Inappropriate Relationship/Behavior/Joke?

oldcrowAugust 12, 2006

Am I too old fashion? I am 50 and my wife is 43 and we have two boys 20 and 15. We are all active in our church (my sons are or were altar boys and presidents of our church youth group and I am on the parish council). At a recent BBQ at our home an invited guest of my wife (a single 41 yr old man) arrived and found my two sons and a friend of my 20 year old (also 20 and active in his church) playing Monopoly. The adults were outside on the patio but this 41 year old man sat down at the table with the children. After approx. 30min there with the kids I was walking by them and overheard the single man telling a joke that began (I apologize for this use of language) "A boy had hidden his S&M and Bondage magazine under his bed and his mom found it". I was stunned when I heard this but not surprised because of this mans past displays of vulgarity (of which I had complained in the past). I did not respond at that time (wanting to consider how to handle this) but moments later I ask my 15 year old son if he knew what S&M was and he said he did not. I then spoke to my wife and ask her to tell her friend not to say vulgar things to our children. She agreed and promptly spoke to him about this. Not only, did he not apologize he stated that there was nothing wrong with that joke and I was out of line to complain. My wife now agrees with this 41 year old single man and wants me to apologize to him. This man is coming between me and my wife over many moral issues. She chooses or sides with him over many issues and accuses me of only being jealous of him. I am now second guessing myself and my principles and would like any input on this. Thank you for listening and any direction you may give me and my family.

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OMG, no, you are not old fashioned about this. If your 15 yr old was not there, then maybe an off colored joke could be told, but not an S&M joke! That's just not right no matter where the party is held!
This guy is sick!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2006 at 4:03AM
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1st-time guest telling kinky jokes to host's 15-year-old? Out of line and suspicious. Then the guy's bucking because he was called on it? Get him out of your life. You don't need "friends" like this. You were right to let you wife handle her friend. However, at the first instance of his opposing her and sending his message back to you via her you should have confronted him directly and asked him leave. Your home, your wife, your children. You set the rules here. This is pretty basic stuff and this fellow was 100% off-base.

From your description, this seems so blatant and obvious to me, I can't imagine where your wife is coming from. Can only assume there's more to the story.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2006 at 10:00AM
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We have a simple rule at our house "if it matters to one it MUST matter to both" when it comes to raising the kids. This way we stand united. Now our kids are 19-25 now, but we stood by this (and still try to stand by it now)...and it is what kept the kids from playing one against the other...PLUS it kept issues like this from cropping up. This is an issue that MATTERS to you, and if it doesn't matter to the friend, WHO CARES, he isn't the parent of the child, you are.

Now it comes to how to present this to your wife. I would start out with a conversation about how we have come to have rules for our kids based on mutual feelings. I back you up (and I can only assume you do), even if sometimes I don't agree with you because I know the issue is very important to you. Because it is important to you, I make it important to me. Now I'm asking you to make this issue important to you because it is important to me. It is a matter of respect to me that the kids see this (just as I respected you on the other issue - whatever that was and if you can find an example all the better).


    Bookmark   August 13, 2006 at 10:33AM
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Usually woman tend to be the more conservative ones when it comes to their kids and vulgarity. So, I find your wife's reaction odd because I don't think it's normal for a 41 man to be telling 15 year olds distasteful jokes.

I'm wondering why your wife is sticking up for him? Could he be more than a friend of hers?

And, I would not let him alone with your boys under any circumstances... Adult men don't usually choose to play Monopoly with young guys over conversing with other adults at a party.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2006 at 10:55AM
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I am with Carla on all three points and think the last one especially important. An adult might love games and choose to play one with young people, but this adult has shown by his joking that he has some pretty adult interests that don't jibe with the innocent enjoyment of games with young people. At the very least, he does not have the kind of mind-set a churchgoer would want his own children to develop. If your wife resists all attempts to persuade her to support you in this, I wonder if she would be willing to have your clergyman mediate. Her answer to that may be telling.

A father is not out of line to complain about something he feels inappropriate in an outsider's treatment of his children, and if this guy were worthy of having anything to do with your sons, he would have apologized and promised never to do anything of the kind again. But you have already said that he is vulgar. IMO, even if he changes his tactics and apologizes when he learns that you are standing firm or that your wife has begun to side with you, he has already shown that he is not suitable (and is, perhaps, dangerous) company for your sons.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2006 at 2:01PM
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The 41 year old man was completely out of line, rude, and I agree with the above, possibly dangerous company for your sons.

I am an 'older' woman who is a big fan of risqué jokes and somewhat crude behavior IN THE APPROPRIATE ENVIRONMENT. I also have two grown children and had someone done that to my children at that age I would be highly offended and they would not be welcome in my home or around my family.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2006 at 5:45PM
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Well Oldcrow, it seems that most people would agree with you.

The man's behaviour was totally inappropriate and your behaviour was totally approriate.

Two things that I thought of are;

How do you sons feel about this man, does he make them feel uncomfortable? Perhpas you could use this as an example on how they could best protect themselves against men like this.

Maybe, you should explain to your 15 year old about S&M ? Better to hear if from you.

I would certainly talk to your wife about how you feel.

Alarm bells with this guy, not worth persuing a friendship with him.


    Bookmark   August 13, 2006 at 8:44PM
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This guy is trouble for your family. And I would be really ticked if my spouse took his side, where this guest was obviously trying to pique the curiousity of these boys about this type of pornography.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2006 at 4:21PM
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