Dear Annie: I’ve been with “Betty” for 20 years. Last week, a repairman came to fix the phone line. On his way out, Betty followed him and said in a sexy voice, “I like bald-headed men. You come back.”
Betty didn’t know I overheard what she said until I walked in after she had picked up the phone to call her girlfriend. She then told the woman that it probably hurt my feelings.
She’s right. It hurt my feelings and made me realize she really didn’t care one whit about me. When I called her out on it, she claimed she was just being friendly.
I told her that was a little too friendly – it was a blatant invitation for the repairman to come back to see her. Of course, she denies that’s what she intended.
Betty refuses to discuss this with me and blows up if I say anything. She has always been a real flirt, although to my knowledge, she’s never actually done anything. But I feel she should not have spoken to the repairman like that. She said she did nothing wrong. Who’s right? – Fuming in Florida
Dear Fuming: It is disrespectful for Betty to flirt with other men. However, you know she is a flirt and doesn’t follow through. We don’t think it has anything to do with her feelings for you. Flirtatious people behave this way without thought, and either minimize or don’t realize how hurtful it can be for their partners.
We know it will be difficult, but instead of turning this into an argument, we suggest you quietly and sincerely tell Betty that you love her and are committed to her, and that you know she wouldn’t behave this way if she understood how much it hurts you. (She also could get into some big trouble if she flirts with the wrong guy.) Then let it go. She will be defensive, but we hope she pays more attention in the future.