to him for help, but he bailed on her because he only wanted to be a hero on paper. He sensed she would make him toe the line, follow up on the expectations he set. He knew if he said ‘Let’s go to Tahiti’ she’d be packed and ready. So he backed away, realizing he wouldn’t do a tenth of what he promised. She had something to offer and expected a return on her investment. He knew if he dropped the ball, she would drop him.
So now he’s with you, married and craning his neck around at the women he can’t have. And since he can’t be asked to do anything, he brazenly tries to flirt with me. You see it and decide I’m a threat. He’ll always come home to you, as evidenced by the ring and Social Security check. But you operate on the assumption that all single women are desperate to marry, that they’ll do what they gotta do. Or maybe you stole him and feel susceptible to losing your ill-gotten gains. Whatever the case, let me make it clear: I DON’T WANT YOUR HUSBAND.
Of course I’d like to be married. But what good to me is a man with a wandering eye? It’s a sleazy attempt to get female attention with impunity. Yet you feel compelled to remind me that you ‘know all the tricks’ and I’m not fooling you. All I can say is, you must really love that guy if you think he’d do for me. Soon as a married man flirts with me, I lose all respect. And let’s say he left you for me. I don’t labor under the illusion that my magical powers will keep him from straying. Do I think I’m exceptional? Yes. But give a 3-year-old a Vermeer and he’ll just scribble on it.
Ladies, I’m sorry you fell for your husband’s sweet talk. I’m sorry you were in such a hurry to lock down a man that you ignored his flirting with the waitress on your first date. I’m sorry he laughs off your hurt feelings when you ask him to stop. You don’t want to fight about it (again), so you’re trying to be the cool wife. But that resentment’s gotta go somewhere. Why not toward the woman he’s flirting with, even if she’s not reciprocating? Go ahead, make snarky comments and damage her reputation on the basis that she might steal your husband. She also might establish a colony on the moon. Best to contain the threat, even if it doesn’t exist.
I know there are women who don’t respect boundaries. Maybe you were one yourself, and you’ve heard how…temperamental…Karma can be. I’m here to say that if you need a punching bag, go to a gym. If your husband won’t shore up your vulnerabilities, you have my sympathy. But please vent that frustration somewhere else. I am not throwing myself on the pyre just so you can avoid an argument. And I won’t dim my shimmer either. There’s an upstanding, hard-working, available guy out there and he deserves my best. If some of that light gets in your husband’s eyes, it’s his fault for looking.