“My Daughter-in-Law Flirts With My Partner and I Don’t Like It”

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This is going to sound nuts but here goes: My son has been married for over ten years to my daughter-in-law, “Darlene.” Darlene is nice but a bit crazy — especially during social cocktail time — and our entire family knows it. She has had one “known” affair during their married years, but they worked through it and are still together. My son is successful but overweight; Darlene is flirtatious with big tatas.

Recently, we’ve stayed at their home a couple of times to visit/help out with their puppies (they don’t have children), and Darlene has been a bit friendly towards my partner, like moving her chair closer to his while dining. He did move his closer to mine (good move, not much gets by me). This last visit was very bothersome; we entered the house, she had already had a cocktail, she put her arm around my partner’s back/waist, looked him in the eye, and said, “What can I get you to drink?” in a flirty way, which I felt was inappropriate. He didn’t seem to mind because he is a narcissistic, attention-needing professional. Moving forward, when we went to leave, I gave her a hug which she seemed normal with, but then she wrapped her arms around my partner with her big tatas and said to him, “I love you.” It was just so inappropriate and I was very angry. Big tatas to my partner are like cocaine to a drug addict.

So my real concern is that all of my children and spouses and grandchildren are renting a beach house for five days, and I don’t want to leave those two alone at any time; I just don’t trust her not to do something stupid, as she seems really interested in him, and I’m not feeling that he respects me. If he can’t help himself, and needs that much attention in the worst of ways, then I would leave him, and he knows it. I am already not looking forward to that weekend. Advice would be helpful. — Not Down With the Tatas

I think that if you are so threatened by a woman with big tatas – a woman married to your son — that you’re already threatening to leave your partner if he seems in any way to enjoy her company, your problem isn’t with Darlene (or her datas). Honestly, I’m not even sure the problem is with your partner. I think the problem is with you. Nothing you said about Darlene seems so unusual. She likes to drink and is gregarious and friendly. It sounds like she’s a gracious host who offers her guests something to drink when they arrive (omg, crazy). So, she moved her chair closer to your partner at the dinner table, so what. You’re reading WAY more into that than a chair move warrants. Maybe she wanted to be closer to the bottle of wine. Maybe the “I love you” was borderline questionable, but drunks say stuff like that all the time. Especially ones with big tatas, and I should know.

So, here’s what I would do if I were you: I would get breast implants and start drinking more before your big family beach vacation so you can keep up with Darlene and steal back some of the attention from her. Oh, I’m kidding.

What I would really do is leave your partner at home since it seems apparent you don’t even like him anyway (he’s a narcissistic, attention-needing professional who doesn’t respect you, after all). Maybe it’s time to MOA, actually. And then go to the beach and don’t worry that Darlene with the tatas is tying one on because she isn’t your problem and you aren’t in competition with her. She’s your son’s wife of ten years. And if he’s not worried about the effect her big tatas and flirtatiousness is having on other men, you shouldn’t be either.

During the week I work 8-6, whereas my boyfriend, “Carl,” works 7-7 (including Friday nights) as a lorry driver. He sometimes calls me in the evenings and we chat, but we can never plan things as he doesn’t get his job for the next night until the evening before. He is a very independant person, and he has to split his time between seeing friends and family, working on his car, and regular everyday activities, as well as seeing me. He always asks if I’m coming over on the weekend, but I often find he spends most of the evening with his friends and only sees me before he goes to sleep or for an hour or so after when he wakes up.

I have mentioned to him about planning things to do but it is impossible with his last-minute shift arrangements, and I understand that on weekends he has a lot of things to do, so it’s hard to see him. He assured me that he likes spending time with me but that we can’t do normal couple things like go out during the weekends as he’s asleep or juggling seeing so many different people and getting things done.

I know he cares about me as when I am with him he looks after me and we have fun, but it’s so rare for us to spend time together and it’s hard for me not to get upset when he chooses to see his friends or to do other things on the weekends rather than spend the time with me. The time I do spend with him is usually just relaxing watching a film or chilling at home as he is tired and wants time in after working and seeing his friends.

How can I change the way I feel about this and ultimately know he still loves me even though we can’t spend hardly any time together or have a “normal” relationship? There are so many relationship things I’d like us to do together, but ultimately I need to accept and be happy with just spending time with him relaxing and do the fun “couple” kinds of activities with friends instead whilst he’s working. I have set aside a time limit of a month to consider everything and make a decision on whether I can stay with him. What do you think? — Wanting More of His Time

I think what you’ve described sounds mind-numbingly boring and, unless you’re like in your 90s, I can’t imagine why you’d settle for these crumbs of a relationship this guy is dropping. You act like you’re the only one with a choice to make: settle for what he’s giving you or move on (move on, by the way), but he has a choice too: spend time with you or spend time with everyone else. He is not choosing you, so why on earth would you choose him and the boring, kind of degrading relationship he’s offering?


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


  1. I’m commenting only to say the use of “tatas” brightened up this otherwise dreary Thursday morning. Thank you!

    1. Allornone says:

      I actually wish I wasn’t a member of the itty-bitty-titty committee for no other reason than to be able to refer to my tinies as tatas. The word just doesn’t seem to fit with them as well.

      1. Lololol. I’m in the same boat. I have “mosquito bites”.

  2. My mother taught me the correct anatomical terms for all body parts – it’s actually “bodacious tatas”. Just an fyi for the future.

    Seriously just break up with your partner – you obviously don’t like or trust him. If he actually can’t resist banging your son’s wife because she has breasts, that’s a good reason to dump him.

    1. LisforLeslie says:

      Agreed on the need to note bodaciousness.

      If you don’t trust your bf, dump him. Your dil is one of many temptations in this life. If he has eyes for others then he’s not the guy for you

      1. LIKE! (to all of this)

        Jeez Louise….this woman’s DIL of 10 years is not the first drunken/flirty woman you’re going to encounter with your partner. If you don’t trust him enough to be around her, there’s a problem with him….maybe her….and definitely you.

    2. Laken Macaluso says:

      The daughter-in-law is very disrespectful and lacks boundaries. I would not be ok with that. The problem is definitely not You. What you’re seeing coupled with your intuition makes you unsteady and insecure. A woman cannot bother a man unless he is open to it, unfortunately your boyfriend is open to inappropriate behavior and you do need to leave him before your feelings get involved further.

  3. LW1: I understand your annoyance at your DIL’s flirting ways and I wouldn’t like it either to have to watch that gross behavior, especially in the intimate field of family. But I don’t think that she is really interested in your partner. He may be narcissistic, but he is certainly old. She is just having fun and probably enjoys seeing your reaction. You are an easy target. But don’t compete with her.
    I would have a discussion with your partner: just say it bothers you to see that flirt which is so out of place, you feel disrespected by her and would like him to set some distance and to stop that game, you would like to feel reassured. His reaction will be saying. If he denies and calls you crazy, then just say that you would prefer to go on your own to your family week-end on the beach. You are not glued together and he doesn’t necessarily get to accompany you, especially if he can’t stand such a conversation. If he reacts with aknowledgment of your feelings and is reassuring, then you won. Anyway, something is off with this boyfriend: you don’t trust him, you should be able to address such an issue with him as a test. Ask for more consideration of him, and see what is the result.

    LW2: Just break up: what a waste of time for you. Your schedules are uncompatible and really, what you get is an insult. Go out find yourself a better boyfriend, someone who has some free time for you.

    1. Bittergaymark says:

      Wait, what? The only way the poor guy can win here is to AGREE that Darlene is wildly inappropriate? How so? When she is clearly NOT?!

      1. golfer.gal says:

        Yeah i agree. What exactly has the daughter in law done? Told her father in law (of 10 years!) that she loves him, offer him a cocktail, and give him a big hug? I have done all of these things to my father in law. I have done them all in the same night. I have done them all while pretty damn buzzed. And i have fairly big tatas. Gasp! Oh my god. I’m in love with my father in law!! I even did all those things on my own wedding night. I’m a monster

      2. Bittergaymark says:

        This letter is about — GASP!! — Golfer.gal!!

  4. OMG Tatas just made my day. Loved your response, Wendy.

  5. Wow there is SO MUCH to unpack in #1. Its like a cup size J bra full of crazy. LW doesn’t seem to like her partner at all so why is she with him? That problem is easily solved, dump him and move on and then he never comes to your family vacations to be flirted with by cocaine titties DIL. Or keep him around, but don’t worry so much if he cheats on you with some bigger boobs because you don’t like him anyways.
    But Big Tatas Darlene is the real problem. I suspect the reason Darlene is overly friendly with Partner is because she doesn’t like LW and is trying to avoid having to talk to/hug/sit next to her very much. And who could blame her, since LW clearly sees her daughter-in-law as a big-boobed drunken floozy! Time to accept that your son is with Darlene and those big tatas are so fantastic that he was willing to overlook an affair so she probably isn’t going anywhere. Or, you know, he loves her. One of the two.
    And I know Wendy was joking but serious LW, if your boobs are so bad for your self-esteem get some implants. Wear halter tops and be happy. Life is too short to feel bad about your boobs.

    1. LisforLeslie says:

      But we don’t know that BTD is actually flirting or it’s just perception. The behavior is seen through a lens we don’t have

      1. golfer.gal says:

        Hahahaha BTD

      2. But it doesn’t actually matter. BTD (snicker) is part of her family now even if she is a drunken floozy. And if she had more confidence in her partner, her relationship, and herself then she wouldn’t be as bothered that someone was flirting with him.

    2. golfer.gal says:

      Yeah, I agree with Steph. If your narcissistic partner goes after tatas like “cocaine” as you say then, maybe dump him? Worrying about whether he is going after someone else or if you are good enough sounds exhausting and soul crushing. A good man would be horrified if his almost daughter in law acted in an openly seductive way. Which is not to say BTD is acting like that. Also, maybe cool it on the judgement of your son’s marriage. Their choices to work through an affair, their physical appearances, etc are solidly none of your business. You seem to be heaping a lot of hate on BTD for her (perceived, not necessarily accurate) flirtatious behavior when the problem is you’ve got a shit boyfriend. That problem would solve itself if you had a good man at your side who only had eyes for you and was willing to set firm boundaries.

    3. Part-time Lurker says:

      “Cocaine titties” ROFLMAO thank you 🙂

      1. Bittergaymark says:

        “i may have my flaw- flaws
        but this bitch
        wields giant tatas.
        i know its wack
        but to my boyfriend
        they’re like crack…
        they represent
        something i lack…”

        “Oooh oooh
        ahhh ahhh
        invasion of the tatas”

        “i’d like to send her back.
        maybe pick up a bat
        and take a whack”

        “Oooh oooh
        ahhh ahhh
        invasion of the tatas…”

  6. Bittergaymark says:

    Damn, LW1. Thank you for s hilarious morning read! Yes, I must say it is fascinating… fascinating to see how far a person will go out of their way to reveal how batshitfuckingcrazy they are. Yikes, LW1. Just yikes. Honestly? I am not sure this letter will ever be topped. ?

    1. Ruby Tuesday says:

      I think this calls for another song for the DW Musical.

      1. Bittergaymark says:

        See above!

  7. PurpleStar says:

    LW1: let your partner go to the family weekend and you stay home….that way at least one of you will enjoy the weekend as you are determined to be miserable no matter what.

    LW2: This is not a boyfriend that you have…easier to have you over for sex then to expend the time to actually have a relationship. Don’t waste a month – MOA now

  8. Avatar photo Prognosti-gator says:

    You say:
    ‘She has had one “known” affair during their married years, but they worked through it and are still together. My son is successful but overweight; Darlene is flirtatious with big tatas.’

    The way you say *known* affair speaks volumes. Not about your DIL, but about you.

    The fact you also mention that your son is ‘successful but overweight’ – details that are completely irrelevant to the rest of your story, EXCEPT it points back to you.

    It’s obvious you don’t like your DIL. You think she’s using your son because he’s successful. You point out that he’s overweight and she has big “tatas” to express that she’s just some sex kitten, and couldn’t possibly be attracted to your overweight son.

    You are too involved in their marriage. If she had an affair, but they chose to work past it, that’s their business. You may not like it, but you aren’t the one who is married to her, so butt out.

    You seem determined to view everything she does as if it is directed at you. Even if she *was* trying to seduce your partner, we’d never be able to know, because you’ve shown yourself to be such a biased narrator of the events, that it’s impossible to take anything you say at face value.

    1. I think LW thinks the “known” affair supports her theory that BTD is flirting with her partner. As in “see , she’s a cheater!” But I mean even if she was a cheater looking for her next mark, how dumb do you have to be to flirt with your MIL’s partner in front of your husband?

      1. dinoceros says:

        Don’t tell the LW how many people have cheated before. She’ll never want to leave her home again.

      2. Laken Macaluso says:

        It happens very often. I am dealing with it as we speak. However my son is very handsome and successful and my DIL is beautiful and successful as well. They’ve been together 15 years and we’ve always been very close. At a family vacation last year I noticed the flirtatious behavior between them both. I gave the benefit of the doubt because we’re family. Well, it continued and she does enjoy it, however my silence was creating an internal war with myself. I knew if my son saw this he would be furious at his wife and step dad and our family would be ruined forever. So when I’d see the flirting I’d make comments about women having no boundaries and only someone with a white spirit would flirt with a man in front of his wife. My son got angry one day and said his wife thought I was referring to her, lol. I wanted to say if the shoe fit wear it, but I still have a image to uphold. I talked to my husband about the behavior and he said I should ignore it because she was raped repeatedly by her father as a young girl and that has affected her ability to have boundaries and be a sexual fool. I disagree and agree that only a narcissistic FIL would entertain such a foul and disgusting spirit.

        Relationships are built on trust. This behavior is red flags all over the place. I asked my husband to just not allow his personal space to be invaded and give her a look and it won’t happen again

      3. Laken Macaluso says:

        Correction to above paragraph. I meant to say bad spirit, not white..

  9. LW1- your problem is with the bf… Diesnt matter how flirtatous or inappropriate another persobs behavior is, it matters how your bf handled it. If you dont like DIL then why bother to go around her or invite her on trips.

  10. Everyone in LW1’s story seems weird. Impossible to tell who exactly is the problem.

    I will say – why are you with your boyfriend? The way you write it sounds like you can’t stand him regardless as to whether or not he is flirting with Big Tatas D.

  11. dinoceros says:

    LW1: But … it wouldn’t matter how big her tatas are and how flirtatious she is if you weren’t married to someone you didn’t trust. It’s like you’re blaming her for the fact that you’ve chosen to be with someone that you think is going to sleep with your DIL. Nothing you’ve said sounds all that strange. She can’t help how big her boobs are. Simply having large ones doesn’t make someone automatically more flirtatious. There are also a lot of younger women who think it’s more acceptable to be like that with older male relatives because they assume that everyone knows they wouldn’t actually be interested in them. But either way, even if the DIL is out of the picture, your husband is going to encounter other women in his life and may sleep with them, so why focus so much on her?

    LW2: I’m not sure why you’re assuming that he really loves you and is into the relationship. There’s no evidence that he is. Why try to convince yourself of that when it’s likely not true? Anybody can the time they spend with someone else in that moment and treat them well while they are in the same room. That doesn’t require love or anything like that. The fact that he shows little to no interest in seeing you is not a good sign. Sure, his schedule is crazy, but you admit that he could make up for that by making plans with you on the weekend, and yet, he chooses to fill his time with other things first. He doesn’t appear to care whether you see each other much or not. Why would you want to put blinders on to that? Why be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t really care if he sees you or not?

    1. dinoceros says:

      Or “partner,” I guess. I think I assumed husband because I didn’t know why someone would stick with a guy (she describes) like that, unless they were legally bound in some way.

      Also, the comment about the son being overweight makes it clear the LW has a lot of issues. TBH, maybe the DIL is acting this way to make the MIL come around less because she’s so judgmental of her son? Who knows.

  12. Can you imagine being LW1’s partner. Your daughter in law sits next to you at dinner and you have to move your chair as far away as possible because you know your wife/girlfriend is batshit crazy and will take it as a come on? There is clearly a lot of issues between the LW and the BTD and I’m guessing the LW is probably the cause for most of them. I don’t blame BTD if she wants to lay it on a little thick, because it exposes her ML for who she really is.

    1. dinoceros says:

      Not only that, but when you move your chair away, your partner just assumes it’s because you don’t want to get in trouble … not that you genuinely would not like to get cozy with the DIL. The LW apparently thinks it’s not even possible that her partner might not want to engage in some kind of (perceived) flirtation. What a sad relationship.

  13. Does anyone remember the original “Rock of Love” with Bret Michaels? And that blonde woman Heather who almost “won” but didn’t (after tattooing Bret’s name on her NECK lol). She referred to her boobs as “tatters,” and in that episode where her parents came to meet Bret, she was riding a mechanical bull and talking about how her tatters were flapping this way and that. No? Just me?

    1. Bittergaymark says:

      I doubt anybody even much remembers Bret Michaels.

    2. I never watched it but I read the recaps. Honestly those two were really compatible but I think Bret liked to pretend he was classier somehow.

      1. Lmao Ange. Seriously, they were a match made in heaven, but he chose Jes because she was younger and “classier” and not a former stripper who talked about her tatters flip flapping this way and that in front of her dad. But Heather was a goddamn good time, and totally devoted to Bret.

  14. Lw1 is right that she sounds nuts.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Thanks all for your input, lots of good feedback, and lots of future decision making.

  16. Laken Macaluso says:

    Her Tatas are not the problem. It’s her Rotten Spirit! Your boyfriend is weak and lacks respect for you. No one should cheat but if you are going to do it don’t do it in front of your partner and set up doubts on their head about you and create wars between families. Neither of these people care.
    Packing my bags as we speak

    1. ele4phant says:

      Ya know – if you can’t trust your partner not to cheat – that’s your problem. Not your DIL or any other random woman.

      Yes, we can side-eye people that openly flirt with others, in front of everyone’s partners, but your relationship is your problem to deal with, and your son’s relationship issues with his wife are his. That’s really that.

      The original LW (which is a pretty old letter btw) readily admitted her partner was narcissistic and weak-willed around women with big breasts. And she stayed with him because?

      If she had a partner she trusted, her DIL’s behavior (real or perceived), would be mildly amusing, not at all threatening.

      Be with someone you trust. If you can’t trust your partner, don’t be with them. Leave your son to deal with his own marriage.

      It really is that simple.

  17. Texican Ashley says:

    I think the first letter was sent to dear prudie too…at the least a very similar letter. Commenters there agreed it was a creative writing exercise but maybe not? For the second letter, I think if you want to do relationship things…then find a guy who is willing to give those things. Love is not enough (though I kinda doubt he loves you) to make a happy relationship. I mean what kind of life would you have with this guy anyway? You want kids? How about a Weekend father? Taking care of the housework and children all by yourself? I’d pass.

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