Repeatedly violated by husband’s good friend
Dear Annie: My family (my husband, our young kids and I) vacations with two other families once or twice a year. My husband went to school with the other two husbands, and they are best friends. I have developed great friendships with their wives, and our kids are all similar ages and get along.
We have a great time, but one of the husbands always finds a way to make me uncomfortable. During our most recent vacation, while we were saying our goodbyes and loading up the cars, he grabbed my breast as he pulled me in for a hug. I was stunned and immediately pulled away. He quickly turned around and went on to hug everyone else as if nothing had happened. I debated whether to say anything, but I let it go. However, this violation keeps eating at me. (The other time he made me feel uncomfortable was when the adults had all met up for a long weekend. While dancing at a concert, he came up behind me and starting grinding against me. I thought he was joking and laughed at him, but he continued until I left the dance floor. He did this when his wife had gone to the bathroom and my husband was getting drinks, so I think it was purposeful.)
If I told my husband, I’m sure he would cut off his friendship with this guy. I’m torn because I would hate to see my husband lose one of his good friends and for us to lose out on these otherwise great vacations.
I backed out of the most recent adult vacation (claiming our baby sitter had bailed) because I just wanted to avoid this guy. Yet in the wake of the #MeToo movement, why should I miss out on vacation time when it’s this guy who is making me feel uncomfortable? I share everything with my husband, so keeping this from him is making me feel awkward.
Should I forgive these transgressions and keep them to myself or find a way to tell the guy to knock it off or let my husband know what’s going on? — Quiet for Now
Dear Quiet for Now: It’s not your job to protect this predator. Whatever fallout comes is what he’s got coming to him. He’s repeatedly made very conscious, calculated decisions to violate you. Our actions have consequences, and he is no exception. Tell your husband what’s up, and don’t worry about his losing a “good friend.” This man was never a good friend.
Dear Annie: I would like to offer an alternative viewpoint for “Child of the South.” I think that sometimes we jump to conclusions about why people do what they do and then judge them on what we think are the facts. “Child of the South” is assuming her sister-in-law feels entitled. Though that may be the case, it may also be that her sister-in-law is embarrassed about the condition of her houses, or perhaps she feels that she doesn’t cook as well as “Child of the South.” There could be many reasons, but to get angry without knowing for sure could harm an otherwise excellent relationship. I hope “Child of the South” chooses a way to either talk with her sister-in-law or find a way to enjoy her company without the expectation that the hospitality will be reciprocated. Loving relationships are hard enough to maintain without destroying them by keeping score. — Counting Blessings Rather Than Beans
Dear Counting Blessings: I love your signature. Yours is an attitude we should all strive for. Thanks for writing.
Dear Annie is written by Annie Lane, a young, married mother of two. Send questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.