QUESTION: Recently I was at a cocktail party with my husband. I thought that one woman there was overly aggressive in talking to my spouse. Should I politely talk to her about it, or should I discuss it with my husband?
20-40-60 Etiquette---Don't talk to my husband!
CALLIE’S ANSWER: WOW! Talk about awkward! Blow it off. I wouldn’t bring attention to it. But this is your marriage and YOUR husband. Do what you feel is best for your relationship. GOOD LUCK!
LILLIE-BETH’S ANSWER: Maybe the woman was just a chatty person by nature. Maybe she and your husband had a subject to discuss in common. Was she overly flirtatious? Did she try to get your husband away from the group?
Did she try to include you in the conversation?
Hopefully, you and your husband can talk it through afterward and you can share your fears with him and he can reassure you that he would never let a romantic relationship outside your marriage develop to devastating consequences.
I don’t think your issue is with her as much as it is with any imagined action by your husband.
Sometimes a person’s motives are more sinister, like trying to lead on the other person and away from their spouse.
However, sometimes a single person just enjoys a brief connection and conversation with a member of the opposite sex in order to get a different perspective without any bad intentions. I think this is best discussed with your husband so you two can work out any resolved fears on your part or distance on his.
In the best scenario, he will take the time to understand why you are asking and you won’t let your imagination see things that weren’t there.
HELEN’S ANSWER: While there are some overly aggressive women out there, most of them aren’t after your husband. Ignore it.
The less light cast on the subject, the better. This scenario probably happens a lot and is very innocent. Sometimes people get carried away with themselves. Or chalk it off to cocktails and laugh about it to yourself.
If it happens again, then hopefully you are married to an emotionally stable man and you can talk to him about what you perceived.
It is probably best to discuss it with him after the party.
My husband really likes people and likes women. He enjoys talking to them and yet, I know he is faithful to me.
It would never occur to me to worry about aggressive women with him; he just loves people.
But since you never know what other women are thinking and how they are handling the party talk, you could ask him after the party to try to refrain from fueling the fire.
GUEST’S ANSWER: Christina Nihira, journalist and local community volunteer: The experience you relate is probably more common than you think.
Take me, for example. My husband is a surgeon and because of his field, he draws a great deal of interest. Sometimes the discussions are inane about how to best treat headaches (in case you didn’t know, surgeons are trained to remove things and that’s pretty much it). Luckily, most really are interested in the latest scientific developments and technology. And, often my hubby shares his passion for medical education.
Next time, join the conversation.
Find out what was so interesting in this exchange of words and dispel any worries.
Seeking out the female at the party for a solo talk will only result in anger and hurt feelings. Then if you suspect something, discuss it later in private with your husband.
Remember you are the one with the ring on the finger.
Callie Gordon is 20-something, Lillie-Beth Brinkman is in her 40s, and social columnist Helen Ford Wallace is 60-plus. To ask an etiquette question, email firstname.lastname@example.org.