Dear Margo: Naive or Dense? That is the Question

My husband’s boss wants to take me out for a drink. Is this inappropriate or a good career move? Margo Howard’s advice…

Naive or Dense? That is the Question

Dear Margo: I have a strong hunch that my husband’s boss is trying to get chummy with me. Whenever there’s a business function where spouses are included, this man generally makes a beeline for me and is very solicitous. “Can I get you a drink?” “Tell me how your little one is.” He stays glued to my side until someone takes him away. (This man is divorced, by the way, so there is no jealous wife I can count on to save me.) I have mentioned this to my husband, who pooh-poohs it. He says his boss is really paying him the compliment by paying attention to me. OK, that’s the background.

Last week, this man wanted to meet me for a drink. He called and said he finds me so interesting that he’d like to know more about me. I begged off, saying now was a particularly busy time for me. Of course, I told my husband about this, and — because everything’s about him — he suggested I reconsider because it would solidify his position with his boss! I am not going anywhere with this man. And my question to you is twofold: What is wrong with my husband, and what do you think of his argument? — Corporate Wife

Dear Corp: I do not know what is wrong with your husband, but I do know his logic is faulty. His interpretation of the situation is akin to imagining that a dinosaur died, standing up, in a museum of natural history. Your husband’s mindset, in the kindest light, is, shall we say, trusting. It would be too disturbing to think he would be willing to offer you up as a sacrifice to advance his career. (PS: I am familiar with the “everything’s about me” type, so your husband might very well be clueless.)

I think what you need to do is grow him up a little by explaining that he is being naive and that the attentions from his boss to you are not without guile. And to send a message to the man on the make, I would suggest, at the next function, that you greet him cordially and then excuse yourself because you see someone across the room to whom you must relay a message. — Margo, definitively

When a Friend Neglects To Mention She’s Married

Dear Margo: About a year ago, I reconnected with a friend I knew in high school. Within that year, she and her boyfriend became engaged (or perhaps they were already). Recently, while looking around on Facebook, I saw photos from her wedding reception. Now, I can understand why I wouldn’t be invited — we only just recently reconnected. But not to mention it at all? That’s weird, right? How should I acknowledge the fact that she is married now? I don’t know if I should just invite her out for a celebratory drink or continue being in touch with her without bringing up the wedding. — Bewildered About the Bride

Dear Be: Unless this “new” old friend has tried to break off contact with you, which doesn’t sound like the case, there are only a few possibilities. She might feel sensitive about not having been able to invite you to the wedding, so she just doesn’t bring it up. There is also the possibility that she assumes you already know. It is a bit odd for a new bride not to talk about it, but I suppose that’s preferable to her nattering on about every little detail. But onward. To move things along, you might ask her a question about married life, and then it will no longer be the thing that is not discussed. And by all means, go for that celebratory drink. — Margo, chattily

***

Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers’ daughter. All letters must be sent via e-mail to dearmargo@creators.com. Due to a high volume of e-mail, not all letters will be answered.

COPYRIGHT 2010 MARGO HOWARD
DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

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45 comments so far.

  1. avatar Patricia Cox says:

    LW1: Eventually your husbands boss might get tired of being rebuffed by you and take it out on your husband at work. Your husband may not know why but you will know. So there is only 1 way in which you will convince your husband of his boss’s intentions:  accept the offer of meeting him for a drink. Pick a restaurant that is kind of quiet. Take a tape recorder with you and tape the conversation.
    I am almost positive what you are going to hear and a tape will leave no doubt for your husband. Only then will you husband accept the truth.
    Secondly, you will have proof of sexual harassment if your husbands boss decides to take your rebuff out on your husband.

    LW2: Congratulate the new bride and let her take it from there. There could be a million reasons why you were not informed or invited. Don’t hold this against her. After all, there was a reason why your friendship was renewed. Don’t let this put a stop to the renewal.

    • avatar Katharine Gray says:

      Of course, taping the meeting may violate state wiretapping laws.  If the husband is too dense to know that his boss asking his wife out for a drink without him present is innappropriate, the husband is a fool and the boss will know it.   See my reply to my own post below.   The tape will be used against LW#1 and she and her husband accused of all sorts of perfidy and entrapment and she will be the jezabel her husband sent out to entice the boss to advance his career blah blah blah.  Continue to decline the invitation or show up with the husband at the rendevous.  Because, after all, what decent man would invite a married woman for a drink unless they meant to include the husband?  And vice-versa.   

      • avatar Legal Eagle says:

        Wiretapping is a different issue than tape recording a conversation. Many states allow the recording of a conversation as long as at least one party to said conversation knows it is being taped. LW#1 should check her state’s laws on this.
        However, the bigger issue here is LW1′s husband. The man has some serious problems if he thinks this is anywhere near appropriate. As Margo mentioned, he is either naive, dense, or possibly offering up his wife to the boss as a way to advance his career. Whatever the case, it’s totally inappropriate at best and creepy harassment at worst. LW1, do not meet the boss for dinner, drinks, or anything else.
        I’d also suggest being “busy” for most of the work functions even if you are not. Stay away from boss man, he has a real problem and it could easily turn into something scary.
         

      • avatar Katharine Gray says:

        I probably should not have used the technical term *wiretapping*.   I guess I’m thinking of the last woman who thought she could bring down a powerful man by recording  conversations and how it destroyed her.   Still..a tape recording is not all that helpful (provided it is legal to make it) if only of one encounter.  The guy can claim she egged him on in all of those private conversations at company events etc.  My point is…don’t make this into some sort of legal cause.  It can be sidestepped through basic etiquette without giving the boss a plausible reason to be insulted.  Most of these guys are looking for an easy target.  If she is not easy he will move on to someone else.  Yes, it sucks he gets away with it but hopefully his future targets will be savvy too.

        As for the husband…the more I think about it the more I think he doesn’t have any junk at all.   

      • avatar stateoflove_N_Trust says:

        Wiretapping and tape recording are considered under the same criminal offenses in some states.  In PA, the wiretapping includes telephone, electronic or ORAL communications.  So, you are not correct that it is necessarily a different issue.  A layperson giving someone advice to tape record a conversation is not good advice.

      • avatar Legal Eagle says:

        Taping the conversation may or may not be a good idea, it just depends on the situation. However, one should always be cognizant of the laws on this, which is why I suggested LW1 check her state laws to find out what is legal and what is not. If it is legal to tape the conversation, then she could decide whether or not she wishes to do so. If it is not, then of course she should not do so. It’s really up to the LW to find out what the situation is in her state. This can easily be researched and/or she can speak with a lawyer if she’s that concerned about it.
        All that said, the real issue here is not tape recording. It’s her husband. His consent to her having drinks with his boss is suspect at best. It’s so totally inappropriate that I have a hard time believing he doesn’t understand exactly what he is doing, which is essentially ”pimping out” (used loosely, pardon the pun) his wife for his own gain.

      • avatar Jay Gentile says:

        I like your idea that she assume (disingenuously) that of course the boss meant for the husband to join them for this drink. It pre-empts a lot of questionable behavior. But reading the letter I got a sense that the husband doesn’t seem to mind pimping out his wife if it advances his career. In that case, she needs a divorce — and a baseball bat.

    • avatar Eileen Heath says:

      If she’s in the state of Texas, it is legal as long as one involved party on the tape is aware of the conversation.
      But wire tapping laws aside: this is guaranteed protection for her husband should HR get a hold of it.

      • avatar Eileen Heath says:

        “aware of the conversation being recorded”  sorry I can’t believe I left that out.

    • avatar dscheibli says:

      LW1 should accept the inviation and have both her and her husband show up.  Maybe the boss will ge the message that she is not going to see this man in any clandestine situations.

    • avatar Jayme Kimberly says:

      Regardless of whether it is legal or not to record the conversation, what benefit could a tape recording be, except maybe to prove to her husband that his boss is hitting on her?  It is not illegal for a man to ask a woman out or hit on her.  She does not work for him, so it is not sexual harassment, nor is there any indication her husband is being treated differently due to his boss’ attraction towards the wife.  If she does record it and she or her husband some how confront boss with the recording, it could result in accusations that husband is trying to blackmail or extort the boss.  Also, it could backfire with husband being angry that wife surreptitiously taped his boss, especially if he is that clueless.

      • avatar chuck alien says:

        the whole point of the original post was to use it to prove to the husband what was going on.
         
        THEN the legal nonsense started up.

  2. avatar Katharine Gray says:

    LW#1:  Boss sounds like a predator and husband sounds like…well to be frank…a pimp.  I am, fortunately, NOT intimately familiar with *all about me* personalities so I am unsure if the husband’s reasoning is *well he must be asking her for a drink because he thinks highly of ME* or if it is *Hey what can it hurt for her to have a drink with him if it will make MY career better*.   And, while I am not intimately familiar with predatory men, either, it seems to me that LW#1 having a drink with this guy  would signal to the boss that her husband has no junk (if the husband knew about it) or was a fool if he didn’t know about it.   Since the husband seems not willing to intervene to fend off the predator, for example, coming up to the duo at a party and joining the conversation…I suggest LW#1 add her husband to the mix.  When cornered at a party say…*oh…there is (my husband)…I’m sure you have business to discuss.  Or..when invited for a drink say *oh…my husband and I would be pleased to join you*.  Someone in the family needs to stand up for its integrity, and unfortunately, it will have to be LW#1.

    LW#2…I hope  *looking around on facebook* didn’t mean you were stalking you friend and that as part of being facebook friends you were privy to her posting about her wedding.   It does seem odd that she did not mention it to you even if the scale of the wedding did not allow her to invite you. (My first cousin is getting married on 12/31 and it is a very intimate affair to which I am not invited and didn’t expect to be but at least she told me about it).  I would give her the benefit of the doubt.  Perhaps she felt, given your recent reacquaintance, that it was presuming a lot to invite you to her wedding and expect you to bring a gift etc.   I agree with Margo…tell her congratulations and invite her for a drink.  If she accepts and you have a good time together…put this behind you and enjoy a renewed friendship.   

    • avatar Legal Eagle says:

      If LW1 is going to interact at all with boss man, I agree that inviting the husband along for the drink date would be the way to go in terms of deterring the boss. And if the boss says “Oh, I just thought you and I could get together…,” then LW1 could say “Sorry, but I don’t have drinks with other men when my husband isn’t present” and leave it at that.

  3. avatar Katharine Gray says:

    Another thing to LW#1…If after declining the drinks invitation the boss continues to pursue you or your husband’s career seems to suffer…you might have an actionable sexual harassment claim and be tempted to press it .  My advice is to LET IT GO!.   It is sexual harassment but your husband’s career will be over and you will be made to look worse than Paula Jones.  You might also consider not attending company events for awhile.  Can you develop some sort of *illness* or *family obligations* that will make for a plausible excuse?    In these precarious economic times, its best not to rock the boat by accusing someone of harassment which cannot easily be proved even though it happened.  I’m NOT suggesting that you go along with the predator’s plans…simply find a way to avoid him and hope that eventually he will be found out.   I know this seems wrong in a utopian world but I am a realist. 

  4. avatar Joan Larsen says:

    LW#1:  I’ll be honest on this one.  If you know Dallas, you know that word travels fast when someone new moves in .  .  . at least to the rather upscale suburb we live in.  There is more to this story than first meets the eye. At least I think so. When Merilee and her husband moved from Atlanta, word was out that he had more than a “wandering eye” there.  Her Mama insisted she would only stay with him on this move if he put the new mini-mansion, bought in her name only.  He made the usual promises of “faithfulness” that lasted here for less than a month.  Not surprising.  This is Desperate Housewife Territory . . . and it is easy.

    So his encouraging Merilee to shine up to the boss can only clear his very dirty conscience.  But about the boss:  Most of our husbands work for the same oil company and are first to hear the gossip.  The boss’ smart and high-priced divorce lawyer naturally told him to keep — well, let’s say instead to keep clear of women until the divorce was final.  Well, it’s final . . . and I guess we all know that in the higher levels of business, social gatherings are normal.  Merilee is a Southern belle on top of all the normal attributes we all have — and our husbands are like puppy dogs hanging on her accent. . . and we can only hope noting else.

    But knowing the full story of the boss — as well as his elderly father who is titular head of the company in every respect – and then knowing that Merilee’s husband is a philanderer (to try to put it in good terms suitable for a website), if we — all the gals of our version of Wisteria Lane — were in this position (and God forbid, some of us wouldn’t mind being), we would play a little hard to get with the boss but agree to have a pleasant dinner at his club-to-kill-for.  .  . well, before long, I’d say.  

    And then — unless she is smitten — I would rangle an introduction to meet the big boss’ father.  He’s the one that’s the donor of our city’s art museum . ..  among other very visual architectural highlights we see every day.  If I were her, I would being boning up on the Impressionists big time as he treats the paintings as his own (which they are). 

    And then let’s see what develops.  And if Merrilee turns to you for help – anonymously, of course – at a later date when each move counts, I hope we get to share with you her hopes and concerns.    

    • avatar Carrie A says:

      What in the world are you talking about??

      • avatar Deeliteful says:

        Thank you Carrie A – my thoughts exactly while reading this.  Joan, can  you help us out?

    • avatar Jay Gentile says:

      Chardonnay for breakfast is a terrible idea.

      • avatar Joan Larsen says:

        Jay . . . I’m on my lunch hour but I have to tell you that your comment had me in stitches . . . and I can imagine you actually winning the New Yorker cartoon caption contest — a feat that is impossible unless you are as clever as you were here.
        To the others who question, this to me is a situation that I hear often in my work — and I just found it easy to do a take-off on a a real story, one of many that I hear.  . and what often does happen in the middle to upper echelons in life.  Is it right?  Of course not.  Is it sad?  It is very sad and says so much about the state of our society and life these days.  We have become a throw-away society — perhaps not you and me — but around us we see divorce as part of life, and affairs? . . . far from the shockers of the past.  Remember when “changing partners” was a square dance — well, there is nothing square about life nowadays.
        What I personally see are primarily those who have risen fairly high.  Fame and fortune seem often (not always — as I will cover myself there) to be the brightest star in the sky — and whatever it takes to get there, they see their friends throwing morals to the winds.  I have a grown child – a man — with a wife that was a comet in her rise to the top, but at each step into upper levels of management, there were always several “cocktail parties” or dinners where he was invited to be looked over to see if he was suitable — had manners, looks and class and more — to be the partner of the small hierarchy in a large corporation “when he was called to be”.  The men looked him over; the wives of the rich and famous really looked him over.  They had to be a matched set or she would go only so far.
        Pdr de below – as usual — is great in her comments by the way.  But Jay, I love to laugh and yoy hit the spot!
         

  5. avatar Pdr de says:

    We are truly becoming an “anything goes” society when a woman’s husband is either so blase about the fact his boss is “hitting on” his wife, when he singles her out at get togethers and calls to ask her out for “a drink” or so mercenary that he doesn’t care about the implications.  Instead of becoming indignant, yea even outraged, it’s not only okay with him, but he urges her to go.  Would a decent, loving, devoted husband do such a thing?  Absolutely not!  Obviously advancing his career is more important to him than his wife.  Is he so incapable of advancing his career on his own that he’s willing to “gift” his wife to his boss to accomplish it? How betrayed and valueless she must be feeling right now. 

    She has more to deal with than how to evade this man’s totally inappropriate and creepy advances.  She has a husband who is happy to “sell her out” for his own gain. 

    She needs to ask herself if she wants to spend her life with a man who would urge her to please his boss by going out with him.  He’s no innocent, he has to know where his boss hopes this will lead – both men are total jerks; her husband is even worse than his boss.  Hope she takes a good long look at him and opts out of marriage with this sorry excuse for a man. As for the boss, she should tell him to bug off and leave her alone and let the pieces fall where they may.  There are worse things than living alone and she’s experiencing those “things” right now!

  6. avatar Cindy Marek says:

    L #1: Your husband is definitely thinking of himself (“solidifying a position with the boss”) and not you. Frankly your husband is dumb. Aside from this man obviously making advances, he could harm you when alone. Keep refusing! And if need be, call in your mother-in-law or a sister-in-law (if you have a good relationship with her) to set husband straight! That your husband would consider placing you in a very vulnerable position with his boss is pathetic. Read him the riot act sister!

  7. avatar Cindy Marek says:

    L #2: I think I’d just say nothing and let the renewed friendship proceed on its own course.

  8. avatar Chip Griswold says:

    LW#1.  Either your husband is self absorbed beyond reality, or just stupid.  I may be being harsh, but it appears there are two jerks here: your husband, and his boss. 

    Cindy Marek above said it best: “That your husband would consider placing you in a very vulnerable position with his boss is pathetic. Read him the riot act sister!”

  9. avatar D C says:

    LW#1.  I don’t think the husband is naive.  I’m imagining two scenarios:

    1- Husband and boss are very good buddies who talk about everything.  Husband has had a fling and is very concerned about wife’s reaction when she finds out, and he knows she’ll find out because wives always find out.  Boss suggests that if wife has a fling, then husband can say they’re even when the news of his fling comes out, so boss offers to “take one for the team” and seduce the wife.  Both men are scum.

    2- Boss is divorced because his wife left him after finding out he was a philanderer.  Boss calls it “swinging”.  Boss and husband have discussed the bosses new lifestyle and husband thinks it sounds like a great idea.  The boys try to figure out how to get wife to go along and join the party.  Boss suggests that if they can get wife to fool around with him, then husband can say, “Oh honey, it’s OK… it really turns me on.  This will make our marriage stronger.”    Both men are scum.

    I suggest wife invite husband along to the drinks meeting with boss.  His reaction will tell her a lot.  She needs to start thinking like a detective and not a loving wife because something fishy is going on here.  It may not be as sinister as my scenarios, but something just the same. 

    Perhaps it’s time for couples counseling. 

    • avatar K Coldiron says:

      What???

    • avatar Ashton Warnick says:

      Really?

      Would it be necessary to plot such an extreme cover-up?

      I think not.

      Hubby’s main focus is on his career, not his wife. His boss is aware of this, and finding the wife attractive figures maybe he can take advantage of hubby’s one track mind.

      It makes much more sense, not to mention, not every problem in a marriage has to do with the husband cheating, regardless of what society may say.

  10. avatar Anji . says:

    LWI – I just find this incredibly creepy on so many levels…
    I agree with Legal Eagle – If she does meet with him, she should record the conversation. If this “Boss” is ballsy enough to ask her out, well – I can only imagine just how much more he is capable of doing. And shame on her so-called husband: I would drop him in a NY minute if he continues to try to use her as bait.
     
     

  11. avatar Steve Santay says:

    Hmmm.   Regarding the woman who wasn’t invited to the wedding or didn’t receive an announcement, it’s quite possible she thinks she has a better relationship with the friend than she actually does.  Also, Facebook is a game-changer.  Most people assume that if you’re friends on Facebook, then you’ve already received their “announcements”, and let’s be honest…this LW DID see wedding pics, so she already knows.  Does she really require a gilt-edged invitation or announcement?  Why is she feeling slighted?  Why is she writing this letter?  Seems a bit lame to me.

  12. avatar Deeliteful says:

    LW #1 sounds like a plot line from Desperate Houswives.

    LW #2 agree with Steve Santay:  Why is she writing this letter?

  13. avatar D L says:

    LW#1 – Gee, how swell of your husband. If his boss wants to sleep with you, would he set that up for you in hopes of getting the corner office and a key to the executive washroom?

    This man is DEFINITELY overstepping his boundaries and there could be numerous reasons as to why. Obviously, him wanting to get you in the sack is at the top of the list. If you are in similar professions, is he trying to woo you for business purposes? He could also be a social moron (do you know if he’s been like this with other coworkers’ wives?). Maybe you remind him of his ex-wife. Whose to say?

    Regardless of his reasoning, this man is out of line. He is chasing a married woman, the wife of his subordinate. At the next social function, you can be cordial but do not indulge him in conversation, especially if your husband “disappears”. Politely excuse yourself and find someone else you to chat with. If he is persistant, walk away. If he still doesn’t get the hint, stop going to these functions. If your husband complains, too bad.

    But this leads to the real problem, which is your husband. Since he is so accepting of you 2 getting to know each other better, could he be singing your praises while at work? Could he be giving his boss the idea that you are just as interested in getting to know him? Is his career that important to him that he’s purposely turning a blind eye?

    If your husband is charming in all other areas of your life, I’ll try to give him the benefit of the doubt (barely). Given the current state of our economy, he could simply be nervous of getting fired if he doesn’t succumb to all his boss’s desires. Whatever the case, you need to sit your husband down and tell him in no uncertain terms that you will NOT be meeting his boss for a drink or at any other time alone. Explain AGAIN that this type of behavior (whether harmless or not) is making you uncomfortable and as your husband, he should take your feelings into account and back you up. If you’re willing to compromise (you shouldn’t have to in this case), you could suggest that you BOTH meet his boss for that drink so you have a chaperone. But if you absolutely want nothing to do with his boss, you shouldn’t be forced to make a playdate with him.

  14. avatar R Scott says:

    LW1 – She should tell her husband she’s accepted an invitation from the boss for drinks. She should then leave around what ever time she said they were meeting. Go have coffee, see a movie, drive around whatever. When she gets home she should tell her husband, with a huge smile, that his career is now secure since she just boinked the bosses brains out. Then walk away. See what his reaction is and then take it from there. I’m kidding of course…… well…maybe not. 
     

  15. avatar R Scott says:

    LW2 – I’m thinking the LW is may more invested in this friendship than the other friend is. Maybe the other friend just thought it was nice to bump into each other and catch up and just really isn’t into it much more than that.  Looking around on Facebook? One doesn’t just happen to fall onto someone’s Facebook page do they?
     

  16. avatar Belinda Joy says:

    As always, it’s all in how something is said. The answer (IMO) to both questions is the same. Be direct.
    Letter #2 should as Margo suggested, simply bring up her marriage. Ask how it is going? This will let her know that she knows she is married. From this she can get a sense of whether she wants to discuss it or not. And if she is evasive and doesn’t seem to want to discuss it, it may simply be she didn’t want to invite her. That doesn’t and shouldn’t be surmised that the friend doesn’t like the letter writer, but more so that she just didn’t want her at the wedding. She should be mature enough to understand and accept that.
    Letter #1 should tell this boss of her husband, that she is flattered by his attention, but any connection beyond simple chit chat would be inappropriate. The fact that her husband is as obtuse as he is can be both insulting and a compliment.  Either he trusts her beyond words and realizes she would never stray or he is (as implied) prostituting her to further his career.
    As someone who has had to fend off advances from men I wasn’t attracted to, what works the best is when you remind the interested guy how happy you are with your guy. Discuss a planned romantic getaway….happy to have him in your life….no other guy is like him, etc. etc. etc.” It deflates any delusions the  interested guy may have of establishing anything beyond a superficial relationship.

  17. avatar Linda Myers says:

    I think the answer given would show where true values are, with your wife or climbing a rubber ladder and being  worried about being bounced off of it. I would tell both pathetic bloaks no, and leave her husband with a clear understanding of where his superficial thinking resonates with her.

  18. avatar Vicki Sarris says:

    What is wrong with my husband, and what do you think of his argument? — Corporate Wife
    This is a disaster in the making.  If you accept the invitation from your husband’s boss this will only lead to further advancements – rejection and then bigger problems.  I would explain that to your husband.   He may be intimated by his boss and setting an example would help.  In this economy, jobs are hard to find.  Be supportive – but draw the line and share some insight.  Now is the time to stop this “teasing” with the boss and make yourself clear – to him and your husband.

  19. avatar Tanya Brown says:

    I don’t know if my experience will be helpful or useful, but this is a situation I’ve run into. My response:
    Me, intentionally misunderstanding the invitation: “That sounds lovely! I’m sure (name of spouse/boyfriend) will love to come. Let me check with him and see when he’s free.”
    Masher: “Um. I was thinking we’d go out by ourselves.”
    Me: “I don’t socialize without my husband/boyfriend. I’m sure you’ll understand.”

  20. avatar Anne Whitacre says:

    People do well in careers/offices where they sort of think alike.  If the husband of LW1 is “all about me”, I would bet that his boss (and his boss’s boss) are also “all about me” guys, too. 
    While I like the idea of a pocket tape recorder or a pen recorder, I really think a “studied naivety” is appropriate here.  Bring the husband along for the drink; always interpret things in the most innocent way — and then excuse yourself from the conversation.  Never be alone with him; always have a “wing-girl” in tow.  Eventually he’ll go find easier game, and then SHE can sue him.

  21. avatar Rain in Minneapolis says:

    LOVE the black font and larger print – Thanks editors

  22. avatar darlean washington says:

    The woman who is being propositioned by her husband’s boss should NEVER go to the company functions.  Ever.  If her husband is blowing this all off, then she should stay home, every time, and let the husband go by himself.  The husband will learn a hard lesson by his not having her support.

    Also, if the wife is home and the boss calls, she should NEVER answer the phone.  Caller ID is a very popular item on phones, and she should be screening those calls. 

    These two tactics, along with not answering messages, emails, or texts sent by the boss will discourage him more than her telling him that she has to talk to someone else at a company function.  The boss just being able to approach her gives him a rush.  The rush of contact has to be broken in all venues.  Good luck poor woman with stupid husband!

    P.S.  I hope your husband is nice in other aspects, because he sounds like an idiot.

  23. avatar HG says:

    LW #1 – Husband is not going to be any help. I’ll leave it to you to figure out if he’s naive or a total jerk. You have to take care of this without damaging your husband’s career.

    The next time the boss asks you out for a drink, say, “Oh, that sounds lovely, but I’m afraid I have to say no. It may sound silly, but you know how people talk. If someone saw us, they might assume the worst and I just can’t let you put your reputation at risk.” 

    If he says he isn’t concerned or you shouldn’t worry about what other people think, repeat, “I know, but I am so hopelessly old-fashioned. We’ll just have to get to know each other at company events or when (husband) can join us. I really must go now. I’ve promised to…(fill in some highly moral activity… read to the blind, deliver meals on wheels, lead a Bible study.)”

    If he is bold enough to ask again, repeat. He will eventually stop asking and you will avoid being put in the position of being asked to “help” your husband’s career by doing whatever the boss has in mind.

  24. avatar M W says:

    I would suggest that LW#1 Google “narcissistic personality disorder” and see if the information she finds fits the self-absorbed jerk she is married to. I’m betting it will.

  25. avatar wendykh says:

    I doubt it’s even narcissm or anything like that. I think a lot of men forget their wives are sexy women when they have been married a while. It probably doesn’t even occur to him his boss would be suggesting anything appropriate since she’s his WIFE. That’s not sexy. What on earth would anyone want an affair with my WIFE for? Plus if he’s a Goody Two Shoes he may be mindblown people actually do that sort of thing.