My Husband Blatantly Flirts with Other Women

Visitor's Question from a 51-60 year old Female
My husband and I went to a brunch at my (woman) cousin's house. The ladies were all clustered around the table in the kitchen, the men were standing off to the side talking. My husband got his food and sat in the family room, and my cousin joined him. The two of them sat and talked for about 45 min. I was so mad and embarrassed, and we had a big fight later that night at home.

I called my cousin the next week and told her how I felt. She and my husband had been flirting a lot with each other before, but I never dreamed it would go that far. I haven't spoken to her since, and I haven't forgiven my husband. Not that he has asked me to.

He has done things like this on 3 occasions before. He's very nice and sweet at home, but when he gets out, he acts like he doesn't want to be seen with me.

Assuming he doesn't want to be seen with me, what would make a person have so little integrity that they would hurt and embarrass another person like that? Mind you, we are not kids. I am 51 and he is 55. Advice
I of course wasn't there to see how this whole situation played out, but when you go to a party, you talk with whoever you have fun talking with, male or female. It seems awfully bizarre to me that this particular brunch split up with boys in one place and girls in the other, and to be honest if I was at the party I think I'd feel uncomfortable being in the 'girl gaggle' myself. I like to mingle and talk with everybody and might wander off to another room in the hopes of getting the party a bit more shaken up.

In any case, maybe he went over to sit down because standing with the men wasn't what he was in the mood for. And maybe since this was your cousin's house she went over to keep him company. It sounds like they like each other, which is fine. It's better than them hating each other! I guess it's a question of why others didn't migrate over into the room too ... why didn't you go over and join in their conversation too? They weren't doing anything wrong. This was a social function, they were talking. They weren't running off to a bedroom and hiding. They weren't preventing others from joining them.

It's not that he didn't want to be seen with you. It didn't seem like hanging out in the kitchen with the "girls" was really an option for him! But the thing about couples is that they are together ALL the time at home. When they go out to parties, it is *natural* for them to mingle with other people. Human beings need socialization, and that includes friends of the male *and* female types. So most couples, when they go to parties, talk with other people. Sure they keep an eye on each other and make sure they both are OK and happy. But they don't remained glued to each other's sides the entire night.

It sounds like your husband is a flirt and enjoys socializing at parties, but that you are less of a flirt and want the security of his presence by you to sort of show people "He is with Me". Really, I'm sure people know that :) If he flirts with other people at parties, that shouldn't be a source of embarassment for you. You should be allowed to flirt with men at parties! When you both have fun and go home, happy, together, that is what it is all about.

If it makes you feel better, I might talk to him about a checking-in guideline. It's polite to just check on your partner every 20 minutes or so to make sure he/she is happy and OK and not having any issues, when you're out. That way if your partner is stuck with a bore or trying to escape a conversation, you help each other out. So if he's talking with someone else, he should still keep in mind that he should check on you occasionally to make sure you're happy and OK. And that will reassure you that he is thinking of you even though he's currently having fun talking to someone else.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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We'd all be kings
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