A recent reddit post proves fairly instructive:
So I have been helping a friend grow his business for the past three years. His wife and my wife are both kind of loners so I introduced them to each other. They’ve become good friends and like to hang out.
Lately, my friend and his wife have been having some struggles and he has started getting flirty with my wife. I’m not particularly worried about it, but my wife has noticed it and asked me how I feel about it.
This morning I went to breakfast with my friend and while we were discussing marriage and RPC theology he ‘respectfully’ admits that he thinks my wife is hot..
Is it advisable to leave this a mute subject or should I keep the topic open for discussion? My instinct is to tell my wife that my buddy thinks she’s hot and have a laugh about it with her.. it seems like that would keep things feeling safe for her. I’m not worried about her.. I’m leading (finally) and she’s enjoying following. I just don’t want to unnecessarily make this an issue for my wife, my friend, or his wife..
Most of the comments are about how if you’re ‘alpha’ you should be secure but also let him know that he’s out of line, it’s bad manners, telling him to stop, and other types of mate guarding.
Unfortunately, these are very limited views of the situation just solely thinking in terms of intersexual dynamics. If we are to be Christ-oriented, we need to think about this in terms of God’s mission first.
Hence, my reply:
I do not agree with others that you have to be confrontational and/or mate guarding-ish behavior in this circumstance. It can be a good learning and teaching experience in a win-win type of scenario especially if you know he has good character and/or is a good learner otherwise .
Does his wife have any weight to lose or acts unattractive or not submissive to him or things like that?
One of the reasons why a man might be ‘attracted’ to another man’s wife is that she embodies things that he wants in a wife. A wife that is feminine, listens, and is submissive is an attractive prospect for many men… it does not necessarily have to be ‘physical attractiveness.’
Here’s what I would do in your situation:
- Tell your wife that yes he finds you hot for whatever reason. Don’t necessarily need to make it into a joke. I would avoid doing that.
- If his wife has stuff to learn, maybe your wife can exert some influence on his wife to start changing for the better (if she has things she can change to be more attractive or a better follower)
- Take him under your wing because you are already mentoring him and help to guide him that he can have a similar marriage to you.
It is possible that you can act to turn things around in a good way (with your wife’s help if she’s willing) to help another man have a better marriage.
Turns out my hunch was fairly correct as the OP commented that some of what I thought was going on was the case.
I’ve been watching the interactions closely. My wife doesn’t flirt back and treats him more like a brother that she doesn’t have to listen to. If there was touching, bumping, or inappropriate comments on his part I would have put an immediate stop to it, but nothing like that has happened yet. (Other than what he told me)
His wife was an attractive woman when they married but she’s gained about 60lbs while he stayed relatively fit.. she also picked up a good job, a feminist attitude, and withholds sex from him often.
I realize that this could potentially go the wrong way, but at this point my goal is to exhort him and encourage them as a couple to get back on track. He and his wife are both believers and are trying to follow Christ and figure out all of this. He is much younger than me, has always shown good character. and seeks out my input on a variety of things. It seems obvious that there’s a deficit in his own relationship .. but RPC is completely new to Him so there’s definite potential for a quick turnaround.
Since that is the case, this is actually a very good opportunity to share about Biblical marriage and how it is supposed to work in practice. They’re living out a good example of that, and a man he’s already mentoring pretty much wants to learn from him about it.
Yeah, that’s what I thought was going on. Don’t think it’s malicious, but he does see your marriage dynamic and the beauty of both of you following Christ and wants it for himself.
Hopefully both he and his wife are amenable to change and both you and your wife can help influence both of them at the same time!
If his wife is impressed as your relationship too, your wife can probably influence her by suggesting that losing weight to be more attractive, adopting godly attitudes (respect and submission and kindness), and things like that can influence her husband to be more loving toward her and vice versa.
Obviously, mentoring him on how to lead his wife and get his own stuff together will help too
The OP also clarifies that he was in the same position prior as well:
Side note: as little as a few months ago my wife was also a card carrying feminist.. My friend has seen the drastic change in our marriage dynamic since I got involved with RP/RPC. It’s been revolutionary for me, my marriage, my children .. everything is better than its ever been. It’s only natural for Him to find this desirable.. I know that if he can process and employ the Biblical principles of masculinity in his own life, he’ll see positive changes in his own relationship.
Things are not always as they seem and a surface level reaction like not trusting others or mate guarding is limited or even immature in response. It is almost always helpful to dig down to the root cause of the behavior because the issue is not necessarily the behavior but why they are responding in a particular way.
That’s why I’m generally wary of basic “RP” advice when problems come up. Pretty much ALL of the rest of the comments were about how this was a bad thing when in fact it’s actually probably a very good opportunity for Christian marriage witnessing and mentoring.
Remember: God’s mission first. Look for opportunities to share Christ. Don’t lose sight of the mission.
The reason why we emulate Christ and the Church with our marriage is that it’s a thing of beauty and that gives us opportunities to share Christ when other men want the same thing too.