Very Friendly Guest

riken0892March 7, 2007

There are several couples/families (and singles) in my neighborhood that have informal get togethers throughout the year. They always include finger foods/ grilling and plenty of alcohol. Unfortunately, there is one gentleman that tends to imbibe too much at every party. Generally, his wife will leave the party early (most likely due to being embarassed by his behavior.) He tends to become quite inappropriate with the other wives and female guests. Sober- he is nicest fellow and has a great!!! wife. We love them to death. Any thoughts on how to delicately address the matter? I am very good friends with his wife....

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lindac

Been there....done that....
You have a couple of options...one, just divorce yourself from them.
Two, call his wife and tell her how bad his behavior makes you feel....and please don't leave you all to deal with him....but realize she probably deals with that every day....and will be very embarassed ( one r? two s's?)
What I would do....and have done...is just jolly him along...push his hands away...tell him...Nope!! Not with me.... And wait for it all to resolve....because it will.
He obviously has a serious problem....and it will pan out.
The nicest thing you can do is invite his wife to lunch or whatever....and wait for her to dump....because you know it's very hard for her....
Hugs....it's rough!
Linda C

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 7:44PM
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shaun

Bring out the video camera. Film him acting up and then at the next get together, before everyone has too much to drink, bring out the video and play it.

Maybe he'll be embarrassed and curtail his drinking from now on.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 1:16PM
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chase_gw

Have the men take him out for a beer an 'splain to him that they don't take kindly to how their wives are being treated.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 1:31PM
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gellchom

I would not do the video thing, and I wouldn't confront his wife with it. That will just make her feel worse, for several reasons, I should think, and anyway, this is HIS problem, not hers. She's not his mommy.

I think that whoever he is closest friends with in the group should talk to him privately some time when he is not drunk and tell him very gently that although everyone loves him and knows he doesn't mean a thing by it, and he probably didn't even realize it, some of the gang are a little uncomfortable by how hands-on he is sometimes when he has had a bit too much to drink. Not in a confrontational way, but in an I'm-your-friend-and-I-just-don't-want-you-to-be-embarrassed way. Like the way you'd tell him his fly is unzipped!

I would also consider cutting back on the alcohol served at the party. If he needs more, he can get snockered after he gets home.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 2:21PM
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texasredhead

The "gentleman" involved could very well be an alchoholic and his wife probably is well aware of this and leaves rather then be further embarrased. Regardless, I would not invite a man back to my home who could not keep his hands off my wife and the other women present. You are being a bad host to expect the women present to put up with this in your home. Other people's homes, sorry, we won't be there if "Jack" will be there as my wife doesn't like be to fend him off.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2007 at 8:36AM
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susanjf_gw

think texas has the real answer...at least let the wife know she's not being excluded by asking her to non-couple functions...

    Bookmark   March 12, 2007 at 2:02PM
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gellchom

But why not give him a chance? They like these people, remember? The OP wrote, "Sober, he is nicest fellow and has a great!!! wife. We love them to death." The OP's question was, "Any thoughts on how to delicately address the matter?" not, "How do we cut them?"

I would rather try to help him out by letting him know -- PRIVATELY, one to one with someone he likes and trusts, not a pile-on of all the husbands or something -- that there is a problem, and give him a chance to get it right before cutting him. Not to mention that they would kill his wife's social life, too, if they stopped inviting them in order to "punish" him or to "protect" the other women.

We don't know yet that he "can't" keep his hands off the women, just that he doesn't. Maybe he is just under the misapprehension that he isn't doing anything wrong. If this were my friend, I would give him the chance.

Remember, too, that they might put other people who still want to include this couple in an awkward position if they suddenly cut them or, worse, humiliate them in public by showing a video. texasredhead, I worried about that same issue (the effect on the other guests) when you wrote that post about turning away a couple at the door who hadn't responded to a dinner party invitation. IMHO, the punishment exceeded the crime even for the offenders, but why make all the innocent guests uncomfortable, too?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2007 at 4:21PM
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amyfiddler

Best advice I ever got: Go to the source. Be honest, and clear - he will initially react negatively, but it will most likely solve your problem and may in the long term create a deeper relationship between you and your friend, should he eventually decide to react maturely to your concerns.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 7:12PM
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asolo

Guess I'm the odd one out in this group, but.....

This is a guy thing. Let a couple of the husbands handle it in private; directly; sternly. I've encountered a number of instances of this both with teetotallers and with over-imbibers. They always think they're being cute and funny and for whatever reason don't realize at the time they're being obnoxious and inappropriate rather than the life of the party. I wouldn't bring out the heavy guns (meaning the women setting him straight loudly on-the-spot) unless the behavior continues after the male (husband's) warnings.

Perhaps what I'm saying is I wouldn't allow anyone at a social gathering to treat my wife rudely. I would respond. Friendly at first. Not after a warning. However, I do think a private warning is fair. Some guys just lose track from time to time. After one time, however, they get excluded entirely.

FWIW, some women go overboard, too, but not as often in my experience.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 8:09PM
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gellchom

With all respect, I disagree with asolo that "this is a guy thing" and with chase that the men should "'splain to him that they don't take kindly to how their wives are being treated."

I think that sort of assumes that the problem is that this man is interfering with the other MEN by touching "their" women. "I wouldn't allow anyone at a social gathering to treat my wife rudely" -- why, because she cannot handle it herself, or because she is YOUR wife? I would not like my husband to "protect" me in such a condescending way. I know how to handle someone who is a little too hands-on in a way that keeps his hands off me without humiliating him or embarrassing anyone else, and I bet the wives in the OP's group do, too.

I do agree with asolo that people who behave like this guy probably usually "think they're being cute and funny and for whatever reason don't realize at the time they're being obnoxious and inappropriate rather than the life of the party." So why is the answer to address him "sternly"? Why not just go with what you just said, and have ONE person who is close with him tell him something like that? It need not be a husband, just whoever is his closest friend or whoever he is most likely to "hear" it from. That could well be one of the women; he might feel less defensive that way.

IMHO, this isn't about the husbands demonstrating what they won't tolerate, it's about helping a friend who is embarrassing himself and doesn't realize it.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 2:30PM
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asolo

In my experience, an all-too-often response to the woman's rebuff is along the lines of "...where's your sense of humor?" followed by private bad-mouthing to cover his tracks socially. Same thing happens when only one man calls him on it. "We were just having a little fun. What business is it of yours? Can't you take a joke? You're the one with the problem." With two or three men addressing the offender in private all his avenues of justification are cut off and he must acknowledge he has been inappropriate. Otherwise, it usually ends up in some kind or he-says/she-says mess.

My response had nothing to do with "protectiveness", "possessiveness" or anything like that. It had to do with getting the problem solved without exploding the situation. I thought that's what the OP wanted to accomplish.

Every situation and group has a different dynamic. Perhaps my suggestion wouldn't work well here. Don't know. Just saying what I've had some experience with -- thankfully, not often.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2007 at 1:04PM
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gellchom

I see what you mean, asolo. I hadn't thought about that. Judging from the OP's telling us what a super nice guy he is most of the time, I'm guessing that the bad-mouthing is unlikely -- in THIS case.

As for the chance of his saying something like "Oh, I was just joking, lighten up," I don't think that's so terrible -- I mean, I think the point is to get him to stop, not to set it up so that "all his avenues of justification are cut off and he must acknowledge he has been inappropriate." Why is that necessary? If tries to save face a little by saying something like, "take a joke," but stops the behavior, I think that's okay. No need to rub his nose in it or to insist that he "confess" that he was WRONG. In fact, if this group wants to continue to socialize, it's probably better if he doesn't -- everyone would just feel uncomfortable after that, IMHO.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 3:21PM
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cherylnsw

As a recipient of unwanted attention by "very friendly men", I can tell you it's embarrassing, makes parties and get togethers uncomfortable for me. I cringe when I see them coming and try to avoid them, it's not easy to enjoy a party when on the look-out for them. My inlaw's have a neigbour who always tries to plant a big sloppy open mouthed kiss on my lips when he comes over, creeps me right out.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 10:37PM
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asolo

Doesn't have to be huge confrontational thing. Just enough so the guy knows he's been noticed and that it's not "just you" doing the noticing. Can be friendly enough and thereby avoid further embarrassment. No "confession" required. Exception would be if the behavior continues after notice given. That would be red-flag.

Sloppy open-mouthed kisses is in a whole different catagory IMHO. That I would deal with more aggressively. I pity women who must contend with jerks that do that!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 1:34PM
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patti43

Holy moly--we had the same problem in our group of friend. We women were talking one day and decided to handle it ourselves. This guys wife would go home, too. So after she left he started in on one of the gals and she very loudly told him to keep his hands to himself. Then we all (very loudly) started harping on him as only good women can do. We nagged that guy for at least 15 minutes. But--problem solved. She wasn't embarrassed and we weren't constantly having to watch where his hands were after that.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2007 at 8:48PM
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