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How do I take this?

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ninebark posted 9/3/2013 07:37 AM

Okay something that struck me as odd this weekend and I need an unbiased opinon.

I was at my sisters for an event and one of her friends and her friend's husband were there. I really like this friend, so you can say she is my friend too. The husband seemed very nice, first time I had met him.

Anyway at some point in our conversation I made a joke, which I could tell amused him, but next thing I can feel him watching me. Every time I look over he is staring at me. So I am a little uncomfortable and just try not to make soo much eye contact. He doesn't do or say anything inappropriate so I think I must be just imagining it.

I get home and find a friend request from him (I am already friends with his wife). So I accept and he starts sending me private emails.

Now they are just friendly emails, the first was apologizing for being quiet and how he talks more when he gets to know people and how he was happy to meet me. Then it continues, just chatting about my son going back to school..etc.

He has done nothing that can be conscrued as inappropriate or flirtatious, but it is giving me a bit of a vibe that he wants more than friendship.

So there is it is, am i just imagining this or does it sound like he has other motives?

Ofcourse if he ever did make any overtures he will be promptly shut down. I will never have an affair.

NaiveAgain posted 9/3/2013 08:43 AM

I watch my boundaries really closely with members of the opposite sex that have partners. Even if I am friends with the man, I will make sure his partner is included in our conversations and if I talk to him alone, I make sure his partner knows that also.

Even if nothing can be construed as flirtatious, I feel there is a slippery slope opening up here. Why is he seeking you out without his wife's presence?

I don't know...I do have male friends that will never be more than friends, but when there are partners involved, I slow down our relationship quite a bit and make sure I get to know their partner and include that partner in most correspondence.

I don't know his motives but he is apparently making some type of overtures towards you. They may just be broadening his friend-base, and maybe his wife is okay with that. And I am sure his wife can see that he has friended you (is she a friend of his on fb also?)

I would just be careful with him, make sure you include his wife/family in conversations (such as "why, yes, I do think so and so has a lovely voice, I think your wife likes her also, does she not?")

Let him know you respect his marriage and his wife and don't allow him to get you alone and talk about anything that even starts to sound personal.

trumanshow posted 9/3/2013 08:48 AM

That does seem fishy. Soon he'll be wanting your phone # to text.

What about chatting with his wife too and dropping comments like "brett said" etc. give her a heads up. If it's innocent, no problem

I don't think it's innocent BTW

ninebark posted 9/3/2013 09:08 AM

She is a friend on facebook. I would not have accepted him if she wasn't. I took it at face value that he wanted to be a friend.

It was the private email that made the alarm bells go off. Even though he is being friendly and we are keeping the converastion about family stuff. it makes me question.

I like the ideas of keeping his wife in the conversation, I will do that. I know that is hard to talk to someone on the fb wall and easier in an email, so perhaps that is why. But if things get too personal or flirtatious I will shut him down.

Thanks I thought it was just me being overly senstive.

What's really funny about this is that my sister thinks he is actually gay but hiding it. I thought that was crazy but he was giving me the opposite vibe. He wasn't looking at me like a gay man looks at a woman.

[This message edited by ninebark at 9:10 AM, September 3rd (Tuesday)]

Broken hearted61 posted 9/3/2013 11:51 AM

Hi. Chiming in on this one. If in doubt why bother communicating with him? Do you really need him as a friend? Are you just answering to be polite? In my opinion it's not worth it. His wife my not be ok with it so why take this chance that she might be upset.

lieshurt posted 9/3/2013 12:03 PM

^^^^ This.

I wouldn't have accepted his invitation at all given you had already felt uncomfortable at the event.

StrongerOne posted 9/3/2013 12:11 PM

You can do a group chat in facebook -- select both the man and his wife. It's on the right side of the screen. I've used it to get hold of a lot of people all at once for an emergency, haven't used it much for chatting but you could. Much faster than posting on the wall.

Sad in AZ posted 9/3/2013 12:36 PM

Why not be open and honest with him; tell him you don't feel comfortable exchanging private messages with a married man. Thereafter, if he keeps it up, you can unfriend him.

gma56 posted 9/3/2013 14:20 PM

I would tell him I do not private message with someone else's husband/SO unless it's my son, brother, or Dad.
End it before it starts.
After everything we've been through, boundaries broken can't be tolerated, we know the pain all too well.


alphakitte posted 9/3/2013 15:16 PM

Ninebark, what in the heck is up with you permitting private conversations with a married man, period? That is the question.

heartbroken_kk posted 9/3/2013 15:32 PM

I suggest that you stop replying to his messages. Just let them sit there unanswered.

See what happens. If he also drops it then no big deal. Maybe he just had a little too much coffee. Give him benefit of the doubt for now and don't project your unease onto him. He may have an extremely secure and trusting relationship with his wife and his messages to you mean NOTHING about anything adulterous.

If he keeps responding while you are silent, you can cut him off by stating your boundaries that you respect other women's marriages and don't have conversations with their husbands behind the woman's back, so to speak.

If you make it about you and your boundaries with no accusation then he should respect you and leave you alone. If he has EA or PA aspirations, maybe you will make him think.

kernel posted 9/3/2013 20:37 PM

I agree with others like Sad to just be upfront - tell him you're uncomfortable with the personal emails. I think that is over the line and it's up to YOU to enforce your boundaries. Maybe he doesn't mean anything by it, but the fact that you are uncomfortable and asking about it means YOU need to state your boundaries.

persevere posted 9/4/2013 00:02 AM

I agree with the upfront honest approach. Honestly HIS boundaries don't matter - YOURS do. Stick to them - it prevents any slippery slope.

jadasae posted 9/4/2013 06:14 AM

Can't help thinking that if my exH affair partners had a boundary of no private chats with a married man his affairs would have had no place to start....maybe I"m just over cautious but I don't have private conversations with married men...period...thats their wives, role and if they are looking outside of that they are on the wrong path.

SBB posted 9/4/2013 06:34 AM

Honestly HIS boundaries don't matter - YOURS do. Stick to them - it prevents any slippery slope.

THIS. It is not up to us to protect their marriage The reason I don't have friendships with married/coupled men are because it breaches *MY* boundaries.

Its not the APs job to have protected our M's. It was the WSs job.

I'm in a bit of a weird situation at work. A colleague who sits near me has started giving me the creeps. I was super friendly at first because that is my nature but lately I've noticed a change so I've made an effort to distance myself from him.

I thought perhaps he was triggering me because he works stupid hours and has a wife and kids at home - exactly what the sad clown did. Basically in the same kind of role too.

A few months ago he had a work crisis which I helped him out of (I'm his boss' assistant). After that incident I counselled him about the number of hours he was doing and how it was impacting his department. I recounted some of what happened in my M. It didn't feel like over-sharing at the time as I gave him the cliff-notes corporate version. I was trying to do a good deed and he agreed that he wasn't holding up his end of the bargain at home. We never discussed it again.

Recently I was showing my other colleagues a ring a friend gave me for my birthday recently and he came over to look too.

He said "Oh, look at those little hands. Sooo little. So adorable!".

Now. As I said I've been feeling a little creeped out around him and thinking that maybe he is just triggering me. But this was not something I could ignore as I saw the reaction on my other colleagues' faces. Like "WTF?" then a sideways glance at me.

I now realise he is DEFINITELY on that slippery slope and I suspect he is giving me an invitation. Not on your Nelly.

I haven't looked at or spoken to him except for essential work-related stuff. I feel awful that I most likely invited it by discussing personal matters with him. It will be the first and last time I ever do so.

@ninebark, trust your instinct here. You don't need to have confirmation that he has inappropriate intentions for you to shut it down. The fact that it makes you uncomfortable is reason enough.

I.will.survive posted 9/4/2013 18:42 PM

This happened to me! I stopped answering his messages and he stopped sending them.

He was friends with my husband, that's why I accepted his request. The 4 of us would do stuff together. The first private message threw me off. When the 3rd one said "I hope one day you answer that you've been bad" I shut that down like lighting!

Gave me the creeps. I defriended him actually and stopped talking to him when he came to the house. My message was loud and clear. Guess since he knew my husband was cheating on me, he figured I was fair game when I was clueless?

Anyway....crickets. Don't talk to him anymore privately.

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