Lisa "Lou" Welch Dear Lou,
I listen to you all the time on the Smiley Morning Show and I think you do a really good job. I was wondering if you could help me with a small problem. I've been married for three years and I love my wife, and I know that she loves me very much. We have a 1-year-old son and we just started leaving him with Grandma and Grandpa to go out on dates again every once in a while. It's nice to have a life again! The only thing that bothers me is we'll go out to dinner, and then to a bar to have a few drinks and play pool, and after my wife has "had a few," she starts getting really flirty. We both partied pretty hard when we were dating, but after we got married we settled down a lot. But now she gets pretty wild. She's not dancing on the bar or anything, but she's dancing around, smiling and will just start talking to some guy. If I turn my back for a minute I'll guarantee you someone is hitting on her. I know she'd never cheat on me, but this still bothers me. What should I do?
Dear Mr. Jealousy,
Please don't take this too personally, but I did have a "duh" moment when I read your letter. It's blindingly obvious to me, and probably anyone else, that you need to tell your wife her behavior irks you. I wonder if you know that, and just needed someone to give you the green light on speaking up. Fine, you've got it. You know how women are often prattling away about communication? There's something to that. She's cutting a little too loose; it bothers you. Tell her. Simple.
Maybe you're worried about being a wet blanket. I can understand that. Raising an infant is wonderful, but when you're doing it that's pretty much all you're doing. You want her to be able to have a good time and blow off some steam. Fair enough. But these date nights are for you, too, right? You are entitled to step out without spending an evening grinding your teeth over her flirting. It shouldn't be a big deal to tell her you'd rather she not make new friends all night. There are plenty of other ways to have fun. If you're concerned about sounding like a killjoy, explain to her that it's all about proportions. Tell her when she gets some attention from strangers, you love it. You have no problem with other guys acknowledging how hot your wife is. But when it looks like you'll have to beat them off with a pool cue, it's not cool. Certainly she'll be able to understand that. If you married some Scarlett type who constantly stokes the ego fires by getting random guys to picture her naked, my condolences. But this doesn't sound like the case. It should be a five minute conversation before moving on with life.
I don't want this to sound like you're the bad guy because you're not. It's just a friendly suggestion. You might want to also mix it up a little when you go out. Dinner and Nine Ball can become a rut pretty damn fast, and she might be flirting because she's getting a bit bored. Go dancing, catch a show, film, concert, poetry reading, taxidermy seminar, whatever you folks are into. Hope this helped, and that you and Mrs. J. continue to have a great time!