“Does My Ex-Husband’s Friend Want to Clean My Pipes or What?”

Woman texting

I have been separated for six months from a 16-year relationship/marriage, and I’ve been supporting myself and my kids and enjoying life again. Recently, I reached out to an ex-friend of my ex-husband’s to do a quote on some home renovations. It started out professionally and innocently until he started flirting with me in texts with suggestions of showing a little cleavage for a better quote (but it wasn’t said in a creepy way — he was being funny).

When he came to the house, he hinted around a few times with more sexual innuendos but never actually made a move. The text flirting continued and pics have been exchanged — topless on my part and, although he had a great initial reaction and made a very straight-forward gesture which I made obvious that I wouldn’t decline, he’s not texted since he had to suddenly leave town for a short time for work.

I found out he asked a mutual friend shortly before the flirting started if it would be weird to start something with me and if I’d be ready since I’m new to single status, and his friend said to go for it. I’m tempted to reach out, but, since he said his good-bye, I’m not sure. Wouldn’t he reach out to me if he wanted to stay in touch? And does his silence mean that, when he gets back, the only pipe he’ll be fixing is in my kitchen? I don’t want to look like a fool, so I’m not sure how to proceed or if I should at all. Please help! — Needing a Good Pipe-Cleaning

This guy was the one who initially crossed the lines of professionalism and started making sexual innuendos, right? He sexted with you, engaged in an exchange of photos, and continued making very “straight-forward gestures” that one can only assume were sexual in nature. And then it suddenly stopped. And you want to know why. Well, it’s highly unlikely that he suddenly lost interest, especially since he hasn’t yet gotten what he’s likely after (sex with you). A more reasonable explanation for his sudden silence is that he either got super busy/decided to put communication with you on pause while he was away and couldn’t consummate anything anyway, or he decided that it was weird to be pursuing his (ex?) friend’s estranged wife.

Since you are expecting him to return not only to town but also to the job you initially contacted him about, I’d wait until he’s back and/or reaches out to you before you try to connect with him. At that point, if he’s no longer flirty/ making “non-creepy” comments about your cleavage, I’d assume that, for whatever reason, he’s no longer interested in cleaning any pipes of yours except the ones in your kitchen.

You could try to find out the reason, but what would be the point? And, more importantly, why would you want to? You don’t mention that you’re yet divorced, so you’re still married to your husband, whom you say is an ex-friend of this man. You also mention kids, so I assume they are kids you share with your estranged husband. Don’t you think it would behoove you to try to keep things as cordial as possible with the man you are co-parenting with and perhaps with whom you’re even facing future custody battles as well an eventual divorce settlement? Don’t you think that, if he got wind of your getting your metaphorical, and maybe even literal, pipes cleaned by his former friend, that could potentially threaten your co-parenting relationship and whatever steps still lie ahead as you figure out the legal status of your marriage/divorce?

Finally, if you have any interest in Mr. Pipe Cleaner beyond getting your pipes cleaned — like if you were thinking you might like to have a relationship with him — consider whether a man who makes immediate sexual innuendos, exchanges nude-ish pics with you, and then disappears without explanation BEFORE even asking you out is someone who sounds at all interested in anything other than an easy/potentially exciting lay? I mean, if that’s all you’re interested in, too — and that would be understandable when you’re six months out of a 16-year relationship — then that’s one thing (and I still would suggest finding a FB who doesn’t have any sort of history or connection with your estranged husband/father of your kids), but, if you’re looking for a boyfriend, then this isn’t the guy. And depending on his reviews, he may not even be the best guy to clean your kitchen pipes. Especially if he’s only going to give you a discount if you show him your tits.


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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.


  1. Avatar photo juliecatharine says:

    LW, follow Wendy’s advice and get someone else to clean your pipes (kitchen-related and otherwise). He’s flaking already; don’t invest energy in someone who does that. Find a considerate FB you don’t have a history with. Check out adult friend finder or okcupid and be picky-trust me, you have lots and lots of options if a little no strings fun is all you’re after

  2. In porn world, this works out great. Innuendos abound, fantastic kitchen-related romp, etc. In the real world, this guy is an unforgivable skeeze who doesn’t have the common sense to keep his work and livelihood separate from his quest to “snake your drain”. A man who makes any kind of remarks about a woman’s cleavage before he has been personally invited to experience it is a sleaze. Most likely afterward, too. I recommend you search this scenario on a reputable porn site, clean your own pipes, and find another plumber who maintains a minimum professional standard.

    1. Avatar photo juliecatharine says:

      Good point, he sounds like an immature shade ball.

    2. Avatar photo mrmidtwenties says:

      I just have to say. I’m really don’t understand how pipe cleaning can become an innuendo. Maybe I know too much about plumbing. But you only really get your pipe’s cleaned if they’re backed up, and often that results with the blockage coming back out the drain. That’s all I would picture, or the human body equivalent, if I tried or someone else I knew tried to use that line.

      1. LOL

      2. So, when someone calls a woman’s parts a “pussy,” do you automatically picture a real cat, wonder where the ears are and start to get anxious about the potential for claws? Sometimes you just have to let these little misfitting details go. See, it’s furry. Boom. You’re done. And even that’s often not true anymore.

      3. Avatar photo mrmidtwenties says:

        @Diablo, I actually do picture a cat and it scares me, so I really never use the term.

    3. Avatar photo Raccoon eyes says:

      Diablo, I always enjoy your incisive comments! 😉

  3. Avatar photo Cleopatra Jones says:

    Yeah, this dude is just trying to lay some pipe, LW. He’s not interested in a real relationship with you, which is fine, if that’s what you also want. If not, move on from this relationship, and find someone else to fix/clean your literal pipes.
    Also, a word of caution…I know that you are enjoying your new single life but please be a little more cautious of falling headfirst into another relationship. It’s only been 6 months (and you have kids), you have plenty of time to meet a nice guy who’s a good fit for you.

    1. Avatar photo Raccoon eyes says:

      I agree totally. Also, I think this falls into the category of Just-Because-You-Can-Doesnt-Mean-You-Should. Like, just because you know this ex-friend doesnt mean he is the only plumber in town. (Why is he your husband’s EX-friend btw? Also, he is your husband until you divorce- you said you are 6 months into being separated.) Also, just because you CAN send a new man topless photos and trade innuendos via text and FB messaging, does NOT mean you SHOULD.
      Also, WWS. Always tread lightly when children are involved, and ESPECIALLY when the divorce settlement is not finalized nor visitation/placement of the kids.

  4. This guy is not only unprofessional (I’m sure offering a discount to female customers if they show some skin is in violation of some ethical code), but he’s got no class. Aim higher.

  5. anonymousse says:

    Oh, boy. He’s probably laying pipe (or whatever) wherever he’s working right now. He’s telling you that when he is in town, he’s up for fun with you, but he’s a single man not tied down. He’s not keeping in touch, because why would he? It’s casual. He started this flirting with sex, and he’s keeping it “sex.” There aren’t any other implications. By that I mean, he wants sex and that’s it. It actually sounds pretty disrespectful to immediately start in with the “tit discount” offer. Classy! Keeping it professional didn’t last very long.
    I would be a little bit more aware of your actions until you are actually divorced…I don’t think I’d be sending anyone topless pics, especially if they are/were friends with my-not-even-ex-husband. I’m not saying there’s legal implications, but it seems as though you and your ex are friends with him and know a lot of the same people. Keep it civil, and date outside of the groups of people you know. Otherwise, things could get messy, and you have kids!

  6. dinoceros says:

    Think about the fact that although you like the attention and don’t find it creepy, he didn’t know that would be the case. So, he’s some plumber who goes to people’s homes and makes inappropriate comments to them.

    I imagine he just likes flirting and being a creeper or else he would have pursued something. Maybe join a dating site if you really need a guy right now.

  7. Monkeys Mommy says:

    Omg, what??? You sent this dude pics of your tits, really?! That’s the kind of dumb shit I lecture my teenagers about, not expecting the same of a grown ass woman with kids!! He is not even your friend, much less significant other, have you totally lost it? I mean, really, what says payback on an old X friend like showing him your picture of his wife tits?

    But since you didn’t ask me my opinion of your adventures, I’ll answer the question you did ask. He isn’t contacting you because he isn’t thinking of you. You are fun to flirt with and get naked pics from sometimes, but he is busy and working, and you haven’t made the priority list cut. Will you eventually? Maybe, but I would not want to if I were you. Who knows how many other women he propositions for discounts?

    1. Avatar photo Cleopatra Jones says:

      Or at the very least, her text pics are now going to be fodder for his free porn collection.

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