Within minutes of my husband passing out, his friend started hitting on me and making inappropriate comments toward me. I was polite at first, not wanting to offend my husband’s friend, but, when he started pawing at me and not taking “no” for an answer, I became rude. I was finally able to get him out of the hotel room and even then he was still trying to give me his hotel room key.
When my husband awoke in the morning, I told him what happened. I was angry and very uncomfortable. We had not planned on spending any additional time with his friend the rest of the weekend, so that was okay. We did see him at breakfast and he acted as if nothing had happened.
So, here is my problem: My husband and his friend are co-workers. They don’t work in the same building, but they do work together. I asked my husband if he was planning on saying anything to his friend about the situation. My husband advised that he didn’t know what to say and didn’t want to cause any problems. His friend caused the problem! Now I am left feeling like he doesn’t support me or have my back. I told him this and he told me I am blowing it out of proportion. I am very hurt by the fact that my husband isn’t standing up for me with his friend. Am I right in thinking that he should say something to his friend — Wants More Support
Let’s back up for a minute to that moment in the hotel when you realized the creepy friend was hitting on you and making inappropriate comments. You said you were “polite at first,” not wanting to “offend” your husband’s friend. First of all, we women need to stop being fucking polite. When a man is inappropriate, don’t wait for your husband or your boyfriend or some other dude to stand up for you, stand up for yourself. (And, for the record, standing up for yourself isn’t being “rude,” which is another term that implies unladylike behavior. When someone behaves in an inappropriate way toward you, social conventions — the rules of the game, so to speak — have already been broken, and “polite” and “rude” no longer matter). I’m glad that you eventually stood up for yourself, but, in an effort to be understanding toward your husband, remember how your initial response was to be polite and to not offend this creep — this friend of your husband — when he started hitting on you and making inappropriate comments as your husband slept, passed out, feet away.
And why was that your initial response? Probably because at first you were confused, right? Why would this guy you’re friendly with, who works with your husband, and with whom you just spent most of the day, be acting this way? Why would he treat you the way he’s treating you? Are you misconstruing his intentions? If you act polite, will he stop and go away? If you’re “rude” to him, will it make things worse? Do you risk putting yourself in danger if you anger him? These are some of the questions women who have been in similar situations ask themselves, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you were going through the same line of questions, too. They are also some of the questions your husband may be asking himself now, too. He might be confused, angry, and worried about making the situation worse and potentially even putting his job (or his reputation at work) in danger by “standing up for you.”
But you want your husband to say something. I get that. But what? What is it you want him to say? After all, he doesn’t know what to say — he’s told you that. Have you told him what you want him to say? That could help. Do you want him to tell the guy that he knows what he did? Do you want him to ask why he did what he did? Do you want him to threaten him? Tell him that, if he ever does anything like that to you again, he’ll be sorry?
Think about what it is you want your husband to say — and why — and tell him. Maybe what you want is some acknowledgement from your husband that what happened to you fucking sucks and he’s sorry that he was passed out and couldn’t be present for you in the way you needed him to be. Maybe you need him to apologize for letting it all happen — for taking you on a weekend getaway trip with someone who would behave the way his friend and colleague did. Maybe what you really need isn’t so much for your husband to stand up for you to this (hopefully former) friend, but to apologize to you and ask how you’re feeling and express concern for you because that was a scary and infuriating incident.
Figure out exactly what it is you want from your husband. If it’s indeed for him to say something to the co-worker, tell him what you want him to say and why it’s so important to you. And if he doesn’t, then ask him why he won’t. Don’t assume you know the reason. Communicate with him. And remember that what happened isn’t your husband’s fault. He doesn’t deserve your anger here. The co-worker does. And he deserve’s your husband’s anger, too. But your husband’s human and, like you, his initial response to all of this may be more confusion and fear than anger. But that doesn’t mean he won’t tap into the rage and express it appropriately — especially with a little help from you.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at email@example.com.