Having respect for one's partner is the only way a relationship can
survive, let alone thrive. I've watched too many of my friends'
marriages crumble because either a husband or wife didn't understand
that, or just didn't care to deliver it. Their need to be admired by the opposite sex was much more important to them at the time.
In my book SECRET LIVES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES, my heroine, Lyssa,
realizes her husband, Ted, thrives on flirting. As you'll read here,
her reaction — and I'm sure it would be the same for a lot of us — is
threefold: denial, resignation, and anger…
"Whoa, Tammy, look at those muscles! Flex 'em for me, babe, go on."
Tammy accommodates Ted's demand by taking off the sheer blouse
she wears over her tight tank top, and curling a taut sinewy arm. When
he rewards her with a wolf whistle, she feigns bashfulness by covering
But no one is fooled. This is why she curls 10-pound barbells in
12 reps, four times each arm: so that other women's husbands will
Including mine. I hate it when Ted flirts.
It wouldn't be so bad if he wasn't so good at it. Or if he only flirted with me.
But no, that would be too much to ask.
Unlike some husbands who feel awkward in a room full of women,
Ted loves being the cock of the walk. And because he knows I am
completely and utterly assured of his loyalty, he openly flirts with my
He does it with a certain smile on his face. You know the one. It promises more than he can deliver. I know this first hand.
But Tammy doesn't—until she sees the loving manner in which he
unconsciously strokes my hair while complimenting Brooke on her last
As Tammy follows the other women out the door, she sighs in my ear: "You are sooooooo lucky."
Whereas she is not. Her Charlie's bank account may be humongous, but his sperm bank is all but empty.
This gives her something else to whine about.
It also gives her the audacity to graze up against Ted on her way out the door.
If she thinks I didn't see her, she's crazy. Okay, now I have to be president. Just so I can kick her off the board…
Copyright © 2010 by Josie Brown
Bottom line: it hurts when a significant other flirts.
A gut reaction would be to throw a hissy fit. If Lyssa had, no other wife in the room would have blamed her . . .
But no. She realizes she is not necessarily surrounded by friends.
Had she made a scene, it would give her frenemies something very juicy
to gossip about.
So instead she feigns indifference. Why? Because the sharks are
circling, and she knows it. No way is she going to rock her tiny boat
in this sea of humanity.
What would I have done in this situation? Glad you asked. I would
have waited until we were alone, then honestly and openly told him how
much it had hurt me.
And if he forgot, I'd remind him again, in private.
But this time, I'd have a nutcracker in my hand. 'Tis the season, right?
Have you ever been in a situation where your SI flirted in front of
you? If so, how do you handle it? Feel free to comment below…
Inquiring minds want to know,
Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives (From Amazon)
Simon & Schuster/Pocket