DEAR DEIDRE: WHENEVER she makes a bad shot playing pool in our local, my wife offers her backside to her playing partner to slap. I don’t like it one bit.
She is 37 and I’m 39. She’s always loved playing and apart from two short breaks when she was pregnant with our two sons and the various lockdowns, she has played every single week.
She is in the pub pool team and is brilliant. She can wipe the floor with me.
I’ve not been to watch her in ages, as I’m normally ferrying our sons to football.
But I went last week and was shocked that when she missed an easy pot, she walked around the table to her partner, turned around and offered him her bottom. He then slapped it in a pretend-sexual way.
Every member of the team turned to me to see my reaction and I’m sure they could tell I was furious.
Afterwards, I demanded to know what she was playing at.
Apparently they’ve been doing this for years, whenever she misses an easy shot.
She says everyone in the team thinks it’s funny and no one feels uncomfortable at all.
My wife could see how unhappy I was about it, but she excused her partner’s behaviour by saying: “Have you seen his wife? She is absolutely stunning. He isn’t interested in me.”
She’s right that his wife is very good looking. But I think my wife is gorgeous too and I certainly don’t want some other man slapping her bum.
When I asked her to put an end to this, she said I needed to stop being silly and was over-reacting.
But for me, it’s not about whether he is interested in her or not.
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There is a sexual nature to the exchange and it will lead people to make assumptions about our relationship as well as theirs.
Am I overthinking it? Or is there reason for me to feel uncomfortable?
DEIDRE SAYS: We have all seen some pretty flamboyant sporting celebrations on TV but this is a new one to me.
Talk to your wife in a quiet moment and ask if they could change the bum-slap to something else – like a “high five” – or even nothing at all.
You can be assertive about this without being overbearing, and my support pack Standing Up For Yourself explains more.
Rather than accuse her of inappropriate behaviour, for example, which would put her on the back foot, explain that you trust her but it makes you uncomfortable.
You can ask her how she would feel if you were regularly slapping another woman’s bottom in a mock-sexual way.
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