Dear Carolyn: So, I know what NOT to do when another woman openly hits on my husband: call her names, start a public fight, generally look like a jealous fool.
But … what exactly is the appropriate response when this happens? A woman in my social circle has major boundary issues and is very flirty and physical. Recently she has targeted my husband and done one or two really unbelievable things that other people noticed and pointed out to me.
My husband does his part — he is good at pulling himself out of awkward situations — and I trust him, so I don’t feel a real need to confront this woman, but I wonder whether I should, on principle.
Way-out-there flirting with people who have already been spoken for is sad, attention-seeking behavior; when it works, it brings positive attention from the target and negative attention from the target’s partner. Score.
So on principle, you do nothing. No matter how delightful they are for witnesses, skip the hands-off-my-man confrontations.
Your husband’s role is to have no interest in her as a guilty pleasure. Yours is to have no interest in her as a threat. Voila, a beast left unfed.
If you feel compelled to intervene, then wait. When she does “really unbelievable things” to someone else’s squeeze, you’re free to speak discreetly on everyone’s behalf, hers especially: “Desperella, what’s going on? That was over the line.”