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Would this upset you or am I overreacting?


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I would be angry, but mostly, I'd be hurt.

 

I'm my hubby's "special one." I'm the WIFE. The chosen one. The one he can flirt with, play with, laugh with, be silly with, dream with, plan with, cry with, etc.etc.

 

I'm also the one who can give him enough grace to allow him to make mistakes, but who has enough guts and enough openess to call him on the carpet when he screws up.

 

Yours screwed up. I'm sorry he doesn't see it.

 

I think this is the heart of why he doesn't see it. Men tend to view s3x with someone else as betrayal, whereas women tend to feel betrayed by their partner giving time and attention to someone else. He quite possibly doesn't actually see what the big deal is, unless he understands that.

 

Understanding that, I would still be absolutely livid and there would be a long period of re-education in what it means to show me respect.

 

I, too, am sorry that your holiday vacation stank. That's just crappy.

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I think this is the heart of why he doesn't see it. Men tend to view s3x with someone else as betrayal, whereas women tend to feel betrayed by their partner giving time and attention to someone else.

 

That's interesting. I think my husband would feel betrayed if he found me wrestling with another man in the living room. I could be wrong, but I think this would make him feel insulted and belittled. Maybe my husband is unusual, but I think he would find this man's behavior clearly wrong on its face with no explanation needed, and he probably would say that this other man knows exactly what is wrong with the way he acted but is pretending not to see it.

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I am possibly the least jealous/possessive person on the planet and I would have been MAD. I would have been mad at any able adults who were sitting around playing board games while you did all the work, but especially at your husband who should be backing you up and not getting all flirty with other people. He owes you a huge and very heartfelt apology for both the behavior with the other woman and the general jerkiness.

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I basically got dumped on by his mother and had to plan Thanksgiving dinner and buy a lot of the food at the last minute, dh played board games with the other people.

 

The key to avoiding this is to take control if they insist on handing it over to you. Once they indicate you will be involved in planning, then take the reins, grab a piece of paper and a pen and say something like:

 

You: "OK. Let's see, I will be picking up the groceries. (Make eye contact with you spouse.) Then say, insert spouse's name here, what should I write down that you will do?"

 

If he says, "I don't know." Then say, "OK, I'll put you down for insert specific job(s) and when it/they need(s) to be done here." If he chooses something requiring too little effort, write down what he said and say,

 

You: "What else should I put you down for?"

 

Make eye contact with the next adult female who will be eating Thanksgiving dinner.

 

You: "OK, insert her name here, what should I write down for you to do? " If she doesn't come up with something appropriate assign her something. If she chooses something requiring too little effort, write down what she said and say,

 

You: "What else should I put you down for?"

 

Make eye contact with the next adult male who will be eating Thanksgiving dinner and repeat this process with every adult until all the responsibilities have been evenly divided and recorded in writing. Post it on the fridge.

 

If people come up with creative reasons not to contribute say something like, " It seems like everyone is just as worn out as I am. I propose we go to the store and pick up lots of turkey sandwich fixings, some easy bake sweet potato fries, and a few ready made pumpkin pies and play board games all weekend. Since I'm going to the store, the rest of you can be on clean up duty. Work out between yourselves who is doing what because I'll be too tired after I've done all the shopping."

 

If that's met with complaints then suggest a restaurant that's open for Thanksgiving. If they still give you crap then take just the kids with you to the restaurant and enjoy being waited on by professionals.

 

This crowd will probably give you unreasonable crap about it if you stand your ground but it's better than the unreasonable crap of doing it all yourself.

 

I have a no-nonsense mother who would have done just this, and her kids (my three older brothers and I) all know it's expected that we all volunteer our contributions before Thanksgiving and everyone stays and helps clean up. That's just what adults do.

 

 

 

I don't believe for one second that your husband would be OK with you doing to another man what he was doing to that other woman. It was incredibly disrespectful. It sounds like his family has made being disrespectful a way of life.

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Everyone - thanks again for your input - I sincerely appreciate it. You all validated that my feelings were not wrong - everyone one of you thought his behavior was inappropriate in some way.

 

I really should have stood up to everyone about dinner - but I'm a people pleaser who finds it almost impossible to say no - I really need to work on that.

I appreciate the advice regarding that how to handle that type of situation in the future.

 

We were able to talk last night (he worked yesterday). He seemed to finally realize that what he did was despicable, and he profusely apologized. He still insisted that he just viewed her like a familiar friend - girl or guy - and he didn't mean to flirt. TBH - I don't fully buy that excuse bc I've never seen him interact physically like that with any friend - male or female. He may have been somewhat clueless, but not totally. We did discuss (i.e. I told him) what appropriate and inappropriate boundaries are for married men; he agreed that they made sense and assured me that he will keep appropriate boundaries in the future.

 

He couldn't come up with any reasons for why he ignored me, didn't help me, etc. We need to have a LONG discussion about that one. I really need more answers than just, "I'm sorry."

 

So, he finally "gets it" - at least somewhat. We're moving forward, but it will take awhile for him to gain my trust and respect again.

 

Again - thank you so very much for your support and validation! I so appreciate it.

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I know you've already received lots of helpful replies, but I just wanted to add that I think anyone would have been hurt and angry about what your dh did with the other woman, and I would strongly advise you to keep your eyes open to be sure he doesn't have any future contact with her.

 

Honestly, it sounds like the flirtation could very well have been the start of something more than that, so even though I normally wouldn't advise anyone to do this, I am going to gently suggest that you keep an eye on your dh's phone records and his emails, and to keep your eyes open for any kind of unusual behavior.

 

If he was this blatant about flirting with another woman right in front of you, what is he doing when he's not with you?

 

I am sorry to sound paranoid, but if it was my dh behaving that way, I would be very concerned.

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I wanted to edit my post (directly above this one,) but the page didn't seem to want to work properly, so I'll just add my comment here instead:

 

When I suggested that you monitor your dh's activity, I didn't necessarily mean that he would try to contact the other woman. I was actually thinking more along the lines of her contacting him. Let's face it, she was willing to shamelessly flirt with your dh with you right there in the house, so she may not be averse to the idea of pursuing him further. It sounds like they really hit it off, and I would definitely be concerned that the woman might want to put the moves on your dh in the very near future. My hope, of course, would be that he would tell her to get lost, but considering his behavior when he met her, I wouldn't necessarily count on it if she was very pushy or played the "I'd like to be your friend" card.

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If my dh ever did anything like that I would make a total scene. I'm not good at holding stuff in.

 

Me too. I'd go all bat guano nuts right over the pumpkin pies on my dh if he pulled that at thanksgiving.

 

Course my dh knows that, loves me, and is wise enough to not anger that inner beast. LOL

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I know you've already received lots of helpful replies, but I just wanted to add that I think anyone would have been hurt and angry about what your dh did with the other woman, and I would strongly advise you to keep your eyes open to be sure he doesn't have any future contact with her.

 

Honestly, it sounds like the flirtation could very well have been the start of something more than that, so even though I normally wouldn't advise anyone to do this, I am going to gently suggest that you keep an eye on your dh's phone records and his emails, and to keep your eyes open for any kind of unusual behavior.

 

If he was this blatant about flirting with another woman right in front of you, what is he doing when he's not with you?

 

I am sorry to sound paranoid, but if it was my dh behaving that way, I would be very concerned.

 

 

:iagree: I would be watching emails, texts, facebook closely, and watching for other things like working late when he usually doesn't, etc. He would no longer have my trust, and I would start thinking about ways to make sure the kids and I would be ok on our own. totally unacceptable behavior from both of them. And I'm not buying that they didn't know what they were doing, or how it looked.

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Me too. I'd go all bat guano nuts right over the pumpkin pies on my dh if he pulled that at thanksgiving.

 

Course my dh knows that, loves me, and is wise enough to not anger that inner beast. LOL

 

:lol: Yep. I hear ya. Our poor guys. At least they know we love them.

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Wow - I must confess I don't know what to do... I was feeling better about the situation, but you all brought up some valid points - now I'm not so sure.

 

After I told him I forgave him (but that he'd have to earn my trust and respect), I wrote out a series of questions and gave them to him (relating to all the things that happened this week). I asked him to please answer those honestly for me and "I don't know" won't fly as an answer. He could always lie, but he's not usually like that. I told him that I needed real answers before we can move on.

 

Honestly, he's usually a good guy. We spend a lot of time together and have a lot of fun as a couple and a family. I think that's why my intuition was blaring so loudly - this whole thing was so out of character for him. Now, I'm really confused and concerned. I'm wondering if I'm just being naive. Our savings account is in my name, and I handle all our finances. He's not on FB and he doesn't have a smartphone, but he could still text her. I can monitor her FB account in case he decides to secretly join FB. I'm hoping it was just a MAJOR yet temporary lack in judgement.

 

I don't know what the other woman was thinking either. She kept walking by me and saying, "Your HUSBAND is doing such and such..." (getting firewood, etc.) She didn't use him name - I thought it was weird at the time - maybe it was some type of dig. I just don't know.

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Adding a thought. My dad had affair after affair. I'm talking legendary. I knew from the time I was nine. All I had to do was see him with a woman and I'd know. (this has been confirmed now that I'm an adult and all of this is known fact) Mom knew and was told she was nuts/overreacting, etc. Dad was always very comfortable touching other women, on the shoulder, the back......

 

That behavior is inappropriate and should not be tolerated at all. I'd make sure I was ready. I'm not trying to scare you, I've just seen too much of this.

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Honestly, he's usually a good guy. We spend a lot of time together and have a lot of fun as a couple and a family. I think that's why my intuition was blaring so loudly - this whole thing was so out of character for him. Now, I'm really confused and concerned. I'm wondering if I'm just being naive. Our savings account is in my name, and I handle all our finances. He's not on FB and he doesn't have a smartphone, but he could still text her. I can monitor her FB account in case he decides to secretly join FB. I'm hoping it was just a MAJOR yet temporary lack in judgement.

 

 

I agree that I would feel as you do, and that his behavior was inappropriate. Yet, some men really are clueless about signals. Most women are pretty astute in that way, but some guys just don't see it. That certainly doesn't mean you should be naive, but since this isn't usual behavior, it may be that the way you have reacted to this is a wake-up call to him to think!! I'm not saying he is innocent; he probably had some internal warnings prompting him that this was wrong and chose to ignore them. But if you generally have a good relationship, I'd keep my eyes open, but keep working on improving that good relationship. Some of us really do have major but temporary lacks in judgment sometimes.

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... I am going to gently suggest that you keep an eye on your dh's phone records and his emails, and to keep your eyes open for any kind of unusual behavior...

 

It sounds like he understands he has hurt you, which is a positive happening. My instinct is that he will respect the boundaries you two have discussed.

 

However, I was going to make the same suggestion with blunt force. Cheaters are particularly fond of prepaid cell phones. I would actively search for any prepaid phones; favored hiding places are, of course, in pockets of clothing, in closet, in vehicle. Careful cheaters do their emailing through web based email account from smartphones or office computers so there is no trace to be found by spouse. Also I would be suspicious if he withdraws from you or suddenly starts overindulging you with gifts and flowers or asking you to do more adventurous amorous activities.

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I agree that his behavior was over the line. I would keep in mind when talking to him that attraction to other people is normal and it happens. Attraction isn't something that a person can control but reaction is. I would talk to him about the difference. I completely understand that sometimes my husband may find another woman attractive (whether this is based on looks or personality, it doesn't matter) but I expect him to behave appropriately. I think your husband found himself in a situation where he was attracted to this woman on some level but didn't handle it the right way at all. That's what he needs to learn to do. And yes, any other contact would be a bad thing. I don't necessarily think that he would try to talk to her, but if he wasn't self-aware enough to deal with attraction in person, he may not handle other contact appropriately either.

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I don't know what the other woman was thinking either. She kept walking by me and saying, "Your HUSBAND is doing such and such..." (getting firewood, etc.) She didn't use him name - I thought it was weird at the time - maybe it was some type of dig. I just don't know.

 

She was thinking that she was interested in your dh, and that she didn't care if you knew it. I hope I'm wrong about this, but I would not assume for a single moment that she won't try to contact him again. She clearly doesn't care about you, your marriage, or your feelings, so please do not mistakenly believe that she wouldn't make a play for your dh.

 

Be very watchful!

 

BTW, it looks like my previous posts may have been the ones that started to make you worry, when you were starting to feel better. I apologize for that. I didn't mean to make you feel worse; I was just worried that you might be too quick to excuse your dh's behavior, and not worry about the possibility that this other woman might not have a lot of morals when it comes to hitting on married men. I wanted you to be alert and aware, because any woman who would flirt that outrageously with a married man in front of his wife, is someone to worry about. She wants what she wants, and if she wants your dh, something like a wedding ring won't mean a thing to her.

 

:grouphug:

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She was thinking that she was interested in your dh, and that she didn't care if you knew it. I hope I'm wrong about this, but I would not assume for a single moment that she won't try to contact him again. She clearly doesn't care about you, your marriage, or your feelings, so please do not mistakenly believe that she wouldn't make a play for your dh.

 

Be very watchful!

 

BTW, it looks like my previous posts may have been the ones that started to make you worry, when you were starting to feel better. I apologize for that. I didn't mean to make you feel worse; I was just worried that you might be too quick to excuse your dh's behavior, and not worry about the possibility that this other woman might not have a lot of morals when it comes to hitting on married men. I wanted you to be alert and aware, because any woman who would flirt that outrageously with a married man in front of his wife, is someone to worry about. She wants what she wants, and if she wants your dh, something like a wedding ring won't mean a thing to her.

 

:grouphug:

 

Yep. The terror of my childhood was a woman like this after my dad. She called every evening around five and hung up when my mom answered, she "walked" in our neighborhood even though she lived across town, she carried on with dad while our families were on vacation together. I hid in a public bathroom once when she was stalking me. Nothing was sacred to her. She was even married and had children. My dad was far from innocent too. There is no excuse for behavior like this. Sorry, but obviously this impacted me so much I still fret over it. Protect your children.

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Wow - I must confess I don't know what to do... I was feeling better about the situation, but you all brought up some valid points - now I'm not so sure.

 

After I told him I forgave him (but that he'd have to earn my trust and respect), I wrote out a series of questions and gave them to him (relating to all the things that happened this week). I asked him to please answer those honestly for me and "I don't know" won't fly as an answer. He could always lie, but he's not usually like that. I told him that I needed real answers before we can move on.

 

Honestly, he's usually a good guy. We spend a lot of time together and have a lot of fun as a couple and a family. I think that's why my intuition was blaring so loudly - this whole thing was so out of character for him. Now, I'm really confused and concerned. I'm wondering if I'm just being naive. Our savings account is in my name, and I handle all our finances. He's not on FB and he doesn't have a smartphone, but he could still text her. I can monitor her FB account in case he decides to secretly join FB. I'm hoping it was just a MAJOR yet temporary lack in judgement.

 

I don't know what the other woman was thinking either. She kept walking by me and saying, "Your HUSBAND is doing such and such..." (getting firewood, etc.) She didn't use him name - I thought it was weird at the time - maybe it was some type of dig. I just don't know.

 

Okay, deep breaths. This is why it's against board rules to talk marriage issues. A lot of people here are giving you advice based on their personal history, not on any knowledge of you, your marriage, your dh or his character. This is a problem. I'm going to say that if your dh is so non-techie that he doesn't have a smart phone or facebook, I HIGHLY doubt he's going to set up a secret fb account to pursue this woman. The truth is that he was a big dummy who was reacting to positive female attention. Yes, he was wrong. Yes, there will be healing to do. But no, I really don't think you need to go on code red alert. If you have a couple that you trust to give you wise marriage counsel, now might be a good time to sit down with them.

 

As for her, I also wouldn't assume that she is going to pursue him. I would assume that she is a flirty person who enjoys the attention and your dh was giving her attention, so she enjoyed him. It's human nature. Immature human nature, but human nature nonetheless.

 

A question that you should ask him is if she asked for his contact info (or vis versa). If she did, or he did, then you can continue down this path. If not, try to assume the best and continue to comunicate your feelings with him.

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Maybe your dh should have a chance to read this thread so he will see that you are not alone in your assessment of the situation. Fwiw, my dh would have been by my side in the kitchen. I'm sorry your dh acted so poorly. Most likely it was just a lapse of judgement on his part..... Sadly, that ruined things for you, and set a bad example for your dc. I would be livid.... just like you.

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I apologize - I didn't realize it was against board rules. I don't think there's an official way to end a thread, but I'm fine with ending it now. Shannon - your assessment of the situation is what I'm thinking happened - I promise I wont be naive though. Jackie - that's a good idea. I was just looking for validation that I wasn't the one in the wrong (overreacting) and you guys gave me that for sure:). I appreciate your input.

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I would consider this seriously. When he said, "you are not the jealous type" the answer was, "no I am not, so you need to see that your behavior is out of line."

 

I tell him under no circumstances is he to facebook friend her or begin an email relationship. If he does either of these things I would probably spend a few weeks with my parents to let him decide what he thinks he needs to do. But Under No Circumstances would I allow an E-relationship with this woman.

 

:iagree:

 

I think it was objectively inappropriate. And even if you dispute that, I think he needs to be concerned with your feelings, not dismiss them.

 

I'd pass on any future holiday dinners with that crowd.

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ummm....I cannot even put into words what I what feel like to doing to my husband if he did that to me!!! Not only did he do it in front of you but also his kids and his family????

He disgraced himself, allowed you to get treated poorly, embarrassed you, and acted like a little high school immature idiot with no care in the world but himself. I don't care what reasons he had, or if you ever played a game with him in your life, there is NO excuse for what he did. None.

 

 

Totally agree!!!

 

I hope he reflects on his behavior and becomes trully apologetic.

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A lot of people here are giving you advice based on their personal history, not on any knowledge of you, your marriage, your dh or his character.

 

 

I can't speak for anyone else, but I was giving her advice based on common sense, not on any personal history. I don't think any of us needs to know her dh to see that he was way out of line, and the same goes for the other woman.

 

Could this be innocent flirtation? Sure it could. But it could also be more than that, and several of us have suggested that the OP keep her eyes open for anything unusual. No one has told her to rush off to a divorce attorney, and no one has said that her dh is having an affair -- or even that he will. We have simply said that it would be prudent of her to be careful and to be very watchful for any signs that he and the woman start contacting each other.

 

I don't think it's a great idea to simply dismiss this, as the behavior wasn't typical of her dh -- and also because the woman was so blatantly flirting with him. Hopefully, she won't contact him again, and this was just a one-time transgression, but even if the OP's dh would never dream of contacting the woman again, we really have no idea how persistent or persuasive this other woman may turn out to be. Sure, it might have been a one-night flirtation for her, too, but maybe it wasn't, and I don't think the OP should stick her head in the sand and pretend there's no reason to be a little extra-alert for a while.

 

Better safe than sorry.

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I'd be alert but not obsessive for the next six months or so. I'd also decide right now no extended family get togethers for Christmas or next Thanksgiving.

 

:iagree:

 

I would definitely take steps to ensure that there is no further contact with the woman, or that if there is, it's a long time from now.

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I agree that his behavior was over the line. I would keep in mind when talking to him that attraction to other people is normal and it happens. Attraction isn't something that a person can control but reaction is. I would talk to him about the difference. I completely understand that sometimes my husband may find another woman attractive (whether this is based on looks or personality, it doesn't matter) but I expect him to behave appropriately. I think your husband found himself in a situation where he was attracted to this woman on some level but didn't handle it the right way at all. That's what he needs to learn to do. And yes, any other contact would be a bad thing. I don't necessarily think that he would try to talk to her, but if he wasn't self-aware enough to deal with attraction in person, he may not handle other contact appropriately either.

 

 

Im concerned about some of the suggestions about talking to your DH about this as though he is unaware of basic social cues. If this is unusual behavior for him and he doesn't grasp the difference between feeling attraction and acting on it, why has this never happened before? Has he never been attracted to anyone before? This just seems very naive. I have no personal experience but I think you need to make sure your eyes are wide open. Be willing to move on if he earns it over time, but I think the jury should still be out. Unless you married a fool ( which I think you would have known by now) he was aware of what he was doing and doesn't need it explained to him.

Edited by momoflaw
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Im concerned about some of the suggestions about talking to your DH about this as though he is unaware of basic social cues. If this is unusual behavior for him and he doesn't grasp the difference between feeling attraction and acting on it, why has this never happened before? Has he never been attracted to anyone before? This just seems very naive. I have no personal experience but I think you need to make sure your eyes are wide open. Be willing to move on if he earns it over time, but I think the jury should still be out. Unless you married a fool ( which I think you would have known by now) he was aware of what he was doing and doesn't need it explained to him.

 

 

:iagree:

 

It's not like her dh is 19 years old and clueless. He's a grown man who has been married for close to 20 years. Let's all assume that the man is not a complete moron. He knows what constitutes inappropriate behavior

 

Honestly, I would be less concerned if the OP had said that he'd always been a flirt. It sounds like this behavior was an anomaly, and that is what is of the most concern to me. (And I have to admit that I couldn't help but wonder if this behavior was truly unusual, or if it was simply unusual for him to act that way in front of his wife.)

 

I don't think there's a reason to throw the guy under the bus, but there's also no reason for the OP to discount her dh's actions. Look, the guy has been married for many years. All of a sudden, an attractive woman is flirting with him and acting like he's the best thing since sliced bread. That can be pretty tempting stuff. It doesn't mean he doesn't love his wife, but it can mean that things can get out of hand in a hurry -- and I am just hoping that the OP can prevent anything like that from happening.

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Personally *any* contact w/her would set me off on a rampage. Why? B/c that would mean he'd given her his info. Heaven help Wolf if he ever lost his brain enough to do that.

 

But see, Imp, Wolf knows better. You've already instilled that all-important Fear Factor into him. Nice work! :D

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Im concerned about some of the suggestions about talking to your DH about this as though he is unaware of basic social cues. If this is unusual behavior for him and he doesn't grasp the difference between feeling attraction and acting on it, why has this never happened before? Has he never been attracted to anyone before? This just seems very naive. I have no personal experience but I think you need to make sure your eyes are wide open. Be willing to move on if he earns it over time, but I think the jury should still be out. Unless you married a fool ( which I think you would have known by now) he was aware of what he was doing and doesn't need it explained to him.

These are my thoughts exactly. As I stated previously, the biggest red flag for me would be that this is highly unusual behavior for him. It is not a pattern. It is something new.
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Are you overreacting? Let's analyze this.

 

1. You had to spend Thanksgiving w/MIL and strangers. From your post, it sounds like MIL is not your favorite person, as you said she kept dumping on you the entire time.

 

2. You did most or all of the work for Thanksgiving while other people played or treated you like crap.

 

3. Your husband didn't offer to help while you were cooking for HIS family. How nice for him to have a vacation while you work your butt off for people you don't much care for and would probably rather not spend time with.

 

4. He was flirting with another woman. No matter what he says, that's what he was doing. While you might not mind it with your mutual friends (flirting openly with mutual friends in my presence wouldn't bother me) flirting with a stranger is different. There is no shared history of friendship and respect there. She is just some woman.

 

5. He physically touched this other woman during rough play. NOT appropriate! Other than giving friends of the opposite sex an occasional hug in greeting or departing (in front of our spouses) there is no touching.

 

No, you didn't overreact at all. Your husband was completely out of line. He's lucky you were as nice to him as you were and a tray of hot food didn't "accidentally" wind up in his lap or on her head. "Ooops! Sorry! So clumsy of me. I must be a little punchy from doing ALL the work to feed you people."

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No, you didn't overreact at all. Your husband was completely out of line. He's lucky you were as nice to him as you were and a tray of hot food didn't "accidentally" wind up in his lap or on her head. "Ooops! Sorry! So clumsy of me. I must be a little punchy from doing ALL the work to feed you people."

 

 

Love this!

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I know you've already received lots of helpful replies, but I just wanted to add that I think anyone would have been hurt and angry about what your dh did with the other woman, and I would strongly advise you to keep your eyes open to be sure he doesn't have any future contact with her.

 

Honestly, it sounds like the flirtation could very well have been the start of something more than that, so even though I normally wouldn't advise anyone to do this, I am going to gently suggest that you keep an eye on your dh's phone records and his emails, and to keep your eyes open for any kind of unusual behavior.

 

If he was this blatant about flirting with another woman right in front of you, what is he doing when he's not with you?

 

I am sorry to sound paranoid, but if it was my dh behaving that way, I would be very concerned.

 

 

I can't tell you how many affairs I've known about that started this EXACT way.

 

Trust but verify.

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If my husband had acted like this I would have gotten in the car and left (without him).

 

The single lady knew exactly what she was doing. He's not stupid either and knew exactly what was going on.

 

I wouldn't grind him to death over it but if he acts this way again or starts behaving squirrelly with his phone, email use etc. you should probably start snooping to see if there's anything worse. One problem with confronting cheating or potentially cheating spouses is that they just deny and go underground and get better at hiding. Even if this was his first time behaving inappropriately, he's gotten a taste of it and may want more.

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