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Coveting thy neighbor's husband

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  August 12, 2009 09:54 AM

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We had a racy two days there, didn't we? Now we're on to suburban drama, coveting, etc. Spend some time on this baby, but don't forget to chat at 1 p.m.

Q: My husband and I get together a lot with our fun group of neighbors. We are a varied group, interesting and different people, living close to each other on a small suburban street. It’s a great group of neighbors, for the most part, except there’s one woman who would like to sink her teeth into my husband every time we all get together.

At first, my husband thought it was kind of funny; now her behavior bugs him more and more, too. And now he comes to neighborhood gatherings less and less, choosing only to make an appearance now and then -- which only makes him more of a treasure to her when he decides to show.

Now granted, I actually like this woman -- if not for her, we would not all be hanging around together, and I really like my neighbors. She’s a more-the-merrier type of person and always wants absolutely everyone to attend every gathering. But especially my husband. And it’s getting to be sickening.

She has decided that they are “simpatico” (her word -- and what, we’re not, after 30 years of marriage?). She has decided they have something special in common; still not sure what that is exactly, but I heard her say that to someone once. She gets all mushy when he arrives at the party, squeals his name out loud, and attempts to hijack him and engage him in close, private conversation the entire time he’s there, making sure she sits right next to him. There’s nothing I want more than my husband to be at the same party I’m at -- but when he is, I find myself watching her out of the corner of my eye, latching on to him, and can barely carry on a conversation with anyone myself. My hackles go up and I feel "minimized," if you will -- like, what does she think I do NOT have to offer him that she does? I want to shout out, “He’s going home with ME!” and then of course feel very stupid and childish. Invariably, he leaves the party early and goes home after less than an hour, and I’m left conflicted: happy that I do not have to worry about her hanging on him any more, and sad that he’s gone and I’m at the party alone where just about everyone else is a couple. (P.S., she’s happily married to an absolute dream of a nice guy and no, I am not interested in swinging. And yes, I do believe she would do that in a heartbeat if given the opportunity. And no, my husband will not give her the opportunity. And yes, he gives me plenty of visible attention at every get-together. It’s HER behavior that’s the issue.)

It’s been many years of this and her behavior peaks and drops off -- in other words, that’s why we still wind up being around her some of the time. It’s not bad ALL the time, but we just never know what we’re going to be faced with. I don’t fault my husband’s behavior; he is polite around her, tries not to be rude, and always seeks out other people to talk to. He’s as gregarious as me and doesn’t restrict himself to talking to strictly guys or gals at these parties. But we find ourselves being very apprehensive when a neighborhood party is planned, or, after-the-fact, rehashing details of her behavior days after the party is over and wishing she had behaved differently.

What do we do, other than stop going to neighborhood parties?

-- He's With Me, Framingham

A: HWM, I get why this is a big deal. It’s not so much that this woman is all over your husband -- it’s that she’s the ring leader of your social circle. Finding a good social life in the suburbs isn’t easy. If this woman is the key to your inclusion, it’s dangerous to upset her.

But you might have to.

You ask what you can do to deal with the situation, besides stop going to parties. The answer is -- you can gently tell this woman that your hubby is embarrassed by her attention. You don’t have to tell her that she's inappropriately flirting with your man. You can soften the message and say, “My husband gets very uncomfortable with the attention and he’s too shy to tell you. Is there a way you can make him less of a focus when he's around?” You can add, in your sweetest voice, “I feel so bad having to tell you this! He’d never tell you himself.”

Some people will tell you that your husband should be the one to talk to her about this, and maybe they’re right. But if you fear that a private chat between them would send the wrong signal, I’d do this yourself.

Telling her that he’s uncomfortable is certainly a risk, even if you pretend that this is about his over-sensitivity as opposed to her inappropriateness. This woman has a big personality. She might get embarrassed or angry. But confronting the situation is all you can do at this point. And really, she deserves to know that her behavior is putting someone off. Perhaps she’s oblivious and needs to be informed.

Give her the benefit of the doubt and talk to her. It could go horribly wrong, but if you're already thinking about skipping these social events, what do you have to lose?

As for swinging, I recently reread one of my favorites, “The 158-Pound Marriage” by John Irving. He’s always pretty brilliant when it comes to writing about love, but if you want a story about all of the ways swinging can go wrong, I highly recommend making it your next beach read.

Also, HWM, good job on getting the word “hackles” on Love Letters.

Readers? How does one deal with a flirtatious neighbor who is also the suburban social queen? Share here. Twitter. Book here.

-- Meredith

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235 comments so far...
  1. I bet he already slept with her.

    Posted by RS August 12, 09 10:29 AM
  1. Part of me sympathizes for HWM. If only her husband could stand up to her and tell her that he's happily married and that he's not interested in extra-marital affairs - then there wouldn't be a need to write Meredith for advice. But, alas, like most men in a marriage - he has no sack. He does what he's told to keep his wife happy. So - why doesn't HWM confront her and say "hey, could you please dial down the sex appeal? You're trying to distract my husband in a way that is making both of us sick to our stomachs". Or better yet, have HWM's husband tell her directly that he's happy and doesn't have any interest in being with her - at all. Case closed.

    Salute the Admiral.

    Posted by Admiral Antgro August 12, 09 10:30 AM
  1. Your hubby has to grow a set and tell the woman exactly how he feels, and to back off. He doesn't have to be rude, just firm. If she still doesn't get it sometimes being blunt is the only way.

    Good luck.

    Posted by Oopsy August 12, 09 10:33 AM
  1. I don't know Mere...I usually agree with your advice, but I'm on the fence with this one. I worry that this could backfire......Ms Fatal Attraction could see this as her opportunity to cure Mr HWM of his shyness and be on him even more. HWM needs to be completely honest, but not hostile. Just say the behavior (state specific things you've seen or heard) has resulted in Mr HWM not attending parties or cutting out early. Include how this makes you feel and have some suggestions about how he'd prefer to interact with her. If that fails, try tp'ing her house until she gets the message!

    Posted by Claddie August 12, 09 10:34 AM
  1. Maybe you're imagining all this to somehow make your husband the stud that you wish he was? Sounds like high school stuff.

    Posted by Flash August 12, 09 10:34 AM
  1. The husband is the one who should have the conversation if he is uncomfortable with it, which appears to be the case. Otherwise, you are caretaking and acting in a controlling manner. As a man, I would feel insulted if my wife intervened in this manner. It would also be less risky to your social relationship with this woman. I see no good in her having this conversation.

    I would ask the husband if he is really bothered by it and if so, is there something that he might do to take care of himself? If he doesn't feel the need to address it, then his wife should just get over it.

    Posted by sanity123 August 12, 09 10:35 AM
  1. What does the woman's own husband have to say about her bahavior? I'm concerned that HE's not concerned that SHE's openly flirting with another woman's husband. Is she trying to make her own husband jealous and has decided that HWM's husband is the perfect speciman to use for that purpose?

    Posted by Mac August 12, 09 10:36 AM
  1. Oh Man.. One of you has to ay something to her.
    Don't church it up and sugar coat it, just tell her that her behavior is unacceptable.

    Idea - when she does this to your husband, how about he just look at her and tell her to stop. A stern look and a serious tone can go a long way.

    She may be the boss of the neighborhood party gang, but your husband probably has quite a lot of pull over her from the sound of it. I'm sure if he doesn't let her act that way towards/around him - she'll get the hint and stop.

    Posted by EastCoastGirl August 12, 09 10:40 AM
  1. First-- women like this are so annoying it drives men nuts. I've been in the exact same situation, except with a coworker rather than a neighbor. The day she got sacked, both my GF and I celebrated.

    Second, let your husband do the telling. Flat out: 'If I didn't know any better, I'd say you were hitting on me and trying to win me over. But that's never going to happen in a million years, period.' Your husband *must* be the person who delivers this message, because nobody delivers a message as clearly as a man who has had enough. Women sugar-coat things. Plus, if you deliver the message, you'll get a reputation as catty and jealous inside of 24 hours. If he delivers it, in private, she'll never breathe a word of it to anyone.

    Third, just wondering-- does this woman have stubby fingers? In my observation, that physical trait is a sign of insanity in females.

    Posted by Joey August 12, 09 10:41 AM
  1. I'm thinking threesome.

    Posted by Mansfield Dude August 12, 09 10:46 AM
  1. She sounds like an obnoxious be-atch. My guess is that others find her behaviour similarly disturbing. I would stop socializing with her and discreetly start your own small group get-togethers without her. If it means getting together somewhere other than the neighborhood circle, then so be it. set something up with one other couple fomr your group and expand from there, leaving her out. Her feelings may be hurt, but who cares. She doesn't care about yours.

    Good Luck,

    Posted by DrK August 12, 09 10:47 AM
  1. Do they disappear together after an hour at the party? LOL

    Posted by dave August 12, 09 10:47 AM
  1. Hey Guys! Lay off Mr HWM. I guarantee you that he has NOT slept with Simpatico (creepy) and he really wants to shut her down. Just like my husband- he's got sack. BUT- just like my husband (and most guys) he doesn't want to create conflict- especially among women. If it were a guy hitting on his wife, he would certainly take care of business. But when it comes to situations like this, he's going to take the path of least resistance and not create waves. HWM should have a direct, but polite conversation with the woman and keep Mr HWM out of it.

    Posted by Sack isn't the issue August 12, 09 10:47 AM
  1. I've been through this myself and it does no good to talk to the offending party yourself. They only chalk it up as jealousy on your part - which may or may not be the point of the whole flirting thing. But she's being not only disrespectful to you, she's being disrespectful to her husband. I'm sure everyone can see this going on, too. Your husband is the one who has to nip it in the bud. Being "polite" is no longer working and he has to be more forward about it. How about dragging himself out of these little one-on-one conversations and joining the group instead? If her actions are REALLY bothering him, he needs to be the one to end it. I mean, you're not in high school any more.

    Posted by SpeakUP August 12, 09 10:48 AM
  1. No mention of what the 'dream husband' of this woman is doing meanwhile! Is he standing by watching his wife being all over someone else's husband?
    LW should definitely talk to the woman - how she does it is the question. Maybe lighthearted comment, maybe serious talk...but good to explain why husband is leaving parties early. Better to do it with the husband's knowledge and consent though (her own, not the irritating woman's!).

    Posted by chins August 12, 09 10:48 AM
  1. I think Mer is off the mark here. Your husband has to be the one to deliver the message. If you pull the offender aside and say something on your husband's behalf, you'll just come off as the jealous wife, and I bet she won't even believe your husband would feel such things.

    Posted by Schlippo August 12, 09 10:52 AM
  1. "It’s been many years of this and her behavior peaks and drops off..."

    She sounds bipolar. Either spike her punch with lithium or stay away.

    Posted by Marina August 12, 09 10:52 AM
  1. Sorry val, I have to throw out a haiku of my own today.

    throws herself around
    land's on top of William's lap
    oh well, great fondue

    She's trying to steal your husband, (or steal his member for a night) and you're too worried about how it will appear to friends, *AHEM*, acquaintances, to do anything about it? And what, you don't want to hurt HER feelings?! Get your priorities straight, honey. You're not 17 anymore.

    I don't see what the dilemma is. Put this ***** in her place.

    Posted by FreddyMoDabbles August 12, 09 10:53 AM
  1. get it over with, invite her over and have a threeway

    Posted by bosfiddle August 12, 09 10:53 AM
  1. First thing.... Where is this woman's husband when she is acting like this? Does he not care that she is overtly flirting with another man in his presence? That's interesting!

    Second... Your husband needs to say something, not you. If you say something, crazy lady is going to think you are just insecure and see her as a threat to you and your husband. This could push her to try harder. In a quick and to-the-point conversation, your husband should tell her that her behavior is inappropriate.

    Third... My guess is that this woman's behavior makes other guests at the party uncomfortable as well. If she feels slighted after your husband's conversation with her, and excludes you both from the invites going forward, throw your own damn parties; I'm sure the other guests will gladly accept your invite over her's.

    Posted by Kathleen August 12, 09 10:53 AM
  1. Joey's right, the husband has to assert himself on this one.

    If the wife 'gently' tells the neighbor that her actions embarass her shy husband, I can totally see the neighbor still being super flirty with the hubby - just not as loud about it.

    but whatever you do, don't listen to Rico's advice bc Rico just likes to talk about himself as opposed to actually giving useful advice

    Posted by hannah montana August 12, 09 10:54 AM
  1. What a game, and I think you need to wake up. Husband is getting a charge from this, else he would have put a stop to it a long time ago.

    Is this woman really 'Ms. Fatal Attraction" if Husband is going along? Of course it feels better to blame her, but what's his role? I don't buy the idea that he is shy - come on now.

    A catfight between Wife and the so-called "Other Woman" will create some interesting drama won't address what's really important, which is the marraige. This is a little thing that can turn into a Big Thing if it's not addressed, now, by Husband. And if friendship with this woman is what you lose in the process, so be it (if so, she doesn't sound like much of a friend).

    Posted by ava August 12, 09 10:55 AM
  1. totally agree with Joey (9): if you do the delivering of this message, you will be branded as a class A beyotch. Your husband needs to MAN UP and tell her to back off. Maybe he needs to not be so polite. If she is monopolizing his attention, then he can excuse himself. By not discouraging her he is encouraging her. Maybe he kind of likes it?

    Posted by move on August 12, 09 10:56 AM
  1. The LW sounds childish. You have three choices: (1) Go to the party and ignore her, does she have legal joint custody of your husband? (2) Tell the lady to Fxxx Off!!!... or, if she is hosting the partys then -> (3) Stop going to the party. What is with all of these Female LWs, who write their letters like they are 15 years old? They are adults living in the suburbs, not Teenagers trying to fit into some High School Clique. The letter submittals must be very weak lately if they published this.

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 August 12, 09 10:58 AM
  1. He needs to turn her off a bit if its bothering him, Do something rude or make a comment that will turn her off and break the “simpatico” she thinks they share. He doesn't have to be so nice to her, she is obviously impressed with her. He needs to unimpress her now. Have fun with it.

    Posted by cheeseburger August 12, 09 10:59 AM
  1. You can try to hijack the social group from "Lucille 2."

    Host the next party! Hire cabana boys and girls (are there cabana girls?) to serve the drinks. Make sure your parties are talked about for weeks to come (and hotly anticipated!).

    Then tell Lucille 2 to knock it off.

    (you could also then give her husband all the attention that she gaves yours, but I am afraid that this will cause her to throw even more extravagant parties with elephants - and you cannot top elephants - they are too tall.)

    Posted by Tom August 12, 09 11:00 AM
  1. Can anyone say Threesome???

    Posted by Three's not always a crowd August 12, 09 11:01 AM
  1. Bad advice here, Meredith. Ms. Socialite is a narcissist and confronting her WILL result in banishment from her little bubble and perhaps result in "anonymous" complaints to animal control about your dog barking and to the police about your kid's graduation party being too loud, etc. Best thing to do: invent some infirmity (heart condition, stroke, cancer) for your husband to come down with. Narcissists HATE damaged goods. Tell your husband to limp or shuffle around the neighborhood a bit for a while That should take care of it.

    Posted by Spork August 12, 09 11:02 AM
  1. Hmm, 30 years of marriage? So the neighbor is not a young woman and surely she knows what she is doing. I would talk to her privately and I would not be cute and girlish as Meredith suggests. I would simply tell her that her behavior toward your husband embarrasses him, annoys the sh*t out of you, and cheapens her in the eyes of the others. If she gets pissed off, so what? It's secretly what you want isn't it? You say that you like her but I don't believe you. I know women like this and they are vipers. She will bad mouth you yes, but chances are the other neighbors are already onto her. And you have as much right at neighborhood gatherings as anyone, unless they are all held at her house. If that's the case, then you need to host a party at your place before you have the conversation with her. That way, if the talk goes poorly (and it will) you will have a precedent for inviting everyone to your place.

    Posted by J Bar August 12, 09 11:02 AM
  1. What a fun letter!
    I don't agree that the LW should approach the conversation by saying that she's speaking for her husband since he's too shy. If I were the Overly Flirtatious Neighbor "OFN" and you told me that, I would feel like you and your husband had been sitting around bitching about me for YEARS and I would be mortified and defensive. Instead, I recommend that you wait until the next time something like that happens and then immediately pull OFN aside and tell her that you feel she's being too flirtatious with your husband, it makes you feel insecure, and you'd appreciate if she'd tone it down a notch or two. OFN doesn’t have to agree that she’s too flirtatious, she just has to understand that it makes you feel insecure. If OFN is any kind of friend worth having that will be enough for her.

    If the problem continues – consider setting up your own social event and inviting only some of your usual circle of friends, casually excluding OFN. See if you can form your own splinter cell.

    Posted by Monty August 12, 09 11:03 AM
  1. Appeasement doesn't work. Pretending that she's doing nothing and this is all in good fun is not a smart strategy. Someone needs to take a stand and tell the neighbor 'No, not going to happen. Ever'.

    Let it be your husband. He doesn't have to say anything, necessarily, but he needs to make it obvious through actions what he's into. Have him get up from her and sit with you, HWM. Maybe he can stroll over to you while you're engaged in another conversation and give you a little PDA. Do something so that it's obvious that he's made a choice -- and that choice is you.

    Posted by mz August 12, 09 11:03 AM
  1. I don't know, is this really that big of a deal? You trust your husband and know he won't be persuaded, so why not let just be what it is -- an ego boost for him and nothing more. If the attention bothers him let him say something to her, but if your issue is just that you're jealous, I would just get over it. You like this woman and the group hangouts and saying something risks you losing all of that.

    If he's annoyed at her he should say something to that effect. If you're just jealous you should gain more trust in your husband and use this as something you and he laugh about and bond over.

    Posted by ThereAreWorseThingsInLife August 12, 09 11:05 AM
  1. Make mention to this women of your husband's old ex-gf, who you stalked and car bombed (you were a juvenile at the time), because she couldn't keep her hands off your man. Then shoot her a devilish grin, laugh hysterically and walk away.

    Problem solved, and it'll break up this silly little social circle which means way too much to a grown adult. Two birds, one stone. I am efficient.

    Posted by RiotAct August 12, 09 11:25 AM
  1. I think that if the LW confronts Simpatico - even gently, it might ignite the fire in her even more. She'll dial up her flirtation a notch, fueled by the LW's perceived jealousy. Some women are competitive. Stuff like this is a game.

    I think the back off message has to come from the husband. He should be direct, since avoiding her and seeking out other conversation at events clearly isn't working. I do find it odd that her own husband doesn't seem to care. Or that the other friends haven't spoken up or said anything. If she's really that obvious, than other people should have noticed it too, right?

    Anyway, good luck.

    Posted by veggiesaregreat August 12, 09 11:25 AM
  1. For the next neighborhood party, wear companion T-shirts...yours will say "I'm exclusively with HIM" and his will say, "I'm exclusively with HER." Wear them more than once...everyone will get the message. Otherwise, this may be a conversation that you have with her jointly.

    Posted by chocolate chip August 12, 09 11:25 AM
  1. Bravo TV, have a got a new one for you: The Housewives of Middlesex County. I'm imagining Framingham, with all the strip malls and split levels. The Red Lobsters, the Olive Garden's, the TGIFs and Applebees. Then there's this riotous group of overweight suburbanites hanging out in a backyard, a bunch of pudgy little brats running around tipping the hibachi over. A vertible Elysium for car salesmen and hairdressers. And there's thy neighbor, her muffin top spilling out, her fake and bake its darkest hue. We love her and we hate her. And generally, we think HWM is a pushover.

    People, please don't try to fix this woman's problem. I have nothing to during the Wednesday primetime hour until Lost returns.

    Posted by Sally August 12, 09 11:26 AM
  1. Your husband needs to tell this woman, that her behavior is inappropriate, and if she keeps it up, that the they can't come over to the gatherings anymore....I am sure that everyone sees this, and is to some degree embarrassed, or amused in a bizarre way. Then throw your own party like a few others have suggested, and leave her out....

    Posted by CandyGirl August 12, 09 11:27 AM
  1. Meredith, I think you should put a ban on unwarranted "Rico-bashing" comments. Some of us like to read his posts, others don't. The latter should skip Rico's posts and stop attacking him (i.e., post #21). For goodness sakes, he hasn't even posted yet today. What gives?

    Posted by Jen August 12, 09 11:27 AM
  1. I agree, he has likely slept with her.

    Posted by gk August 12, 09 11:28 AM
  1. What?? Are we still in high school here? (I have a theory that adult life is nothing more than an extension of our high school years; but I digress.)

    We all need to learn how to stay out of each other's underwear drawers! Grow some sack, people, and take action when action needs to be taken. Black and white is the only way.

    The husband is the one who needs to put this insurrection down. The action has to come from him.

    Husband and HWM need to get the shrew/cougar/neighbor into a room by themselves. Then the husband needs to do the talking with HWM keeping her mouth SHUT and sitting calmly and dispassionately by his side. This sends a message to shrew/cougar/neighbor that they represent a united front. It also has the benefit to the marriage that nothing that happens in that moment can be misconstrued in descriptions of the events by the husband to HWM after the fact.

    If that action doesnt work then HWM and husband must stop attending these neighborhood get togethers and stop worrying about appearances and social competition. The marriage and being together in a strong relationship are ultimately their first priority. not kow-towing to the dysfunctional dynamics of this fragile social circle.

    Posted by Tommy August 12, 09 11:29 AM
  1. There is a sure fire way to solve this. HWM's husband needs to go over to the other woman's house when she is not home, but her husband is. Get him drunk, seduce him and time it so this other woman walks in on the two of them together. Now at this point one of two things could happen. The other woman could figure that HWM husband is gay and will never bother him at a party again, or she would join in, which realistically is probably what would happen. So forget that idea. Instead HWM husband should just get HWM drunk, invite the other woman over to their house and enjoy a nice threesome. problem solved!

    Posted by agnh August 12, 09 11:30 AM
  1. It sounds like you and your husband are noticing this woman's "bad behavior" and then reinforcing each other's bad opinion of her. So by the time you show up for a party, she's already set up to be found guilty on all charges as soon as she says "hello".

    She does sound annoying, sure, but I've seen her type before and it's likely she does the same thing with other people, too -- you just fixate on it and make it worse.

    Quite honestly, you sound controlling and jealous and your neighbor sounds like the kind of person I want to have at parties.

    Posted by K August 12, 09 11:34 AM
  1. hmmm, gotta go with Joey, Hannah etc.... If you approach her odds are this will turn into a horrenda Mean Girl sitch and you'll be ostracized.

    Posted by Maryro August 12, 09 11:34 AM
  1. Have you tried punching her in the face and screaming "hands off my property"???

    Um, has she crossed any REAL lines? Probably not. And if she did, THAT would be the time to say something.

    BTW, I love the suggested "advice" (obviously from women) that the husband should approach the neighbor with a pre-emptive "not interested". What a pathetic assertion! So HE is responsible for quelling this foolish nonsense caused by his wife's unfounded jealousy?? How typically deflective... Yeah, he wouldn't look like too much of a jackass in front of her and her husband when she scoffs at the suggestion and plays it all off as merely "friendly banter"... But you see, this is what happens when the standard operating procedure is to play manipulative "veiled interest" games... collateral damage all around.

    Sadly, it seems as though the bulk of the angst in this letter is derived from the perceived "connection" that isn't hers. Whether real or false, that is what is gnawing at the LW... just the possibility.

    Posted by DJMcG August 12, 09 11:34 AM
  1. Sorry Meredith, but I think that if she did what you advise, the annoying flirt would probably chalk it up to a jealous wife trying to claim that it's her husband, not her, who's upset by the situation. It will make her seem insecure, which might give this woman more satisfaction than she deserves.

    Agreed with the others who say that Mr. LW should be the one telling this woman to back off. It sounds like his behavior has been entirely appropriate, and it's great that he's giving his wife no reason to worry about his attraction or fidelity to her. But he needs to take the situation in hand. Some women seem to enjoy making men uncomfortable with what they perceive as their "feminine wiles", so it's possible that she knows she's embarrassing him and is feeding her ego by wielding that power over him. He needs to take that power away by acting assertive, not embarrassed, every time she says or does something inappropriate. And if she still doesn't get the message and he wants to leave - "You're being really inappropriate, and since you haven't listened to me ask you to stop, I'm going to go."

    Posted by Lala August 12, 09 11:37 AM
  1. My husband is a really nice guy - and a heck of a catch. Women sometimes come on to him, and he doesn't have a clue - until I show up with my claws out. Defend your turf and confront this woman head on. Believe me, she'll back down. No matter what the social implications, this is not a time to be polite.

    Posted by Amaryllis81 August 12, 09 11:39 AM
  1. Make mention to this women of your husband's old ex-gf, who you stalked and car bombed (you were a juvenile at the time), because she couldn't keep her hands off your man. Then shoot her a devilish grin, laugh hysterically and walk away.

    Problem solved, and it'll break up this silly little social circle which means way too much to a grown adult. Two birds, one stone. I am efficient.

    Posted by RiotAct August 12, 09 11:40 AM
  1. You are not a mind reader. She could just be getting her fantasy fix before hitting up her husband for 5,000th time, she could genuinely want your man, she may be unbalanced, she may need a new personal messager. As you can see, none of these issues are YOUR problem. So solve YOUR problem by invoking Meredith's and #3's advice. While you are at it, be sure to share a really special set of grilled cheese sandwiches with your man, "just because". We like that.

    Posted by Darwin August 12, 09 11:41 AM
  1. Agree with chins -- where is this woman's husband? Maybe they are already swingers and trying to recruit.

    And yes Hubby of the LW has to deliver the message. If LW does it, woman will just go after the hubby even more.

    Posted by Alvin August 12, 09 11:41 AM
  1. I feel sorry for this couple. I have always found that the best policy with neighbors is prevention. If you need to make your neighbors your social circle, you really should get out more! Upon buying a home on a nice street in suburbia myself, I was told by my father "Never get to friendly with your neighbors!" Simply say "hello!" if they see you or wave from the car. Always be polite, but DO NOT make these people your social circle. Part of being a home owner is having your privacy. Friends and neighbors should be two separate things. It's worked out VERY well for my wife and I.

    Posted by MP August 12, 09 11:41 AM
  1. It sounds like your husband IS trying to do the right thing by making an appearance and cutting out when he's had enough. You are in an awkward place right now. Confronting your friend will ultimately change your "friendship" with her. It may create tension/awkwardness at parties (for you moreso than her). You may want to think about what other posts suggest... make a game of it. For example, when OFN gets out of line, Hubby should be prepared ... get up for bathroom break, or excuse himself for a drink and return to his wife. If he sits and feels victimized by this woman, he needs to become empowered with an appropriate response that will end the nonsense without ending a "friendship". Good luck.

    Posted by Good Luck August 12, 09 11:41 AM
  1. Lets stop kidding ourselves here. He has already slept with her, and now she is trying to get him in the sack again. The reason he avoids here now and again is so that he regrets what he did, and doesn't want to make the mistake again. The reason he does turn up on those rare occasion is to make sure her "threats" of coming out are subsided, which is why they talk so close and intimately.

    Best of luck.

    Posted by Busted in Boston August 12, 09 11:42 AM
  1. After months of hating I'm now hitting Ctrl+F "Rico" after reading the letter. I cant believe it's come to this.

    Posted by What has my life become? August 12, 09 11:47 AM
  1. You are married. He is going home with you, not her. If you marriage is secure, and you are both happy, then there is nothing to worry about. Its human nature to flirt and be social, so long as neither he nor Simpatico are not stepping over (or blurring) the line...with touchy feely leading to something extra marital. You and your husband know how she is, and her demeanour is not going to change so you guys will need to adapt and continue to enjoy the social group that you both are happy to be apart of. Calling her out, making an issue of really nothing at all, can have detrimental effects on the situation and cause unnecessary social rifts. If your husband is not doing anything he should not be, and you are both open with communication, then there is no issue here.

    Posted by badera August 12, 09 11:49 AM
  1. You have to be able to walk away from someone at a party that corners you. Whether it is a boring person that corners you with a long story or a woman coming on to you. Example: its good to catch up with you I need to go find Jim, go get a drink, go to the toilet..etc, at least try that first. some people need to be steamrolled out of the way, its a room full of people, time to move on and talk to someone else...

    Posted by Scott August 12, 09 11:53 AM
  1. I think if LW says anything, she's asking for a cat fight-esque situation. It will disturb the social balance.

    I agree with the poster who said LW's husband has to step up. He should say something to the effect of not interested, uncomfortable, I continue attending only because my wife thinks the world of you, etc. He should also align himself closely with her husband.

    Posted by ml2620 August 12, 09 11:53 AM
  1. I am laughing my head off at the women here who are at the ready with their "claws" to protect their supposedly irresistable husbands.

    Ladies, lots of times it's in YOUR head and no one else's. We single girls all know the type. You strike up a friendly, harmless conversation with some married guy at a neighborhood gathering, and the wife starts hovering, making a fool of herself. And the guy is usually not clueless. I always wonder what's really going on in those marraiges

    Posted by ava August 12, 09 11:55 AM
  1. I know Framingham and it aint threesome land. Natick, maybe, but not Framingham.
    Fact: Husband being husband enjoys the attention. He is merely feigning being annoyed to keep wifey happy.
    Fact: Wifey is jealous. She should take some lessons from the neighbor on how to flirt with her husband.
    Neither should say anything. Wifey should hold his arm and steer him away from over bearing neighbor. The neighbor will lose interest if the wife is always there. In fact, just hearing her story has made me lose interest in her.

    Posted by StuckInNatick August 12, 09 11:57 AM
  1. Joey (#9) has the right advice - the LW's husband has to speak up and give her the message very clearly - BACK OFF. Anything the LW says will be thought of as jealousy on her part - and I'll bet that's exactly what Simpatico wants to do. Perhaps she's not getting any attention from her own DH and is trying to make *him* jealous, but whatever the reason - the LW's DH has to give the pushback on this woman, not HWM.

    The fact that Simpatico has these peaks and valleys in her behavior towards HWM's husband leads me to believe she's bipolar - or whatever they're calling it now. I've worked with someone like that, and the mood swings (happiness and fun beyond compare to morose and not talking to anyone) are extremes at either end of the spectrum - it's not fun for anyone to deal with.

    But HWM's husband also needs to *leave* those private conversations that Simpatico tries to monopolize him in. The LW's DH has as much say in this as she does - leaving the party early does absolutely no good, as he's seen. He needs to grow a set and tell Simpatico to back off. If it pisses her off, it pisses her off. Everyone else in the neighborhood has to have seen what's going on at these parties - I suspect they have sympathy for the LW and her DH, but no one feels it their place to say anything.

    And hey - if Simpatico begins to exclude the LW and her DH from her parties, the LW should host her own. Not everyone has to get along in Stepford Town, you know!

    Posted by Linda August 12, 09 11:57 AM
  1. Sally (#36) - that is absolutely BRILLIANT! Perfect setting as well! LOL!

    Posted by Linda August 12, 09 11:59 AM
  1. I have a big personality, so I can relate to this neighbor woman. I'll bet her marriage is boring her to death, and so is life in the suburbs. I suspect she is fantasizing about the LW's husband, without realizing that she is being obvious about it. She will probably be mortified to find out. So, I suggest having a very quiet chat with her, something along the lines of this: "Neighbor, we all really enjoy your parties and I hope we can keep coming to them. But we've noticed what seems to be an attraction to my husband. Is that what it is? That's what he thinks it is, and it makes him really uncomfortable. It's why he leaves early. You can ask him about this yourself, or maybe just pay less attention to him at the next few get-togethers and see how things go. We really enjoy your company and don't want to lose your friendship, so I hope we can figure something out." But be prepared. She may react with horror but maturity and start to back off -- or she may get so embarrassed that she drops you entirely. Good luck.

    Posted by walksoftly August 12, 09 12:02 PM
  1. HWM, are you or your neighbor bisexual at all?

    Posted by Dave August 12, 09 12:04 PM
  1. Ok the LW writer needs to grow up and her husband needs to deal with this. (1) Nothing good will come from the LW talking to the other woman (2) the husband needs to address this with the other woman. Even if the husband likes the attention (but I am willing to believe the LW that her husband doesn't like the attention) from the other woman he needs to put an end to it because it clearly bothers his wife and he knows it.

    As others have said we are not in junior high any longer and I would also like to remind people that we are not living in a soapy drama, so stop acting all dramatic. There is an issue so address it directly and politely and then move on don't try to figure out how to live your life like you actually lived on Wisteria Lane.

    Posted by WES August 12, 09 12:05 PM
  1. Hello everyone, fans and foe's, Rico is a little tired and feeling under the weather today but he still rode to work regardless.

    Her is what Rico thinks about this...The situation is a lose-lose one in that no matter what you or your husband say to this woman or how it is said it most likely will always be a weird situation. Assuming you have a ton of cash Rico would say to take your family and move away and buy new friends. That is not happening so your best bet at this point since it has been going on for a long time is for you to explore new friendships and a new social circle. It's time for you to leave the nest.

    Sorry but you have been allowing this for a long time and only stay in the group for your own selfish reasons. If it really bothers you then you should have spoken up a long time ago. At this point you either grin and bear it or move on to a new group. Rico thinks your selfishness has lead you to this predicament and it is time for you to think of your husband as well. You stay while he left to go home??? You should have stood up and gone with him. If you really love him as you say you do then this is a no brainer.

    Rico will check back later and see how the board is doing. For now those are Rico's thoughts but Rico will be thinking further and update as needed.

    Framingham is a big enough place to find other people and Rico assumes you own a car, have other family around? Friends? Other cities you could visit? Try a museum, or dinner in the city (restaurant week), shows, lounges, other social groups etc...Meet new people. You're closed mindedness and selfishness got you to this point now it is up to you to change. How old are you? 12! Grow up.

    Love always,


    Gears not Gas...Fear is not tangible, step out into the wild.

    Posted by Rico August 12, 09 12:06 PM
  1. It sounds like you're letting this woman harsh your mellow. Why in the world would you allow yourself to feel insecure after years of marriage to a great guy? With a total nightmare neighbor to boot? She sounds like a pain in the a**-so don't deal! If you go to a party and she comes at your husband, he can make an excuse and walk away. You can walk over and say "I need you moment" and take him away. Just do that over and over again. Do not deal. Maybe she'll find someone else to play with. You said this has gone on for years? That is crazy and a waste of energy.Just swat her away and enjoy yourself. Don't give her the power to ruin your good time.

    Posted by pb August 12, 09 12:09 PM
  1. This whole scene sounds very juvenile to me. I'll bet that this writer's husband is not nearly as creeped out by the neighbor's lavish, flirty attention as his wife is. Some guys really enjoy pitting woman against woman, just to see if a cat fight erupts over them. Insecurities and egos are the real issues, here. I'd advise HWM to relax, let it go and see what happens when she's not keeping a LoJack on her hubby.

    Posted by Mari August 12, 09 12:10 PM
  1. So, why does the husband let himself get dragged off? All he has to do is stay put. Tell neighbor woman that he really wants to enjoy all the people at the party and not be taken off to a secluded corner. If this happens time and time again, I think he's secretly enjoying the attention -- whether or not it's harmless.

    Posted by Carol August 12, 09 12:12 PM
  1. Sally, you never cease to make me smile.

    Oh and to #21, "hannah montana" (really, that's the best you could come up with? hannah montana? are you 12?) Rico does give advice in his posts. He relates himself to the LW and gives advice through a different way then others. That's just what he does. Leave it alone.

    To the LW, do whatever Meredith, Hoss and Rico say, or compromise between the three, and let Sally make you laugh.

    Posted by LoveRico August 12, 09 12:15 PM
  1. there are a couple of problems here, not just the behavior of the cougar. I wouldn't confront her. The next time you all together and she is all over your husband, go up to him, put your arms around him and lay your head on his chest. Hang on for a minute or two and say, how's my sweetheart (or something like that) and then stand there and hold his hand with a big smile on your face. Continue to stand there and hold his hand. Seriously though, it's your husband who needs to say something. It wouldn't take much to make this woman back off. He need to step up to the plate, and be a man.

    Posted by Rose August 12, 09 12:16 PM
  1. I disagree with Meredith's advice.

    Yes, this troublesome neighbor needs to be told that her behaviors are resulting in embarrassment for husband, but she needs to be told by...


    Why on earth should the wife do it? Everyone knows that no matter how nice wife may be in explaining situation to randy neighbor it will nonetheless go over like a lead ballon and result in a lesbo cat fight (thus thrilling the neighborhood's husbands).

    Let the man be a man and do his own explaining!

    Posted by Sigh August 12, 09 12:16 PM
  1. StuckinNatick (#58) says "Fact: Husband being husband enjoys the attention. He is merely feigning being annoyed to keep wifey happy."
    Fact, huh? Were you part of the various conversations between the LW and her husband about Simpatico? Probably not.

    And if Husband was enjoying the attention, he'd stay for the *entire party.* The fact that he leaves after an hour says a lot...like he *doesn't* like the attention. He "makes an appearance" every now and then, according to the LW. After 30 years of marriage, I'd hazard a guess that the LW knows her husband, so when he says he doesn't like the smothering attention from Simpatico, he simply doesn't like the smothering attention from Simpatico.

    Posted by Linda August 12, 09 12:17 PM
  1. WHERE'S RICO? Hello? Rico, are you peddling your little tushy off? Okay, it's all harmless. If it bothers the husband so much, then he should be the one to tell the neighbor. Hanging on to her husband at parties at this age and after 30 years of marriage is lame. Go with the flow unless it gets too uncomfortable, then stop attending. If neighbor asks, just tell her she has made the situation very uneasy for the 2 of you and you can't attend until her behavior changes and explain what you mean by her behavior. She'll laugh it off, and you should as well. And I lived in Framingham for years, and unfortunately NOBODY wanted my husband, so I had to divorce him.

    Posted by californiadreamin August 12, 09 12:19 PM
  1. In no way is your husband annoyed by her flirtatious behavior, he only pretends to be to get you off his back and villianize her at the same time. He's already laid neighborly pipe. He leaves the party early becuase he feels awkward with his wife and his mistress in the same spot. Why else would he leave early? You are naive little one, and your husband has half a sack to not be able to handle this situation.

    Posted by truth August 12, 09 12:19 PM
  1. HWM,

    If your husband feels annoyed by this woman, he can talk to her husband about it. Something like, "Gee, your wife really likes to flirt. It makes me a little uncomfortable. Doesn't it bother you?" should embarrass the husband into taking his wife aside and reining her behavior in.

    If your husband isn't annoyed by her, and only you are, I think you should ignore the whole issue.

    Posted by TallGirl August 12, 09 12:19 PM
  1. Float the rumor that your husband has E-D. That will turn off the host no matter how much Pinot she imbibes. Try talking to one of the other females in the group and find out if they see what you see. Otherwise, you may be the bored one looking for some Desperate Housewives drama.

    Posted by JPeterman August 12, 09 12:20 PM
  1. I believe your love chef has mashed her potato(e)s.

    Posted by IamChachi August 12, 09 12:20 PM
  1. Where's Hoss?!

    Posted by Kristen August 12, 09 12:21 PM
  1. Appropriate Godfather quote for the husband:
    "You can act like a man!" [slap]

    Posted by JPeterman August 12, 09 12:24 PM
  1. There was a letter to Carolyn Hax (Washington Post) a few months ago with the same problem. In the comments section, one of the posters ("Provender") told how she solved it when it happened to her. She started flirting with the flirter, i.e., woman to woman. She laughed too hard at her jokes, stood too close to her, etc. Apparently it worked wonders, and she and her BF amused themselves amply in the process. On the WaPo site, posters can recommend each other's posts (just imagine that here), and Provender got more recommendations than anyone ever before with her solution to the problem of the flirty interloper.

    Posted by Sasha August 12, 09 12:26 PM
  1. Sally, your comment was priceless!!! This LW needs to get a job and find something (anything) else less trivial to worry about!

    Posted by whocares August 12, 09 12:26 PM
  1. Hey HWM-
    I think your husband likes the attention, but not for the reasons others have listed. Her flirting gives him the best excuse to cut out early and go home to watch the Sox. Neighborhood parties are lame. Duh

    Posted by He'd rather be watching the game... August 12, 09 12:28 PM
  1. HWM-
    At the very next opportunity you and your husband should talk with the insensitive, self-infatuated, narcissistic woman. Your husband should initiate the conversation, and be the leader, using the standard "I feel" statements. For example: "I feel that your behavior is inappropriate, and I want it to stop." Your role is to back up what your husband says, just like he would support you if the situation involved someone's behavior directly towards you. If your husband refuses to participate, I would then ask him how he expects the situation to change, because you're not going to take care of it for him, but that you will support him.


    Posted by Anonymous August 12, 09 12:29 PM
  1. I agree with Meredith's advice. Only I would be blunt and tell her to back the F off of my husband. And I'd be looking for new friends... seriously who wants a friend that uses the word "simpatico" anyway?

    Posted by Beth August 12, 09 12:30 PM
  1. I had written earlier that the LW should talk to the woman. However, as someone remarked, there is no win-win in this. So find new friends! and leave a party when your husband does. And next time, don't attend at all... that will send a message too. I know it is hard to make new friends as we get older, but try to make a new start. If anyone asks why you are not attending parties with them, explain why and tell the truth.

    Posted by chins August 12, 09 12:30 PM
  1. Sounds like my old neighborhood. Move. With your husband, of course. Sorry, but they have already had inappropriate relations. He obviously regrets it and loves YOU. You can find new friends.

    Posted by citykitty617 August 12, 09 12:31 PM
  1. I feel for the guy, I've been there. My wife's friend S is all over me and tends to hug me inappropriatly every chance she gets. Even in front of her poor browbeaten husband. I've reached the same point he has, I don't attend parties where I expect to see her. Mind you, if S's husband gets near a girl, even accidently, S rips into her like a fat kid on a candy bar.
    Best advice? Burn Simpatico for fuel this winter.

    Posted by Gonzo August 12, 09 12:37 PM
  1. Where's my earlier post submission? Anyway, being uncomfortable is not a reason to move. This woman is fantasizing only- which is why she feels comfortable doign it in the open - she sees no tangible harm from it. Let it go or address it with the woman's husband and make him curb her behavior. My other post has moer to say on this...

    Posted by big h August 12, 09 12:38 PM
  1. Here's the link to the Carolyn Hax article I mentioned above (79). It might really be of help to the LW (plus some of the comments are funny).


    Or just look in the archives for the column from May 7, 2009

    Posted by Sasha August 12, 09 12:38 PM
  1. It's all so intensely disturbing that for a while, at least, I forgot about various national and international crises and gave thanks that no such horrendous scenario has yet touched my personal corner of suburbia. Yet, who knows what plots, what schemes, what hidden desires lurk nearby in the hearts of neighbor-ladies? Not to mention my own murky, nefarious urges. Ah, the soap opera of it all!

    Posted by Bony Melon August 12, 09 12:39 PM
  1. If this were in the workplace it'd be called sexual harrassment. And it's interesting that in all the efforts placed into figuring out how to handle such workplace situations, we really haven't examined how to handle this kind of a thing on a personal level, have we?

    I say, in this case, reverse all the genders and go with the knee-jerk response and stick with it for the original players. Imagine how a husband would be acting and what he would do if his wife felt sexually harrassed by a male neighbor. Now, LW should do that. The end.

    Posted by Bee Bee August 12, 09 12:44 PM
  1. Sounds like this neighbor woman's husband is a wimp - or has no interest in his wife and thus doesn't care if she hits on another guy. As for HWM, you should have stopped this behavior years ago...too late now...

    Posted by redhead27 August 12, 09 12:45 PM
  1. The drama continues on the Real Housewives of Framingham, both on camera and off. Despite reports that HWM's husband disliked Muffintop O'Reilly's attentions, he was seen accompanying her into Lords & Ladies at the Natick Mall. In a statement released Wednesday, HWM said, "Bobby was getting his five-week trim. Muffintop followed him inside. It's insulting and I'm going to confront her at the Pampered Chef party next week." Bobby dodged the question and asked, "Does this Brooks & Dunn t-shirt make me look fat?"

    Posted by Sally August 12, 09 12:46 PM
  1. I completely disagree with Meredith here. This is the HUSBAND's problem, no one else's. Part of being married is being aware of and protective of your spouse's feelings, and part of being a grown-up is figuring out how to manage people who are inappropriate about any number of things. I wouldn't confront this woman or remind her that you and your husband are married or anything along those lines -- she's knows this already! -- but I would recommend that the HUSBAND be proactive, with good humor, and set firm boundaries. Like this: "Well, hello Inappropriate Neighbor! You know I always love to see you, too, so I'll sit for a minute but then I have to check in with Neighbor #2, who you know just had surgery/lost his job/put on a new deck, and then back to my lovely wife, because, believe it or not, we haven't seen each other all week and this is a date for us. So quicky, what's new with you?" And keep at it firmly, and then walk away.

    This kind of approach preserves the relationships that make neighborhoods important to all of us; it doesn't presume bad things about the Inappropriate Neighbor or the Husband, and the Husband does right by the Letter Writer -- rather than ducking out and never addressing the problem, he starts solving it and spends the time with her at these gatherings that they both want.

    Posted by JP Gal August 12, 09 12:48 PM
  1. If the husband didn't like the attention, he would give her the cold shoulder period. Everyone eventually "gets it" when it comes to the cold shoulder, unless they have a major psychological problem. Obviously the other couple has a weird dynamic and the reader's husband is playing into it. Why he would choose to let his wife suffer thru this for years for a social circle is beyond me, unless he likes it. Honey, tell him to get his priorities straight and stop playing the selfless heroine. Stand up for your rights and happiness.

    Posted by Big Daddy August 12, 09 12:49 PM
  1. Okay, for the spineless, emotional basket cases who want all the righteousness of your sad jealousy to be appeased by the HUSBAND saying something to the neighbor lady...... Exactly what the F$@% is he SUPPOSED to say????

    "Yeah, I realize you've never made an advance in any way towards me, buuuuuut... I (a.k.a. MY WIFE) would appreciate it if you would stop talking to me... Ummmmmm, yeah. And also, if you could not look at me, that would be preferred......... {cricket, cricket}........"

    Do you ever actually THINK before babbling? Could you possibly be more cowardly?? The husband apparently already has a sack. That's why the neighbor lady is all over it. It's up to YOU to handle your own insecure dementia.

    But good luck to the LW should you decide to guilt your man into a dancing monkey... It'll be just one step closer to the sackless, broken house cat you wanted all along.....

    Posted by DJMcG August 12, 09 12:50 PM
  1. #85- settle down there, Beavis!
    What on earth makes you so sure that he's been with this woman? Just bc you couldn't hold onto your man in your old neighborhood doesn't mean the same thing is happening here. Stop projecting your crap on others. And grow up.

    Posted by Get over it. August 12, 09 12:50 PM
  1. You have three options:

    1) Say something. But, it's your husband who should confront the woman. He needs to set the boundaries here, not you. He needs to be clear, firm, and - very likely - persistent.

    2) Stop socializing with them completely. Saves your husband the awkwardness of #1 -but you miss out on the social gatherings.

    3) Both of you get over it and learn to lighten up. Yep. That is an option.

    It used to be that flirting was a public and pleasant pasttime. Just because you flirt, does not mean anyone is going to stray. She is flirting openly and in public, so I am guessing for her it is merely a pleasant diversion - nothing more, nothing less. Unless she's made moves behind the scenes with your husband, why make it more sinister?

    Can your husband and you relax about this? Can you learn to have more confidence, security and trust in your marriage? Instead of viewing her as a potential threat to be feared, can you shift your perception to a more harmless one - and learn to laugh off how ridiculous and foolish this woman is behaving? By doing so, by sharing this as a joke between you (perhaps with private couple code-words you can use at parties), you will be reinforcing your bonds with your husband. She is harmless unless you make her differently.

    It is possible that your husband's discomfort is mostly based on the fact that he knows it makes you feel threatened. He does not want you to feel that way. If you could relax, he might be able to relax. But this takes trust and security on your part.

    Anecdote of the day: I recall growing up that there were a few big flirts in my parent's social group, and there was one woman in particular who loved to flirt outrageously with my dad. My mother was so confident in her marriage, it never bothered her. Yes, I've asked her about it. She said she enjoyed seeing my dad enjoy the attention (her attitude went a long way to allowing him to relax and not feel uncomfortable with it). And she said it made her feel like she was so lucky to be married to the prize. She knew he was fabulous - why wouldn't other woman recognize that too? On my dad's end, my mom's relaxed attitude and trust in him, just made him adore her all the more. My parents are happily - and faithfully - married over 50 years now.

    Posted by anecdotal evidence August 12, 09 12:51 PM
  1. You need to cool out. I thought the story was going to be equally as juicy as yesterday. She seems to be a friendly and outgoing lady; frankly, I think you're over reacting.

    Posted by Rus Brew August 12, 09 12:55 PM
  1. This has been going on for YEARS?

    HWM, grow some ovaries, do what Meredith told you to and speak to this woman in as kind a way as possible to soften the blow.


    On an entirely different note, hey! #1? RS? That's the first thing I thought of. They already hooked up somehow. Maybe Neighbor Skank did something for HWM's hubby that HWM won't do in the bedroom... They were both drunk and HWM was outta town... I know how nasty and negative that all sounds but it did occur to me...

    DO not take Neighbor Skank lightly HWM!

    Posted by Amazed August 12, 09 12:56 PM
  1. This seems like a good segue from yesterday's letter....another example of a woman in an otherwise healthy and fulfilling relationship getting bent out of shape about behavior (either past or present) that fundamentally doesn't affect the quality of the relationship.

    Is this neighbor's behavior over the top and eccentric? Sure....but I really don't see why you and your husband have allowed it to annoy you so much. She is who she is and it really doesn't make sense to stay away from these social gatherings where 99.9% of the crowd you DO enjoy being with. I could see if you were threatened that something might go on with the two of you, but you say this isn't your worry at all, and just don't like all the hoopla. The both of you should realize that while you can't control other people's words and actions, there are ways to control your own behavior to reach the goals you want, so if your goal is to mingle with others, then when she makes a big to-do about him and tries to whisk him away to somewhere "private", he should be big boy enough to say..."nice seeing you, looks like a great party you've put on again, but I've gotta to go talk to Joe over there" and then HE needs to move his big boy self away from her and to someone else. Based on the behavior you've described, she may be the type to follow him around, so maybe sometimes he can joke joke around that he needs some air and is feeling smothered, or he might just have to stand firm and be clear that he's in the midst of conversation with Neighbor X. He should be able to be both firm and polite.

    And while you're saying that you don't feel threatened, something about the way you said you want to say, "he's going home with ME" implies you feel a territorial reaction. Of course you're going home with him....everybody knows that. If you're secure with your relationship, then don't let her eccentricity cause you to alter your own behavior, so if you want to mingle with other neighbors at these get-togethers, then go and put her over-the-topness in the right perspective and when hubby doesn't feel like talking to her, he should know how to end the conversation or move. You can't let others control your own destiny and then blame them for something that you have the power to temper/control.

    Posted by bklynmom August 12, 09 01:00 PM
  1. You women are so juvenile. You're all saying 'he has no sack', 'grow a pair'... when it's clearly you two women who are at odds and have the biggest problem.

    Marriage is for suckers.

    Posted by WomenHatersClub August 12, 09 01:01 PM
  1. yup -- its gotta be the man. a woman will come off as "cazy AND jealous". We are talking about a man of 50+ (I'm guessing), he's a big boy, let him speak for himself. in a stern voice, so everyone can hear - "if i didn't know better, i'd think you were flirting with me & we know that's inappropriate b/c we're both married & our spouses are right here, kind of inappropriate, don't you think?"

    Option 2, find a new social circle - if this freak is the leader of the pack, find a new pack! i don't know how you can be enjoying yourself in her presence anyway.

    Posted by polly August 12, 09 01:05 PM
  1. The husband is doing the right thing - STAY AWAY! This neighbor is up to no good and WILL break the marriage up if it continues. The wife needs to break away from this "friend" and take her husbands side and, instead of hanging with the neighbors, go out with the husband or stay home and "take care of him."

    Posted by Get out while you can August 12, 09 01:06 PM
  1. The neighbor's name doesn't happen to be Eddi Brit from D.H. by any chance? Seriously though, I think the husband's enjoying every minute of this little drama.

    Posted by DavidDavidDavid August 12, 09 01:07 PM
  1. Invite her into bed with you.

    Posted by Rico August 12, 09 01:08 PM
  1. "Muffintop O'Reilly"

    hahahahahhahahahah, Sally, I'm telling you, you are going to get me fired becuase there is nothing I SHOULD be doing that is funny.

    Posted by LoveRico August 12, 09 01:10 PM
  1. Am I the only one who cannot figure out why this is a big deal? Harmless, albeit annoying, flirtation? And your biggest issue is you don't want to lose the connection to the neighborhood? Very simple - any time you're at a party together where "simpatico" and her shadow of a spouse are, don't leave your husband's side. Period.
    It must be nice to have all this time creating fictional stories about neighbors and their spouses. Seriously, try living in the 'hood, dealing with crooks, free-loaders and non-existent parking spaces every day and call me when you have a real problem.

    Posted by big dummy August 12, 09 01:10 PM
  1. I posted a comment this morning, but it didn’t show up, so here goes:

    Here’s what the LW wants to hear:
    OFN is out of line LW’s husband needs to speak up and stop the unwelcome attention. If LW tries to speak up, then it will encourage OFN to keep it up and perhaps go further with the act.

    Here’s the truth:
    LW’s husband loved the attention (“At first, my husband thought it was kind of funny”). Then he and OFN had at least one rendezvous. Now he either feels guilty and awkward about it (“now her behavior bugs him more and more, too. And now he comes to neighborhood gatherings less and less”) or he shows up at gatherings less because he’s still having private gatherings with OFN or he feels like he has to show up or be outed which makes OFN enjoy it even more and tighten the screws more (“choosing only to make an appearance now and then -- which only makes him more of a treasure to her when he decides to show.”).

    Here’s my unwarranted commentary:
    How old is LW? 13? How old is LW’s husband? 11? Do either of you have vertebrae? Do either of you have the ability to speak up for yourself? It’s beyond absurd that you have let this go on for “many years”. LW feels minimized because she’s been made irrelevant in front of friends and neighbors for so long that she’s now nothing more than a long, running joke. Neighbor thought bubbles: “Oh gee, look at Madeline fawn all over Tom while Edith just stands there giving her daggers. Yawn. Good thing Tom has that newspaper in his lap to hide his excitement. If Edith only knew what was going on while she’s off running errands…” LW’s husband has no respect for his wife and his marriage for continuing to let this go on without saying something. Get him to fess up to the true nature of the relationship or insist that he have his raisin sized gonads drop down from their current retracted position and discuss boundaries with OFN. It's pathetic that you put this much stock in your social interaction with neighbors that you are afraid to say anything to OFN and that you say you actually "like" her. Comical. Doormat much?

    There are two outcomes here: One will have you contacting a lawyer and the other will have you contacting a moving company because either your marriage is over or your status in your oh so precious suburban social scene / neighborhood is blown up.

    I apologize for the bluntness of this, but it is all I can do to keep from reaching through cyberspace and slapping LW and then LW’s husband.

    - Hoss

    Posted by Hoss August 12, 09 01:11 PM
  1. Bored suburban married couples.


    Posted by Shecky28 August 12, 09 01:12 PM
  1. You could casually mention to this woman how embarrassing it is to pick up your husband's Valtrex prescription.

    Rico = clown. She's selfish? Suburban neighborhood politics can be a real pill and clearly something you don't know a whole lot about. There's something to be said for keeping the peace with those who live around you, especially if one or more of them aren't all that stable.

    But it sounds like the problem for this LW has reached critical mass. Let your husband handle it.

    Posted by Joe August 12, 09 01:14 PM
  1. I say CATFIGHT!

    Posted by Bustoff August 12, 09 01:16 PM
  1. First, I would make sure that there hasn't been anything between them once before and she's going Glenn Close on him. If thats not the case and your husband is faithful (which there are some guys out there like that)...and he really wants this broad off his back then have him talk with her. I feel like if it was me doing the talking then I might say something wrong or come off really jealous. I have a feeling she will take it more to heart if he says something rather than you saying it. If you say something, she will most likely fake it out and say she didn't mean anything by it and stop. Or, she will completely ignore anything you have to say. Just make sure you think she is really putting a pass on him and you guys don't look like fools making this acqusation

    Posted by xooheavenly August 12, 09 01:19 PM
  1. He's With Me, here's what you do:

    host a "key" party at your place. Make sure the kiddies are out. Rig it so she gets your husband's keys. Let them have at it. 10 to 1 she never looks at him again!

    Posted by Lance Romance August 12, 09 01:19 PM
  1. tnx Sally excellent visual on the m-top and f:b - i'm revising my earlier comment re tossing this over to the hband to resolve -- and hopping on Rico's bicycle - say nothing find new friends.

    Posted by Maryro August 12, 09 01:23 PM
  1. Wait, this is 2009. Go on facebook and post libel about her. Spread that she has "The Hep" (do kids even call it that anymore?). Put out that word that UPS drivers are welcome to slip deliveries under her door at any time. Or decry her as a liberal elitist in cahoots with the media to ruin your family.

    But I don't recommend you do these things, for they are bad, mean and malicious.

    Posted by Sarah Pallin August 12, 09 01:24 PM
  1. Please, PLEASE don't dare say a thing to this woman - nor should your husband. It will be just the kind of attention and ego trip she is seeking!

    With calm confidence and humor, you can kindly ridicule her into dialing it down. Of course, you must look like a million bucks every time you socialize at her house. Just being real, here. Upon arrival, you might say, "Well, folks, I can now turn my wonderful husband over to (Neighbor Lady, whatever her name is) and relax with a drink - we all know that she's got such an adorable crush on him - and why not? (Give him an adorable peck on the cheek at this point, followed by a good-natured laugh, which others will join in with). I would continue to poke fun at her during her parties, too, along the lines of, "Can I break up this little tete a tete for just a moment? Honey, Roger is here and wanted to explain how they re-did their patio themselves!" You get my drift. Have fun with it!

    But - warning - there must never be any bitterness or seriousness to your voice! All of this must be delivered with a light and knowing dose of good humor, along with good-natured laughter and a wink. As for your husband, if he's that uncomfortable - and he may not be, because who doesn't like to be flattered once in a while? - he can act like a big boy and simply say things like, "Well, (Neighbor Lady), it's about time I caught up with the boys to talk baseball." Or, " I'd better check up on my wife - she's probably up to some harmless flirting and I love to pretend to catch her in the act!"

    Relax - you've got the guy, and have for a very long time - this flaky flirter only stands to make a fool of herself!

    Posted by Jetta August 12, 09 01:25 PM
  1. I dunno... my husband is a hot dude and when women flirt with him, I kind if take it as a compliment. I trust him and he is also usually oblivious to said flirting, so maybe that is a different story than the LW situation. Sounds like Simpatico is just an annoying person in which case I'd try to avoid her socially, do stuff w/o her, even if she is some sort of social ringleader. Why is this problem in love letters? Sounds like a case for Miss Manners.

    Posted by lilmonkeybean August 12, 09 01:28 PM
  1. I think the guy loves the attention and when he's had enough he goes home. Guys are pretty simple.

    Posted by megan August 12, 09 01:30 PM
  1. If she gets the message from both adults that her behavior is annoying and insulting to both their marriages she'd get it. And, I'd definitely suggest including the woman's husband in that confab. He needs to have a chance to go on record about how he feels about it all. Surely, once they both are confronted with the social awkwardness and what it's doing to some in the group, they'll stop and consider it and change their behavior (her cloying, maneating, and his ignoring it all). If they don't change, then I wouldn't recommend spending loads of free time with them .... especially not in my 50's... life's too short to be short-changed.

    Posted by Hedder bug August 12, 09 01:31 PM
  1. For once, I have a perfect read on this, largely because I'm younger (24), and see this behavior all the time amongst my un-married friends. Your husband hasn't said a thing, because he can't. Why, you ask? BECAUSE HE HAS SLEPT WITH HER! And, if he says anything, then your flirty neighbor will rat him out, and he loses half of his stuff in a messy divorce. Neighbor doesn't care, because she's in a hollow relationship (evidenced by the fact that her husband idly stands by while this whole flirt job happens), and would probably end up with your husband after the divorce anyways. This is not rocket science. Your husband is probably annoyed by these antics, but he really has noplace to go, having already consumated the biggest breach of trust in a marriage - cheating.

    Not to be a prick, but hae a nice divorce.

    Posted by Dizzle August 12, 09 01:33 PM
  1. If the words 30 yrs of marriage weren't there I'd have thought this described someone in my neighborhood. My 2 cents....sounds like the peaks and drop offs are reflective of the amount of alchohol consumed by this person. We have a woman in our neighborhood....same deal. The organizer....great looking, boob job, all the men go gaga over her. She gets drunk and then flaunts it to the point of dancing on picnic tables etc... Reputation for years has been this behavior. Husband is a great guy, quiet, sits back with this grin as if not trying to be embarassed and just accepts it. People get numb it ....sort of like Manny being Manny. If your wife acted like that she'd be the talk of the town ..... know what I mean? We're west of 495 and the Pike runs through our town .....you figure it out. That's off point though.

    Getting back to the issue.....Personally I'd talk to husband (if I had a good relationship with him) and say I felt uncomfortable. Dealing directly with the woman might create an issue or something that isn't really there. Likely though, unless he's your best friend, you probably don't have that kind of relationship with him to do that (talk to him). I'd just go to fewer and fewer parties. By the way .....30 years must apply to all of you. You guys aren't spring chickens.....getting a little long in the tooth to be hanging out at the neighborhood shin digs aren't you? That stuff is perputated by the 30 somethings that get in your face the day you move in. I experienced it. If you didn't kiss their a$$ they'd exclude you. As the years go by, my wife and I go to these things less and less, but I've never been one to overdo these things to begin with. You can only take so much of these neighborhood things with holidays and graduations etc. where you do feel obligated. As for that women ....something is missing in her life for her to act that way. Going forward and to repeat, when there is a party go out to dinner. It's got to be better than the insane behavior of repeating the same misery of Hubby going home after an hour and you sitting there by yourself the rest of the night.

    Only other explanation is he banged her 25 years ago and is holding it over his head.

    Posted by schwank August 12, 09 01:33 PM
  1. OMG-Do I actually agree with Rico today?! Framingham Housewife, why in heaven's name are you trawling your neighborhood for friends? Especially in Framingham of all places-ugh! What do you have in common with these people, other than a street address? Don't you have any hobbies or interests? Old friends from college? Work? I would cut out the neighborhood parties ASAP. BTW-the woman sounds bipolar (or has a drinking/drug problem). Her own husband is probably happy to get the heck away from her for an hour or two. Shame on you for dragging hubby to these awful get-togethers. Albeit, this does not excuse him from putting his foot down with Lolita. There are ways to cut people off without starting a conflict, hubby needs to learn them.

    Posted by CityChick August 12, 09 01:42 PM
  1. I agree with comment # 3. Your husband needs some conojes. If he doesn't to do it for himself, he needs to do it out of respect for you. If a man were hitting on you aggressively, it would be respectful to your husband to do the right thing and tell the third party to back off.

    If he sets boundaries and she is still "Ali Larter-a la-Obsessed," you need to stop all contact with her and get together in small groups with your other neighbors.

    Posted by anonymous August 12, 09 01:42 PM
  1. I think people are being too sympathetic with the LW.

    Since this is really a high-school letter, let's put it on those terms: the simpatico woman is cool. If she hosts a party, everybody, including the LW would like to go. If the LW hosts a party, well, maybe the hubby would show up.

    LW: don't be jealous, you are just not cool enough, be thankful they are still inviting you to the parties.

    As far as your husband, I bet he likes the attention from the cool chick. Sure, he says it bothers him, but he's just lying to you. Besides, this woman gives him the perfect exit strategy--he now has the perfect excuse to leave from those super-boring suburbian parties which men despise.

    To summarize: 1) she's cool, you are not; 2) she might or not want your husband; 3) you are jealous of the attention she gets; 4) if she wants to sleep with your husband (and he wants the same) it would happen no matter what you do; and 5) your husband really hates those parties and she gives him the perfect excuse to leave early.

    Advice: do nothing. You have nothing to gain and much to lose (you are a wannabe socialite). And give your husband a break, he rather stays home than going to those parties.

    Posted by ms August 12, 09 01:51 PM
  1. The neighbor sounds very insecure and immature - and weird. But I feel like since it's been going on for years, it's too late now to say anything.. especially if you say it's not bad all the time. No one wants to spend all their time at a gathering feeling uncomfortable. I mean, why put yourself through that? But if she gets in her moods only part of the time, you should try to laugh it off. Difficult, I know. But your husband should have some methods of escape any time she's in her "mood". I would stay at the parties - BOTH of you - and prove to her that her ridiculous behavior doesn't bother you. If you enjoy being with the group, you shouldn't let ONE person ruin it for you. Be the bigger couple and show how much of a secure, happy marriage you have. Whatever problems the other two have are up to them to solve. She's already made a fool of herself as it is, so don't give up something you enjoy over some insecure, occasional "friend." Life's too short. Focus on the positive aspect of the gatherings. You guys have stuck through it for this long...

    Posted by SomePeopleStink August 12, 09 01:55 PM
  1. Yeah, you can bet they've already gotten' it on. There is simply no guy who can resist another (attractive) woman's advances. Of course he's not going to act up in front of you, he's too smart. She's gotten under your skin and he's gotten in her panties.

    Posted by moe August 12, 09 01:57 PM
  1. I hate when people just make immature comments and don't actually try to HELP. This person clearly has a problem, don't say anything unless you truly have his or her best interest in mind!

    In my opinion, I believe that this is a discussion that should be held between your husband and this eager beaver neighbor. If you say something yourself, for all you know she could become angry and turn up the heat.

    I know that the attention may be flattering to your hubby, but why hasn't he told this woman to hit the brakes? This concerns me. I would talk to your husband about this, and if he is so truly "uncomfortable", he should have the gusto out of respect for you and your marriage, no matter how flattering the excess googly eyes and cooing may be, to tell this woman to cut the shenanigans. Plain and simple. Good luck!!

    Posted by TTH August 12, 09 01:57 PM
  1. TOMMY -
    Wow, I think that was the best answer I have read on these blogs in a while. Great job! I completely agree, they BOTH need to be there and confront her together, this way she won't run to the husband and pull the whole "your wife yelled at me" bit or something along those lines.

    Posted by Cynical2447 August 12, 09 01:59 PM
  1. TallGirl is right. The LW's husband should go to the neighbor's husband and tell her to back off it really is that simple...

    Posted by techdood August 12, 09 01:59 PM
  1. I would send this Letter to her, complete with the comments. Good luck.

    Posted by JRC August 12, 09 02:01 PM
  1. Time for everyone in this situation to get their clothes off!

    Posted by Bostonspaz August 12, 09 02:02 PM
  1. Don't buy one word of this letter. I happen to live in a community that has many of these neighborhood get togethers. I am the "problem neighbor" because I happen to be considerably younger (and firmer) than the majority of my neighbors. My attendance drives the old ladies nuts. My husband and I always have a good laugh over it. If the LW is really that concerned she ought to stay home. The only reason her husband doesn't enjoy these things is because he's tired of hearing her rants when they return from these activities.

    Posted by Forty and Fab August 12, 09 02:03 PM
  1. I want to say -- NOT ALL MEN ARE PIGS!!! Stop male bashing here all the time. Is always the man's fault? Look in the mirror sisters before you spew!!! Now...
    Do you live in Wysteria Lane? Is her name Edie? I think I saw that episode again the other day .. wenighbor woman tries to get other woman's husband. Get creative. Yes the hubby needs to say something to her and is not necesarilly in private. Next party, she goes for it, he starts feeling "bad', then he should tell her right there and then, " STOP! This feels like you are hitting on me and I am not comfortable with this. STOP it all together". Let others hear it.. is the only way she will stop and/or you wont get invited again. Either way - she will have stopped!

    Posted by Boricua August 12, 09 02:04 PM
  1. I don't see what the big deal is. You have a tacky neighbor. Your husband may or may not find her behaviour as annoying as you do. Neighbors can be nightmares. This one sounds pretty mild. If you do not want to upset your social circle, get over it.

    Posted by Trombley August 12, 09 02:05 PM
  1. Your comment "It’s been many years of this and her behavior peaks and drops off "
    makes me wonder if your neighbor has bipolar disorder. Some people with this disorder do not recognize or respect sexual boundaries. Some are sexually promiscuous. They also tend to have big personalites - are grandiose, brag a little more than most people.

    I would be very straight froward with her. Her behavior is disrespectful to you and to all women and it shows a lack of self-respect.

    Posted by Tricia August 12, 09 02:06 PM
  1. Not sure if this has been suggested yet but - If the group of neighbors is as close as described, why not enlist the help of a third party?

    Find a close neighbor-friend and ask if they see the same behavior in this lively hostess. If it's obvious to someone outside of "the triangle", perhaps this person could lend some support and help broach the subject with this woman.

    Indeed, it is somewhat high-schoolish in nature... but the truth is, most people never mature far beyond that level when it comes to relationships, anyhow. This is painfully obvious from a lot of the letters that appear in this space.

    Posted by Edzo August 12, 09 02:09 PM
  1. Today's letter and Sally's comments *LOL* have convinced me that it's time for me to F-off out of the suburbs: high school with big salaries and real estate........Zzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Posted by MidLifeWife August 12, 09 02:11 PM
  1. Your husband needs to tell her that her over the top attention towards him is well...over the top. She is a great neighbor and that is all she is ever going to be. He's not attending parties because he is turned off by her behavior, not because he is afraid he can't resist her. "I really don't like the personal attention you are giving me.

    And you can't be around when he does it. She needs to know it is from him and not from you through him. And it can't be at one of the parties because she may get nasty and her ego may make it so he can't be at future parties. Where then...?

    Good luck

    Posted by A Guy August 12, 09 02:15 PM
  1. P.S. Just to add my voice, yes they have already slept together IMO. Neighbor keeps hitting on him because she wants more, and knowing he won't push back or she could spill the beans.

    Posted by Alvin August 12, 09 02:16 PM
  1. I have a similar problem, though not to the same degree. There is one particular woman in our group of friends who will grab our male friends' butts or shove their faces in to her massive chest, including my husband. I know she's just doing it to be funny and I think she thinks it's ok because she thinks she's just being "one of the guys" or something (a guy with a massive chest I guess?). I find it pretty disrespectful and don't understand why she would think it's ok to do that, especially in front of me, but I don't make a big deal out of it because it would cause unnecessary drama within the group. I'm not threatened by her, I know my husband is not attracted to her (she outweighs him by at least 150 pounds and is at least 5 inches shorterthan him)and we only see her every once in a while so we choose to ignore it.

    Now for the LW problem. I guess it's a little different from my situation because it sounds like you see this woman pretty frequently. If it really bothers your husband, then I think he needs to be the one to tell this woman that her actions make him feel uncomfortable. I wouldn't speak on behalf of your husband saying "he's too shy" to say himself because 1. he's a big boy and should resolve his own issues and 2. it will make it look like you are jealous and using your husband's "shyness" as an excuse to say "stay away from my man b**ch!". Separately I think you should also tell her that you are uncomfortable with her behavior and find it a little over bearing and disrespectful. You don't want to feel that way, but you can't help how you feel.

    Posted by rebs August 12, 09 02:21 PM
  1. Forty and Fab:
    Wow, someone needs to take you down a few notches! Conceited much?

    Posted by Cynical2447 August 12, 09 02:34 PM
  1. WTF??? What is with all the bad advice? What is with assuming the husband has banged her?

    These people have to live near and see each other all the time!!

    Big personality people don't embarass easily. Calling her out might trigger she deflecting the blame to your husband or her trying to embarass the wife and husband in retaliation! I have been through this. The woman will find another target in time. Let it go. It is all about fantasy and attention.

    Finally, all you people assume that the husband is guilty. How about that he isn't one of those people that like attention showered on him? Maybe he is embarrassed and that is why he stays away? Most men don't like trouble and usually, women, including his wife, will blame him for this. He knows and is staying away.

    Sounds like a good guy. She sounds like an attention hound. Either address it with HER husband or let it run it's course.

    Posted by big h August 12, 09 02:37 PM
  1. wow, we have such an abundance of mental health professionals reading LL! i'm sure the LW really appreciates the dozens of professional diagnoses of bipolar disorder and substance abuse disorders for her neighbor (that's right, people sitting at their computer selling stuff out of their garage on ebay have taken the time to thoughtfully diagnose the neighbor of a woman writing into an advice column). keep up that weekly therapy and tune into celebrity rehab...you too can have your honorary doctorate in psychology in no time!

    Posted by boredinboston August 12, 09 02:38 PM
  1. Forty and Fab
    You're so vain....you probably think this post is about you.

    Posted by Laughing at You August 12, 09 02:38 PM
  1. I like cheeseburger #25 advice..."have fun with it" There must be enough dislike by now to want a little revenge. Don't let it slip through your fingers! Tell this B!?@H how your husband is great in bed and loves EVERYTHING. Then let her continue to be frustrated by him. Now you'll be able to have a nice laugh over it, watching her make a fool of herself. In fact if you carry it on correctly she'll figure out that she's been suckered and will stay clear of both of you.

    Posted by Big Granny August 12, 09 02:42 PM
  1. A hot husband is like a hot cake, you got to share with your neighbors.

    Seriously, are you sure this is not some harmless flirtation? She has a husband, too. If this is something serious, one would think her husband will notice too.

    Posted by hotCake August 12, 09 02:43 PM
  1. Response to #129 Forty and Fab....Don't flatter yourself. Every neighborhood has got one or two and we're all not waiting for you to show up. Especially if you then flaunt it. Maybe you aren't like the others described here and don't flaunt it. Then don't kid yourself that we're all waiting for you to show up. Sounds like you have the problem...Mrs. Problem Neighbor. Go do your jello shots.

    Posted by Schwank August 12, 09 02:44 PM
  1. Dizzle, #117, hit the nail on the head.

    The only person communicating the husband's discomfort to the woman should be the husband. Not the wife.

    But very likely his leaving parties and gatherings, and not mentioning his discomfort to her, is due to his realization that if he said something the randy neighbor would reveal the affair.

    This amorous woman's behavior is her way of punishing him for not boffing her more often.

    Posted by Sigh August 12, 09 02:45 PM
  1. Dizzle has this one pegged and I give him credit for his brevity as well.

    As far as the rest of you, please disperse. There is nothing more to see here.

    Footnote: I live in one of these suburban communtities with MANY of these type of gatherings and believe me, IF this did happen, an objective / not involved neighbor would have put a stop to this type of behavior long ago by means of ridiculing or at the very least, busting chops relentlessly. Are you all sheep to this lady's lead? So afraid to say something that you all sit idly by and squirm as she behaves this way? Ugh.

    Posted by Hoss August 12, 09 02:49 PM
  1. This smacks of harassment. She has got to stop this. Unfortunately, your husband has to tell her that she's making him uncomfortable. You can reinforce it at a later date (even be nice about it the way Mer suggested, if you must, though I don't think I could be).

    Her being the queen bee of the suburban social circle makes it rough, I grant you--I've been in a similar situation (unwanted, over-the-top attention from the popular married man in a group of friends. Trust me, it wasn't flattering to be cornered and hassled like that). It's never comfortable to feel like you're going to be ostracized. But if your husband and you don't stop this now, it will only get worse.

    Posted by PM August 12, 09 02:53 PM
  1. Wow, that sounds uncomfortable in all parts...

    I would talk with your husband about this first. Not about whether she makes him uncomfortable, but if he's willing to take the next step. If he's up for it, then go ahead and talk to her. If nothing changes, then you *both* need to talk to her. You need to present a united front, or she may think you're just jealous and ignore it.

    Posted by Eeeeka August 12, 09 02:53 PM
  1. @big h:

    "What is with all the bad advice?"

    You must be new here ....

    Posted by K August 12, 09 02:56 PM
  1. Cynical2447,

    Thank you for the comment. You know, I just post comments here for the attention and to pick up chicks. I'm male and we are pretty simple that way...at least according to many of the extremely wise posters here ;)

    Posted by Tommy August 12, 09 03:00 PM
  1. "women flirt with my guy, but he is oblivious..."

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Do you have any idea how many times this ridiculous phrase has been uttered on this board. Are you really THIS dense???

    Yes, because a man doesn't VISIBLY REACT, he is "oblivious" to the flirtation... Wow, it's hysterical how those who think they "have it figured out" really know absolutely NOTHING about men. Not even the slightest clue... you're about as sly as an anvil (and as perceptive as one to boot!)

    Yeah, he doesn't see it at all. No poker face involved, no playing it off, playing it cool, reeling it in... Nope. He's just oblivious to flirting and doesn't "get it". He, he, he... and you wonder why it's so easy.....

    Posted by DJMcG August 12, 09 03:01 PM
  1. citychick, #119: No need to insult Framingham. Maybe you could get off the internet and out a bit more, learning about different types of people.

    Posted by Mel August 12, 09 03:02 PM
  1. Why so much talk about confrontation? What happened to good 'ol fashioned passive aggressive behavior? Here's my suggestion: you attend the next gathering together and when this minx has your hubby off in a dark corner, you saunter on over, put your arm around your husband, plant a kiss on his cheek and say "why suzy, are flirting with my husband again? hahahahahaha" and pull him away. Hopefully she'll get the message.

    Posted by Jules August 12, 09 03:03 PM
  1. At these neighborhood get-togethers, is everyone drinking heavily or is it just grilled cheese sandwiches? ; )
    (sorry - I couldn't resist!)

    Hope Rico feels better soon.

    Posted by Trueblue22 August 12, 09 03:06 PM
  1. Your husband has to handle this. You doing so looks like sour grapes and only gives her more fuel to keep going.

    If this bothers your husband then he should handle it. The fact that it bothers you also should make him do something about it as well.

    He may get an ego boost from this. If you wish it to stop tell you husband the next party to simply quietly and firmly tell he doesn't feel comfortable with the attention and to stop. If he won'tdo it then you need to ask yourself and him why. Because that us a whole other letter.

    If he won't then the question is why.

    Posted by Anonymous August 12, 09 03:10 PM
  1. This happened with our neighborhood friends at one time. We were at a pool party and mrsboobs was coming on to my hubby so after a couple of glasses of wine I walked over to her and poured the wine down her "cleavage" and told her to cool off....needlesstosay she did!

    Posted by Liz August 12, 09 03:14 PM
  1. What's with these letters about women that have an insecure jealousy these days?

    It probably doesn't bother him so much as it bothers you. It probably annoys him that he can't be himself and talk to his neighborhood female friend without having to worry about your jealousy. Why would he feel uncomfortable because she wants to talk to him and thinks they get along. Maybe they do get along very well as friends!

    If it makes YOU uncomfortable, then tell your husband and tell her. Just be an adult and confront the people about your feelings.

    Posted by YouAreAllMySons August 12, 09 03:23 PM
  1. #155 - I disagree totally that her husband needs to handle it if it bothers her. They are her feelings and there is something within her that is causing her to feel really uncomfortable. She is responsible for her feelings and can work on her feelings and tell her husband how she feels, but he needs to do nothing unless he wants to.

    Posted by sanity123 August 12, 09 03:23 PM
  1. #153 - Jules

    Best advice of the day. Effective but wihtout causing a big scene.

    Posted by Truman August 12, 09 03:29 PM
  1. Yep yep, I agree. If he didn't want the attention, he would have handled it. Men are not afraid to tell women to F off. Even a polite guy would say "sorry, I am happily married, please stop."

    He isn't telling her. So the question is: Why?

    No one wants to believe their SO is or has cheated. But ask why he didn't nip this in the bud the FIRST time she hit on him.

    Posted by summa! baby bumma! August 12, 09 03:32 PM
  1. i sense a menage coming up for you, lucky gal!!!

    Posted by Lance Romance August 12, 09 03:32 PM
  1. Wow, this is entertainment at its best!....and why can't some hot, oversexed hussy hit on me at a neighborhood party? I'd tell my wife to let me handle it.

    I would call the strumpet's bluff and let her know in no uncertain terms I'm ready for the throw-down, any time, any place, including right then in a spare broom closet or something. Then if she said "yes" I'd tell her to learn to take a joke and back the F off....that I'm married and don't do that crap. That would end the flirting right there and then.

    If she said "No" then she's immediately on the defensive and the flirting would stop. Either way, problem solved.

    Posted by Bill August 12, 09 03:32 PM
  1. I only read as far as the following:

    "At first, my husband thought it was kind of funny; now her behavior bugs him more and more, too. And now he comes to neighborhood gatherings less and less"

    That's all I needed to see. The issue is you (LW). Your husband doesn't go because while he's there, he's under a microscope, and after he leaves, he has to listen to you squawk about it for hours on end. Leave the guy alone.

    Nice try at painting the neighborhood queen bee as the problem. Yes, I'm sure she's been flirting and acting inappropriately towards your husband RIGHT IN FRONT of her husband, her friends, her neighbors, you, etc. for many years and has gotten away with it. No one's said anything. Yup. Sure....

    LW has issues that cause her to think she "sees" this behavior and has issues that prevent her from doing anything about it other than browbeating her husband. He won't say anything to queen bee because it's not happening! Instead, he makes his life easier by not attending these things or leaving early. Dude probably just sits in the garage with a sixer and the peace of mind that comes with being away from LW for an hour or two.

    Posted by Annoyed August 12, 09 03:43 PM
  1. Here it is, just what you are all waiting with held breath for...Rico's added comment of the day:

    After reading the responses and thinking further about the situation Rico still thinks you need to grow up and out of the current circle of friends. No offense but we live in a big world that has a lot more interesting things to see and do than a neighborhood party in Framingham or Swelleseley or wherever any of you people live. Rico has outgrown friendships as does everyone. Rico still keeps in touch with the guys from his hometown but he doesn't go out for long bike rides with them or hang out every weekend. It's OK to let go of the past and move on to new experiences. Just try it, you might like it!!!

    That being said Rico finds himself curious about the fact that this guy may have actually cheated with this woman. Rico likes to think that is not the case but it still should be explored either way. If he didn't cheat follow the original advice Rico gave, if he did cheat then dump him and your circle of friends and find a new better circle to play with. Rico is off since he still feels under the weather. Everyone enjoy and Rico thanks you for your support and well wishes...he also thanks those for their criticism, any publicity good or bad is still publicity.

    Thank you, Rico loves you all...

    Love always,


    Gears not Gas...take the 2 mile challenge :)

    Posted by Rico August 12, 09 03:44 PM
  1. Dear LW,
    Is it nice in your world? Your husband has slept with this woman and it very possibly was for an extended period. She is delighting in conveying that fact to you in an extremely unsubtle way. He is unable or unwilling to tell you and fears the consequences. Deal.
    A Bostonian

    Posted by Bostonian August 12, 09 03:59 PM
  1. So sorry to miss today’s Glenn Yoder production of "Chatting with Goldstein". I've been out with the future ex Mrs. Valentino at the court house obtaining copies of our respective divorce decrees so we can apply for a marriage license. You actually have to run the gauntlet between “mother stabbers and father rapers” to get to the civil court window. There are a lot of bad teeth in crime. Anyhow, we’re about 10 days out from eternal bliss. In the past I knew some of the guys (and a few of the gals) in the neighborhood wanted to have carnal knowledge with my fiancé because they get a glow (facial erection) in her presence. It’s tough to miss. Sometimes they’ll come over in their yard machines to see if they can mow her lawn or pick up her leaves. In a sheer act of marking one’s territory, I simply bought a bigger rider. LW, if you’re not playing the Ice Storm game (bobbing for keys in the bowl at the end of the night), you just haven’t been married long enough. Remember, the sharpness of the blade is just as important as the size of the deck.

    Tea for three, no two, Haiku

    My neighbor Millie
    Boldly humps my husbands leg
    Twin beds suck! “Ohhhh Rob!”

    Posted by valentino August 12, 09 04:00 PM
  1. I think it would only take a couple of parties where the couple kiss and hug each other , hold hands and when speaking to this creeep of a "friend" making sure they are in each others arms. This message is all she needs to know....IN HER FACE! End of story.

    Posted by jhall13 August 12, 09 04:00 PM
  1. Hubby needs to grow a pair and set a boundary. This woman is clueless and needs others to put a line around what she obviously cannot perceive. There's no need to be rude about it, just clear. He can easily say "Excuse me, I'm going to grab a drink and talk with X person for a bit."

    Either that or number 153.

    Actually, there's nothing wrong with saying in a good humored voice, "Jane, remember, he's coming home with *me* tonight!." I assure you everyone else notices her behavior too and will not think you are overreacting

    Posted by steve in W MA August 12, 09 04:03 PM
  1. This is so easy. Step 1: tell hubby to tell her to stop. No big scene, just next time she clings to him or pulls him aside or touches him, he needs to say calmly and quietly "stop touching me, (whispering to me, flirting with me...) or I am going home." And if she crosses the line again, go home. Both of you. No scene, just, "come on honey, let's go." It's ridiculous that you stay at a party that your husband has fled from. If you are a team, stay a team.

    Step 2: pretend nothing happened. don't gossip about it. If asked, say "hubby was uncomfortable by how she was behaving." No need to get into the duration of this. You do not need the validation of the others in the group. You are ateam.

    Lastly, if hubby will not do this, then he likely has slept with her and it's as the others suggest. She has him by the balls.

    Posted by all August 12, 09 04:03 PM
  1. What am I missing here? You've been married for 30 years so you are over 50 years old...and you have this silly little high school clique of friends, one of whom has been openly ogling and swooning over your husband for "many years"...and you are just now asking what to do about it? Surely the other couples have noticed her behavior and overtures? GROW UP; God, make some new friends and get out of that vicious circle...it can't be worth it if it's making you this uncomfortable. On the other hand, why has it taken you so long to think about addressing the situation?

    Posted by urkiddinme August 12, 09 04:06 PM
  1. I'm giving the LW the benefit of the doubt that she's already tried all of the passive aggressive tactics she can think of. With the exception of Jetta's (#113) advice, most of it sounds like it was her first line of defense.

    Your husband should deliver the advice. Here's why:
    1. It sounds like your aim is to not ruffle feathers. She believes she has some special bond with your hub. Therefore, if he is the one to give her a kind "sorry, they just don't understand our bond, we need to lay off" line, she'll take it with a wink and it will only make her feel even more special. Meanwhile, she will play along....and your marriage will get the space it needs.
    2. If you deliver the advice, she'll never believe you. Fur will fly. Not what you want, if you consider these folks friends. (And, for better or worse, it seems you do.)
    3. He's a big boy. This relates to him. His turn.

    I don't blame you for anything - and I don't necessarily believe your husband has slept with her. (Sometimes the commenters on this board turn into a virtual-angry-mob...and right now, their torches are lit and they're coming to your neighborhood to burn down your friendship, neighborhood, and possibly even marriage.) Keep your head about you, stay logical, and kill her with kindness. I believe you can outmaneuver this wannabe vixen.

    Posted by Fievel August 12, 09 04:09 PM
  1. I think there's grilled cheese sandwiches getting made in the neighbor's house and I bet queen bee has been getting her dessert too....

    Posted by everyone loves grilled cheese August 12, 09 04:12 PM
  1. #152 "Mel": sorry to burst our bubble there chief, but everyone in the Greater MW Corridor area knows that Framingham is the "Armpit of Metrowest". It's only three claims to fame are: a sub-par college, easy to obtain fake documents industry for illegal aliens (especially Brazilians), and the largest SMOC outpost in the State. Sure, there's a lot to be proud of there!

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 August 12, 09 04:14 PM
  1. Short and sweet: Not entirely sure he's slept with her but absolutely without a doubt sure that he's LOVING the attention from "said neighbor" and hasn't told her to stop because he doesn't WANT it to stop.
    Who hasn't enjoyed a little flirting every once and a while - if he's not cheating there's nothing wrong it. If he knows it's bothering you...then he should man up and tell her himself and stick up for his wife!
    (but he's loving it, for sure!)

    Posted by snarfsnarfsnarf August 12, 09 04:16 PM
  1. What's with the suburb-bashing on LL today? Stories like LW's happen in the city, too. If she had left out the word "suburban", you never would have known.

    And where do some of you get the idea that people in the suburbs are more overweight, tacky, and immature than the people who live in Boston? Have you looked around? (Or in the mirror?)

    Cut it out. Stick to giving advice. Thank you.

    Posted by TallGirl August 12, 09 04:19 PM
  1. Wow, poster number 2, looks like you're a little bitter about something!

    Posted by YouAreAllMySons August 12, 09 04:25 PM
  1. HWM...
    YOU sound bipolar! You "actually like her" while at the same time, her behavior towards your husband is "sickening". What's up with that? I think your problem is really with your husband. I am not suggesting (like these other IDIOTS have) that he cheated on you....but you are upset that he didn't put her in her place years ago when this all started. He needs to man up and take care of this situation. And you need to act your age and cut the drama.

    Posted by Shorty August 12, 09 04:25 PM
  1. More HWM haiku...

    Boobs on to provoke
    oh to catch the hubby's eye?
    No, to raise your ire

    Posted by Bill August 12, 09 04:34 PM
  1. Something just tells me that he and her might have some connection and get along well as friends, but they can't have a true friendship because he has a nagging and overprotective wife.

    Maybe they do talk about things that he doesn't talk about with you, because you're a nagger? Maybe they have a similar interest that you do not share? Maybe she does not have as big of a FUPA as you do.

    Get over yourself, lady.

    Posted by YouAreAllMySons August 12, 09 04:35 PM
  1. divorce him.

    Posted by jane August 12, 09 05:10 PM
  1. If you've been married for 30 years, that means that everyone involved is too elderly for this to have any meaning anyway.

    If you're all in your 50's and these two end up having an affair of some kind, who gives a damn, really?

    Not to be flippant about it, but all of this flirting is almost certainly harmless playacting anyway. Some elderly people like to pretend that they aren't completely used up, so they act like their parties are some big swinger's events. They aren't. Blow it off as a big game.

    Posted by Brian S August 12, 09 05:11 PM
  1. I think many women have been in your shoes, and it can be annoying, but I must disagree with Meredith's advice, even though she is voicing what we would all like to do in a situation like this.
    I think that there is a possibility that you are blowing this situation out of proportion a bit, because you may be feeling some jealousy, which is quite alright. However, talking to this woman will only further stroke her ego and will likely result in her flirting with your husband more, not less, and she may speak badly about you to other women. Being considered jealous and insecure is very embarrassing, and you should avoid the label she will most certainly give you if you confront her about this issue.
    I agree with Rico that if your husband gets up to leave a party, you should also leave with him, in a show of solidarity. I disagree with the posters who say the following, and think you should ignore their advice: have a threesome; he's cheating; get a divorce; move; confront the neighbor; or any other "tricks" that people on here suggest.
    I agree with other posters on here that your husband might not mind the attention that much; if he did, he would have (or should have) said something by now. He probably doesn't think much about it at all, except when you bring it up. And I agree also with the poster who suggested that he may just find the parties boring and wants to go home to watch the game.
    I think the best thing to do would be to meet and make other friends, and start attending these gatherings less often. If you end up watching your husband and this woman talk throughout the whole party anyway, then it doesn't sound very fun or relaxing anyway, so why bother going in the first place? If she pulls him to a corner and starts talking his ear off, then maybe after fifteen mintues you can go over to where they are talking and either join the conversation or politely say, "Excuse me, could you give us a moment?".
    Point of reference -- My boyfriend is almost always cornered by a married woman who is a fan of his band and often goes (with her husband) to see his band play local venues in Boston. It's annoying, but getting jealous would only make me look bad, and stroke this woman's ego. I mentioned it to my boyfriend, who thinks it is harmless, and who finds her unattractive anyway. It's sad to see her husband standing all alone watching her talk to my boyfriend, which is very wimpy, but I think he's just used to being married to a gregarious woman. If I feel jealous, I have no problem walking up to them with a smile and joining the conversation and it works out well. If I want to get rid of her, I might say something like, "Hey honey, want to get a drink at the bar?" and he always says 'Sure!" and thanks me for bailing him out. There are many options besides confronting her, and I really do think it's you who is annoyed, not her.

    GOOD LUCK!! I hope it works out.

    Posted by SassySarah August 12, 09 05:15 PM
  1. Beth (83) Brazlians use words like "simpatico". This is Framingham we're talking about after all. If she is Brazilian, watch out. She'll turn into one catty "piranha". The LW needs to have her husband tell the neighbor to knock it off firmly. Being Latin she'll get the machismo, slink into a corner and sob into her caipirinha. Then be prepared, though, she'll treat you both like the plague for years.

    Posted by XavierCugat August 12, 09 05:19 PM
  1. I'm always amazed that people will tolerate being angered/infringed upon/hurt by acquaintances, but won't "push back" just one time to stop the cycle. Who would you rather have the hurt feelings: you or the other person? Ticking the other person off for a few minutes disrupts the pattern I hate and brings me a lot of future happiness...that's a good investment for me.
    The next time Neighbor starts gushing publicly, call her out publicly. "Nell, I think it's inappropriate for you to paw at my husband like that. Please don't do it anymore." Then let her be embarrassed and hurt, and start having a good time with the rest of the neighborhood.

    Posted by SingleCommuterWithBagel August 12, 09 05:24 PM
  1. I hate to say this but maybe the reason hubby leaves the party early is because you are eagle eyeing him the whole time. How much fun can it be for him if he thinks you are jealously watching his every move. As for her, your jealousy is probably what eggs her on. Play it cool and tell him to try to mingle more and she will probably just go away or at least find someone else.

    Posted by sandra August 12, 09 05:28 PM
  1. OMG, now you're bashing Brazilians......

    #183 XavierCugat, my mother used to use the word "simpatico". If I was dating a guy, she'd ask if he and I were simpatico. Mom's from Dallas, and not a Latina.

    It's amazing how much people have added to poor LW's letter. Her husband's having an affair. With a bipolar Brazilian. Everyone in her neighborhood is overweight and boring. LW is a neurotic, jealous nag. And there's no point in trying to save any of them, because they live beond the pale - in Framingham.

    Why bother to have a letter at all? Meredith, just let this crowd make the story up as they go along.. . geez...

    Posted by TallGirl August 12, 09 06:07 PM
  1. If LW chooses to say something to this other woman, I think she should do it with her husband. If he's there, then he can confirm to this woman that he doesn't like the attention and it saves her from looking jealous and insecure. Just like dealing with an out-of-control teenager, they're showing a united front and that her behavior won't be tolerated. And they both should do the talking, not just her otherwise it looks like the wife has all the control and the husband is going along with it just to placate her. And if she doesn't stop the behavior, you both have to stop going to the gatherings. She's probably hosting these things in the hopes that he'll show up so if you both stop showing up, she can't be rewarded for her bad behavior.

    Posted by KCinCA August 12, 09 06:42 PM
  1. While I think that Meredith's advice is good, I don't think it will work. This problem neighbor already knows that what she's doing is unwelcome, and I'm sure that makes it more fun for her. She has complete control over what goes on in this social circle and likes it that way. She enjoys making people your husband uncomfortable, because she knows he'll come back every time. I bet if you stop showing up at local events, she will start ringing your doorbell to see if you're ok.

    Posted by lpb August 12, 09 07:14 PM
  1. For the life of me I CANNOT understand why couples hang around with their neighbors. Can't you find some INTERESTING people to hang around with? What, does having the same street address form some kind of unbreakable bond?

    Plus, - FRAMINGHAM?
    If I lived in Framingham I'd have ONE goal in life: TO GET THE HELL OUTTA FRAMINGHAM.


    Posted by Shecky28 August 12, 09 07:21 PM
  1. Right on, TallGirl!! Could not agree more. That's when this Meredith thing turns stupid- the posts get more silly, and more boring as the hours/day(s) roll on. People don't help out, they blab on and on with their own story, or bring up stuff that's not even there.

    Globe maybe you put these things up, and take them down faster? This blog was entertaining for a while but I'm getting kind of sick of it. I'm looking at this while I'm looking for a job. I bet a lot of people are actually working, getting paid while they read through these things, haha

    Posted by ava August 12, 09 07:22 PM
  1. Did you ever notice when your husband leaves these parties early, that this other woman disappears too? Coincidence? I think not...

    Posted by They Already Did It! August 12, 09 07:27 PM
  1. So when hubby leaves the party early, does she "powder her nose" a few minutes later?

    Posted by K August 12, 09 08:15 PM
  1. 186, Tall Girl, thanks for the laugh!

    Posted by you're funny August 12, 09 08:47 PM
  1. Its high school, its bravo, but there are women and men like that everywhere.. It boils down to her public disrespect of HWM, and her not being able to solve it without sounding insecure, jealous and petty. I like Jules (153) advice the best, mobilize the passive aggressive behavior!

    Posted by Stellabella August 12, 09 08:51 PM
  1. TallGirl, way to summarize us! I mean that in the most admiring way, too. The letter writers can't win - either they're solipsistic pests who waste our time with way TMI, or they leave too much to our starved imaginations. Well, that's the LL crowd for you. But half the interest here lies in the filling in of the blanks and the meta-comments we hurl on each other. Even you did it!

    Posted by Sasha August 12, 09 09:05 PM
  1. My afternoon comment didn't post (and seems it happened to a few other people as well).

    Rather than re-hash what I wrote, I'll say that #97 (Anecdotal Evidence) said it best in my opinion by saying...

    "Can your husband and you relax about this? Can you learn to have more confidence, security and trust in your marriage? Instead of viewing her as a potential threat to be feared, can you shift your perception to a more harmless one - and learn to laugh off how ridiculous and foolish this woman is behaving? By doing so, by sharing this as a joke between you (perhaps with private couple code-words you can use at parties), you will be reinforcing your bonds with your husband. She is harmless unless you make her differently."

    Exactly! The two of you have been married for 30 yrs...and yes, you do go home with him....so why do you wish you could yell that out? And why would someone saying they're simpatico (ie understand each other/have like interests) make you feel like that means you'er not with him? She didn't say that...and he didn't say that. But, YOU are interpreting a whole lot of things.

    I also don't get why when he chooses to leave early, that you can't enjoy yourself as much without him there? Yikes...can't you be your own person without hubby up under you all the time?

    And if your husband truly doesn't like it, then I agree with the others that he could've found ways to cut his convos short with her and moved on to other guests or back to you. He's not in 4th grade...as a man, he should know how to direct the course of his own life. He needs to stop playing the victim...as do you.

    On the other hand, if you both choose to play the victim (woe is me because of our simpatic neighbor who won't leave poor hubby alone), then don't go there since it sounds like you both of chosen to make this drama an issue when it really isn't.....but then again, it's all about perspective. Unfortunately, perception sometimes really does equal someone's reality....whether accurate or not.

    Posted by bklynmom August 12, 09 10:41 PM
  1. My afternoon comment didn't post (and seems it happened to a few other people as well).

    Rather than re-hash what I wrote, I'll say that #97 (Anecdotal Evidence) said it best in my opinion by saying...

    "Can your husband and you relax about this? Can you learn to have more confidence, security and trust in your marriage? Instead of viewing her as a potential threat to be feared, can you shift your perception to a more harmless one - and learn to laugh off how ridiculous and foolish this woman is behaving? By doing so, by sharing this as a joke between you (perhaps with private couple code-words you can use at parties), you will be reinforcing your bonds with your husband. She is harmless unless you make her differently."

    Exactly! The two of you have been married for 30 yrs...and yes, you do go home with him....so why do you wish you could yell that out? And why would someone saying they're simpatico (ie understand each other/have like interests) make you feel like that means you'er not with him? She didn't say that...and he didn't say that. But, YOU are interpreting a whole lot of things.

    I also don't get why when he chooses to leave early, that you can't enjoy yourself as much without him there? Yikes...can't you be your own person without hubby up under you all the time?

    And if your husband truly doesn't like it, then I agree with the others that he could've found ways to cut his convos short with her and moved on to other guests or back to you. He's not in 4th grade...as a man, he should know how to direct the course of his own life. He needs to stop playing the victim...as do you.

    On the other hand, if you both choose to play the victim (woe is me because of our simpatic neighbor who won't leave poor hubby alone), then don't go there since it sounds like you both of chosen to make this drama an issue when it really isn't.....but then again, it's all about perspective. Unfortunately, perception sometimes really does equal someone's reality....whether accurate or not.

    Posted by bklynmom August 12, 09 10:42 PM
  1. DJMcG....

    Happy to hear your parent's basement has Wi-Fi!

    Hope you are taking your meds?

    Posted by SettleDown August 12, 09 11:16 PM
  1. The next idiot who throw the word bipolar around and actually comes within a thousand miles of what it means will be the first. Please stop with the unrivaled ignorance, if at all capable.

    Posted by DSM,ReadIt August 13, 09 01:47 AM
  1. why there is always such kind of person?
    why don't they just snuggle with their own hubby?
    I think the husband should do something to make the women give up.
    If she is such kind person, I think there is no need to take part in the party which lead by her, maybe each time she hold a party there is another purpose to flirt with guys.

    Posted by Anonymous August 13, 09 02:37 AM
  1. Maybe you should engage her in lesbian sex. If you are good enough she will pay attention to you rather than your husband.

    Posted by Kay-Man August 13, 09 07:40 AM
  1. Now, this neighbor lady, she's what you call a vampire. She's got special plans for herself and your hubby, see. You need to be aware of this at all times, don't let that crazy momma out of your sight at these parties. Long as your husband's not a player, you're probably safe. But if he should wake up one day and decide he wants to be a player, then you got to put a chain on him and keep him corraled, 'Cause Vampire Lady, she'll be onto that in a Quincy minute, you bet! Where these parties at, anyway? Quincy? Southey? Chestnut Hill maybe? Sounds a lot like the switcher parties in the old days, remember them? Sure you do. You need to stand up for your rights also. That means next time she makes a move toward your main squeeze there, you just get up outa your party seat and slap her longside her head. She'll get the message real quick about who she can go squealin' at and having private conversations with, whisper sweet nothings and all like that. You best keep away from those parties. And get a real short leash for that player husband of yours, hear? Then you'll be happy, not have to worry about Vampire Lady all the time like you do.

    Posted by Chuck Burles August 13, 09 07:54 AM
  1. #186, "Tall Girl": Why not bash "them", they are the worlds most disgusting cockroaches. If you have ever had to live in an area with that migrant horde, you would have to blind not to be horrified. Ever since those filthy rodents moved into my town, with their unsanitary "Mattress Houses", we get a new letter from the school nurse warning about some new Virus/Rash/Parasite infestation. It is horrifying, and if my daughter thinks about dating one I will send her to a Convent.

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 August 13, 09 09:31 AM
  1. It's amazing how bullies of every variety permeate all walks of life. The bully does not care about anyone but themselves. The husband needs to stand up to the bully and the witnesses need to stop winking at the inappropriate behavior. The only person who should feel odd in this situation is the bully.

    Posted by Stop Giving Bullies Power August 13, 09 09:47 AM
  1. I think he already hooked up with her too. It's the type of behavior you see when a man hooks up with a woman and thinks that should be it but she thinks there should be more.

    Posted by LS August 13, 09 09:49 AM
  1. Wow TallGirl - your posting #186 was NOT simpatico... Struck a nerve there, did we?


    Posted by Rica August 13, 09 09:55 AM
  1. 1) If your husband has a problem, he should grow a pair and tell this woman to kiss off.
    2) If you're upset enough to write a letter, it's affecting you enough to where you should probably ask this woman yourself why she's latching onto your husband like a pilot fish.

    Quite frankly, you should be more attentive to your own feelings and go with option #2.

    Posted by Atticus Black August 13, 09 10:28 AM
  1. It's up to your husband to set healthy boundaries with this neighborhood wildcard. If she runs up to him and wraps her arms around him as soon as he enters the room, then he should keep his arms at his side and go limp instead of hugging her back. If she drags him by the arm to get him in a corner or asks him to help her get more wine and beers in the cooler, then he needs to dig his heels into the shag rug and excuse himself for whatever reason (got to go to the loo, I need to speak to my wife, whatever). He needs to make himself unavailable.
    The other strategy is for you to host your own parties on your own turf with your own invitation list. Maybe a smaller crowd, say 2 or 3 other couples for dinner, and she's not invited. You're allowed to have friends outside her circle, and do not need her permission to do so. If she fusses about being excluded, just say we didn't have the room for more.

    Posted by exvermonter August 13, 09 10:29 AM
  1. Wow, some really douchetastic responses here--more than usual.

    The LW's husband obviously *isn't* comfortable with the neighbor's behavior. He's said so, and he won't go to any get-togethers, or only stay briefly if he does. This isn't because of his wife--the letter would be about something totally different if it was ("My husband thinks that I'm too jealous because my neighbor keeps pawing at him and he doesn't mind"). Reading is fundamental, people. Do try it sometime.

    But no--she's a jealous shrew and a prude, he's screwing the neighbor, and ZOMG! Framingham is awful!

    The stupid--it burns.

    Posted by PM August 13, 09 10:31 AM
  1. Husband should make the flirty neighbor so uncomfortable that she wants to leave early........There are so many desperate women out there......put her in her place and tell her what a complete ass she is making of herself and ruining the party for everyone else.......

    Posted by Bored by U August 13, 09 11:04 AM
  1. Okay what have we learned?
    1. Framingham must be just horrible - because everyone here says so.
    2. Husband must have cheated - because so many people here say so.
    3. People over 50 are “elderly” and never have sex so what is the problem to begin with?
    4. Meredith’s reader demographics are younger and urban. Nice for Meredith, but soooo narrow.

    Now let me school you:
    1. I used a fake town name, why in the world would I use my real town name?
    2. People who cheat, or who consider cheating, will never be convinced that there are spouses out there who really would NOT cheat.
    3. People over 50 do have sex – and solid long-term marriages do exist.
    4. You youngsters have a whole new slice of life comin' at you. Get ready, kids.

    Thanks to those who offered REAL advice – I got a lot from you and sincerely appreciate it! To the rest of you, enjoy your anonymous blab and bigotry sessions. Thanks Mer! This was fun – er, sorta.
    He's With Me, Dammit

    Posted by Anonymous August 13, 09 11:10 AM
  1. Oh yay! the DudeKidGuy (203) we all love to hate! You're disgusting, your racist bashing of Brazilians sinks to a new low, even for you. Yes, I know, you did it just to get a rise out of everyone, wah wah wah. Do us all a favor -- DO send your daughter to a convent so she can't date anybody's unsuspecting son.

    Posted by dude get a life August 13, 09 11:10 AM
  1. Blah, blah, blah, blah-blah-blah.

    Posted by ava August 13, 09 11:33 AM
  1. Wow. IT's his fault, he needs to do, HWM's a shrew....? I'm wiht #209 (PM) on this one. Read the letter, stop inserting your own lives/ideas/problems into it between the lines. Ok let me see here.
    HWM, from your perspective (which is all we have to go on) you say she's happily married but apparently seems like she would swing in a minute especially with respect to your husband if given the chance. If she isn't giving equal time to the other couples (men) with this type of attitude I'm left with the conclusion that
    A. she doesn't want to swing she wants yoru husdand and
    B. if that's the case how happily married is she then really?
    YOur letter doesn't address some other questions her behavior in these social situations brings out. Does her hubby seem to aknowledge that this behavior is going on and condone, like it? Does it look like it bothers him too? Does he seem oblivious to it? How about the rest of the couples perspective/behavior in this group? What are their reactions to this?
    Meredith has the right idea about how you and your husband need to break this news to the neighborhood "social butterfly". Her idea is the least akward way and will have the least (hopefully) social ramifications with this group (i.e.her) because it gives everyone a way out without to much embarrassement while confronting an issue that is making you two uncomfortable.
    Ya see blogers what that there is called is diplomacy...

    like it

    Posted by Francis August 13, 09 11:44 AM
  1. LW / Anonymous,

    Some follow up advice:

    1. Don't write in for advice if it's going to upset you. Your comment (#214) makes you look pathetic.
    2. Don't lecture those giving advice. Accept the good, ignore the bad.
    3. Why so bitter? You have it all figured out, right?
    4. You lived with this situation (a neighbor and friend shameless and openly hitting on your husband in front of YOU, in front of your social circle, and in front of your neighbors, for "many years". Translation: You have no spine and have been embarassed and minimized for years. Congrats!
    5. #4 is even worse when you realize you are in your 50's.
    6. Ask your husband to tell you the truth about the situation. Specifically, why he refuses to stop her from flirting, why he allows her to embarass him and you, why he is hesitant or afraid to defend the honor of his wife and respect his marriage, instead of hiding or leaving gatherings early. There's a reason.

    Posted by Hoss August 13, 09 12:05 PM
  1. Don't sissy out and blame it on your husband. Your husband likes the attention, or he would have said something already. He's limiting his time at the party to make you feel less like killing someone. Tell her what's what! Tell her, "I love coming to your parties, but I can't help feeling like you're just inviting us to get in the sack with my husband. It's awkward sitting around while you're hanging all over him. Please stop, because I like our friendship, but you're putting in danger." If she can't handle it, start making the calls and have the parties at your house. In other words, grow up. Either that or put her on the spot for a 4-way. See how she reacts when she has to put up or shut up.

    Posted by hippydippy August 13, 09 12:48 PM
  1. sorry for the double-post...my computer was acting up :-)

    Posted by bklynmom August 13, 09 01:01 PM
  1. Hoss, there wasn't a lot of advice here. There *was* a lot of bile, invective, and some nasty personal attacks against a LW who hasn't done anything wrong. There was also a lot of ignorant garbage being tossed about by some folks who seem to have issues.

    When the LW's husband is uncomfortable with the neighbor's behavior and people respond, "You're a narrow-minded prude and a nag! Get over yourself" and "he's into her and just pretending because you're such a shrew" and "he's nailing her hahahahahaha" that's not advice. That's just a lack of reading comprehension with spittle-aspirating lunacy.

    Posted by PM August 13, 09 01:07 PM
  1. At first, I just thought it was totally retarded that she lied about being from Framingham. I felt decieved, hurt, and geographcially speaking, lost. Then I realized the only other place she could be was Fitchburg. Now I just feel sad and hope that she had enough cash to fix the porch on her fixer-upper when she found out it was built over a sink hole.

    Posted by Sally August 13, 09 01:33 PM
  1. HWM, your neighborhood in Framingham sounds a lot more interesting than mine. Apparently I live in the boring section of town. If this flirting has been going on for years then I'd say it is too late to do anything about it as it has become ingrained habit. What I don't understand is why you don't leave when your husband does.

    Here are your options the way I see it: 1) stop worrying about it and leave with your husband, 2) While Simpatico is busy with your husband get busy with her husband ... maybe you'll make a friend, 3) Get Simpatico alone and tell her that the next time her husband is out for the evening with boys or otherwise absent from home that she has an open invitation to come over to your house for drinks and give her a wink ... maybe you'll have some fun.

    Posted by Framingham Resident August 13, 09 01:40 PM
  1. Absolutely love the shock and awe of some with regards to encountering trolls, wise-asses, deviants, wannabe comics, and jerks (Oh my!) on the internet.

    Since when was there an expectation that one would receive 100% helpful and professional advice on an anonymous internet blog? Are you PollyAnna or are you just perpetually stuck in 1997? The internet is what it is, and (sorry Meredith) this blog is for entertainment purposes only. Note it's appearance in the "Lifestyle" section...

    Posted by Hoss August 13, 09 02:32 PM
  1. #224 Hoss,

    Then where would you want to draw the line? Anti-semitism? Death threats to abortion doctors? Obscene language? Gratuitous insults?

    Do you feel the line should be drawn in a different place on an "entertainment" blog than on an "advice" blog? If so, why?

    In this case, some of the commenters are trying to draw a line. If they don't, who do you think should?

    Just food for thought.

    Posted by TallGirl August 13, 09 03:09 PM



    Posted by Leonardo Lima August 13, 09 03:24 PM
  1. How old are you? Seriously.

    Please notice the URL. This is boston.com which is owned and operated by the Boston Globe.

    My feelings about any regulation, moderation, editing, censoring, banning, etc. are IRRELEVANT. I know my role (a visitor and sometimes contributor).

    That being said, I think it's quaint that you and others think this is a community / cooperative venture, so by all means, keep up your neighborhood watch group and keep trying to do citizens arrests on anonymous commentors....

    Posted by Hoss August 13, 09 03:29 PM
  1. TallGirl - lighten up. I'm sick of your vile attempts at being noble.

    The letter writer needs to make new friends. Simple as that.

    Cats not Dogs.

    Posted by Rica August 13, 09 04:05 PM
  1. Hoss, while some inbred whiners here are free to post their invective, we're free to call them out on being Xanadouches. I haven't done any citizen's arrests on anyone, but that was a cute red herring. Fry it up and eat it for lunch, cupcake.

    Posted by PM August 13, 09 06:04 PM
  1. Tipper, I mean PM, stop posting to me. I don't want to keep you from your duties patrolling Love Letters and other comment boards / blogs for unscrupulous behavior or anything else you have deemed inappropriate. You are quite the upstanding and noble internet citizen. Carry on, Skippy!!

    Posted by Hoss August 13, 09 06:16 PM
  1. Hoss (#227),
    It sounds like you feel the Globe should be responsible for any screening of the posts. I would prefer that, too.

    But for whatever reason, the Globe isn't doing much of that. Case in point: #206 - Brazilians are disgusting cockroaches - would seem to qualify as hate speech, but the Globe let it through. The fact that 206's author may (or may not) have been joking doesn't matter.

    You're right that LL isn't a community venture. But the LL venture depends entirely on the community for its survival.

    If the tone of the community becomes "contempt for others" - contempt for Brazilians, contempt for women, contempt for the letter writers - LL won't survive. No one will be willing to write letters or to respond to them.

    Posted by TallGirl August 14, 09 02:15 PM
  1. I read a book about you to my kids last week. They giggled everytime I read "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!"

    Posted by Hoss August 14, 09 03:01 PM
  1. WOW, I couldn't disagree more with Meredith. There's absolutely no way for the wife to deliver the message that neighbor needs to back off hubby without coming off as jealous and insecure. And not only that, it won't work. Neighbor won't hear the message (or pay attention to it) unless it comes from the husband.

    He's got to shut her down himself. He can do this subtly, overtly, privately, publicly - there are a lot of ways he can handle it. But it has to come from him, not from his wife. And he owes it to his wife to handle this, instead of letting it go on and on forever. By permitting this woman to babble her possessive nonsense, he's tacitly agreeing to it, and that needs to stop out of respect to his wife.

    Posted by Anonymous August 15, 09 09:24 PM
  1. # of times Rico refers to himself in the 3rd person in comments to this LW: 20 .... A light day for Rico.

    # of people with actual lives that care about what Rico has to say : 0


    Posted by RicoCounter August 17, 09 10:32 AM
  1. Bill O'Reilly--I mean, Hoss, calm down and stop being so emotional. Criticizing other posters isn't the same as "patrolling" message boards.

    Take a Xanax and chill out, chicken little. Calling someone out isn't the end of the world, so I suggest you take a few deep breaths and stop being so histrionic. Yes, commentors here got called out. The sky didn't fall. Now, before you go off the deep end and start gasping and whining about gulags and whatnot (you were already on that road with the Tipper comment), I suggest you start thinking--and posting--rationally. A stretch for you, I know, dear, but do try it.

    Posted by PM August 18, 09 02:22 PM
ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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