If you’ve ever discovered that someone is flirting with YOUR partner, we probably don’t have to tell you that things can get UGLY pretty quickly…
In fact, it can be a real problem when someone is flirting with your partner even if your partner doesn’t flirt back.
In situations like these, all kinds of fears and jealousy can come up and you might say or do some things to make the situation worse (even if you didn’t think you were.)
Jealousy is something that can ruin a relationship or marriage faster than almost anything. If you’d like some help dealing with your jealousy issues, you might want to go check this out: No More Jealousy
***QUESTION FROM A READER:
“My husband and I were away for the weekend. We went to a party at a bar – and I walked in ahead of my husband.
When we were in the room with the party, one of the male guests came up and started talking to us. He said to my husband, “You got molested coming in huh?”
“I was confused – but the guest continued… He said ‘Yeah that girl said ‘nice hair,’ touched your hair and started following you.’
“I immediately got that hot feeling, my cheeks flushed and I felt sick to my stomach. (We are in our 40s – this girl was like – 25). I felt sick and hurt and just kind of shut down.
“My husband got mad at me and we left. I tried to explain – that I wasn’t mad at him – it just made me feel awful. First of all – that some young woman would touch him and follow him.
“2nd that I had to hear that from someone else and then I just felt – so old and undesirable, ugly, lacking and threatened.
“I was hurt – really hurt by what took place. We ended up arguing – and he said that I was treating him unfairly – that he didn’t solicit it or act on it. But I tried to say – I know – but it was how I felt about the whole situation and that he just got mad.
“I told him – in that situation – I really, really needed him to connect with me, touch me, tell me he loves me – something – to reassure me – that he was NOT interested in her advances but getting mad at me – made it worse. Help. Please.”
We agree–this is certainly a example of an uncomfortable situation–you discover that someone is flirting with your partner and all kinds of thoughts and emotions come up that you can’t control. To top it off, your partner ends up misunderstanding you and gets angry when you ask for help!
Sounds like you aren’t feeling very good about what happened. Although your husband certainly hasn’t had an affair or cheated on you with this girl, it’s still a very uncomfortable situation.
So what’s your next step?
Here’s what we suggest….
First off, you are exactly right to notice what you were feeling and then ask your partner or husband for what you want and how you want to be supported.
We want to congratulate you on listening to what came up inside you and then communicating ways that you could be
supported by your husband.
AND you have some more work to do because that’s only part of the equation–(but an important part).
Here’s our take on the situation…
Since your husband did not participate in the flirting, he didn’t understand why you got triggered because he doesn’t see you the way you sometimes see yourself, especially in that kind of situation.
By your own admission, you said that you saw yourself as “old, undesirable, ugly, lacking and threatened.”
By his reaction, we’re guessing that he sees you completely differently and is mystified as to why you reacted the way you did. He may see you as a very competent, loving partner and the bond that the two of you have is understood.
He might have been unconscious, in his own world and not really paying attention when the young woman flirted with him and only put two and two together when it was brought to his attention.
Or he might have known she was flirting with him and just chose to ignore it. He was with you.
Whatever was going on inside him, he didn’t understand what happened inside you.
Your reaction shook him and he met it with anger.
Of course you wanted reassurance from him that he desired only you–but that’s not what you got. In a perfect world, he “should” have responded the way you wanted him to but because we all come to situations with a different set of baggage from the past and expectations–he didn’t.
So where do you go from here?
It sounds like (to us) that you could probably use some ideas about how to communicate with each other in a way that you both feel heard and understood.
You might want to check out our “Communication Magic” program because there are a lot of great tips we share in
it for communicating and connecting (especially in difficult moments.)
In the meantime…
We suggest you start with yourself and learning to feel better about you. One way to do that is to start right now monitoring your thoughts–about you.
And we don’t just mean about this situation.
We mean in your every day life.
When you notice that you are judging yourself and putting yourself down, get conscious that you are doing it and then make a shift. Shift your energy to something else that feels better.
Shift your thoughts to something you can believe and that is a little more positive.
Something like this…
Negative thought–“I’m old, ugly and undesirable.”
More positive thought–“I’m appreciating my sense of humor and our love-making.”
…And then you practice the shift every time your mind wanders to judging, critical thoughts about yourself.
Usually there’s something that you can appreciate about yourself and if you can’t think of anything, you might ask a friend–or even your partner for suggestions.
If you’re tempted to dismiss this idea as mumbo-jumbo, try it and see what happens. Believe it or not, what you think about persists and if you’re thinking critical thoughts about yourself–tearing yourself down, that’s exactly what you will experience in your outside world.
So are you to “blame” for this situation?
Of course not.
But you can use it as a wake-up call to change some things in yourself to make your life and love even better.
So that’s the drill if this ever happens again in a bar or another social setting, you’ll notice what’s going on inside you, breathe and shift your thoughts–and you can come toward your husband at that time instead of pulling away.
Yes, it actually can happen that way because we’ve done it ourselves to change negative, critical thoughts that were holding us back from experiencing the love we wanted.
We’re certainly not letting your husband off the hook. He can help you by coming toward you at those times–and he might really do it as you do some things to help yourself, especially if you offer it as an invitation.