When two people get married, it not only involves a merging of two individuals but also that of two social and family circles. Unfortunately this interaction is not always smooth. While not getting on with a partner’s family or friends is more common, sometimes the other extreme is also dangerous – when a partner’s friend hits on you. So if you have been lately feeling uncomfortable around your husband’s friend and he has explicitly made an advance at you, here are a few ways you can deal with the situation.
Don’t blame yourself
One of the first reactions upon finding that you have been the object of an improper comment or gesture from your husband’s friend is that somehow you invited it. You may begin to replay mentally all your previous interactions and obsess over whether you inadvertently sent the signal that you were looking for some extra attention. If you know in your heart that you have never done anything of this sort, stop blaming yourself. Shake yourself out of the victim mode as quickly as possible – if anyone is to blame it is the guy who has made an advance and not you. Apart from keeping you trapped in the victim mode, obsessing over what you may have or have not said/done is an utter waste of time and will keep you from doing what is really required at this point of time – that is getting a firm grip on the situation.
Never be alone with the guy again
The first time your husband’s friend makes an advance, you may be too stunned to make a quick response. But after this one incident, always ensure that you are never alone with him, whether in a room, car or even at a party. Even if unconsciously you find yourself alone with the man again, he will get the idea that you either want to be alone with him or what he did the first time was okay. In both cases, you don’t want to be sending any such signals which is why, try and avoid any circumstances which might throw the two of you together alone.
Even if you cannot avoid socializing since he is your husband’s friend, ensure that he does not see you as socially approachable. As already mentioned, marriage brings with it an overlapping of social circles. As the single friend to a married couple, your husband’s friend probably found it easy to become yours by extension. When he hung out with you and your husband, telling your partner about his hookups, dates and make-out sessions, perhaps you would be around to hear. Maybe this helped the guy to believe that in some way, you would be open to having sex with him. Though it should have been done earlier, ensure that you draw boundaries between your social civilities and your husband’s interaction with his friends.
Deal with the guy firmly
Even if you find the idea of screaming wolf distasteful and are confident about your ability to take care of yourself, ideally you should confront your husband’s friend from the very start. Unfortunately this is not always possible since the first instance of the advance may leave you too stumped to react and perhaps even wondering whether you imagined the whole thing. But the main advantage of taking a firm stand is that it would help you to fend off further sexual advances. For instance the first time the guy made a pass at you, you could simply say: 'don’t do that - it makes me uncomfortable when you do that.' If he continued, she could turn your reaction up a notch, as in, ‘Stop right away – anymore of this and I will no longer care about your friendship with my husband.” Or maybe you can even indicate that his wife is going to hear about the pass he made at you.
Whether to tell your husband
However deciding whether to confide in your husband is by far the biggest decision you will have to take in this situation. While holding your tongue about a one-off indiscretion on the part of your husband’s friend may seem to keep the peace in the short run, eventually it may make for a stickier situation – especially if the guy continues making passes at you.
Confiding in your husband early is actually the best option since by keeping the information from him, you would be potentially driving a wedge between you and your partner not to mention rocking the foundations of trust in your relationship. Every successful is based on mutual faith and love which is why hiding anything from your husband – even if you may have not been at any fault – can mark a breach of this trust. Next to actually inviting the sexual advance, the worst thing you can do is to be complicit in the silence. Even if your husband knows that you were not to blame and does not doubt your affections, the very fact that you chose to keep him out of what was happening could be taken as implying that you don’t trust him to understand you or worse, he is incapable of protecting you.
Even if it was a one-time thing and since then the guy has never made an advance, as you avoid his company, your husband is sure to recognize a strained atmosphere and sooner or later, he will know the reason for it.
So while you may take time to get your bearings after the first advance from your husband’s friend, lose no time in telling your partner about it, especially if the guy still keeps making you feel uncomfortable.
How to tell your husband
Once you have decided to reveal to your husband what happened, you may face the next problem of how to go about it. Ideally keep it simple – something like "Your friend whispered in my ear/ made a gesture and it made me feel uncomfortable" should be enough to bring the issue out into the open without putting your husband on the defensive. By all accounts avoid engaging in theatrics or accusing your partner of keeping bad company – these may compel your husband in however slight a way to defend his friend and friendship besides making you out as excessively emotional and hence unreliable – most significantly the latter can have far reaching consequences should a situation arise where your words are pitted against your husband’s friends and he has to decide to believe one of two different versions.
Be ready for some fallout
Whether or not, this guy was a close friend of your husband’s, the revelation that he made a sexual advance to his wife is sure to impact the friendship. You may genuinely wish that the friendship not be destroyed by what was perhaps a momentary indiscretion, still be prepared for some changes. Don’t feel guilty about having ‘wrecked’ a friendship – as some may insinuate such a thing. The friendship – if there was a real one to begin with – was actually the friend’s responsibility and not yours and he should have realized that stepping out of the limits of decency would wreck it.