February 09, 2011

Dear Delphi,

My boyfriend’s sister’s husband”€”he’s 42 and I”€™m 26″€”was flirting with me at dinner the other night. I don”€™t know if he was drunk or not; sure, he drank a lot but he was not acting drunk. But he kept smiling, winking, and flirting…YUCK. Should I tell my boyfriend’s sister?

“€”Grossed-out in Greenwich

Dear Grossed-out in Greenwich,

Despite popular belief among younger single women, married women are not stupid. I am sure that your boyfriend’s sister knew her husband was flirting. If she has two brain cells to rub together, she is not going to make a scene at dinner if it actually bothered her.

If it bothers you when he starts winking and flirting, you need to make a comment that will stop him dead in his tracks and make him feel stupid. You have to make it very clear you want him to stop. You could disdainfully say something to the effect of, “€œJeff, do you have something stuck in your eye? Here, take my water; maybe you can get whatever it is in your eye out so you can stop all of that annoying blinking.”€ Married men are allowed to flirt; the problem only arises when young women start to think it means something. Flirting means nothing, so calm down.


Dear Delphi,

Last night I slept with my wife’s younger single sister who is 11 years my junior! I”€™ve been married to my wife for 21 years. We got married when we were really young (maybe too young)”€”we were only 24. Anyway I feel terrible, I am not sure why it happened. I have NEVER thought about my sister-in-law as a sexual being; I have known her since she was only 13! My wife is out of town on business and her sister offered to make dinner and help out with the kids, even though they really take care of themselves these days (our oldest is 16)…anyway, she brought wine, served me dinner, and the next thing I know we dive under the sheets! I am terrified my sister-in-law will tell my wife. I love my wife and had no intention of ever doing anything of the sort. What can I do?

“€”Doomed in Dijon

Dear Doomed in Dijon,

That is no small mistake! At very least you did not have sex in your bed! It seems to me that maybe little sister is getting a bit jealous, jittery, and upset about being single at 35 and knowingly tried to seduce you merely because she could. Women can be very bitchy and men can be very stupid, and when the two align it’s disaster.

“€œWomen can be very bitchy and men can be very stupid, and when the two align it’s disaster.”€

Do nothing, say nothing! Never cheat and tell, even in very extreme and dangerous situations such as this one. Never speak to the sister about it”€”act like all is normal. It is not going to be easy, it is deceptive and a bit evil, but in reality no bad deed goes unpunished, and keeping this secret and living with the anxiety and guilt is your only option.

If the sister-in-law tells, then for sure she did the deed just to spite her sister and make herself feel better. You can lie and deny your way to safety as long as there were no witnesses. Don”€™t even address the accusation”€”act horrified that the sister would say something like that. It is not a possibility, never was, and will never be. Speak convincingly to the effect that the sister must really hate you, what an awful thing to say, what a horrible person to say a thing like that. If there is any unpleasant history in their past as sisters, bring it up, amplify it, and don”€™t stop reminding her about it. Directly smear her character”€”point out her weaknesses and how unhappy she must be to come up with such a sick and hurtful fantasy. Your wife would rather believe you than face the horror her sister’s scenario proposes, so she will believe you. Yes, this will terminate your wife and her sister’s relationship, but it will save your family. It is your choice; which is more important to you?


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