"You see this ring? Leave me the **** alone!"
July 7, 2010 9:38 AM   Subscribe

How can you enjoy the bar scene when you're married (with or without your spouse)?

My new wife and I enjoy going to see live bands and karaoke nights at local bars but it's a bit awkward now that we're married. There seems to be this unspoken presumption that everyone there is single, a.k.a. available, and I don't want sleazy guys hitting on her any more than she wants women hitting on me. Wearing our wedding rings (as we always do, of course) doesn't seem to be enough.

To make matters worse, I don't dance. I don't enjoy dancing and I don't want to learn. It's simply not anywhere remotely near my circle of interests. I'll stand by the stage and nod my head if there's a concert going, or sit at a table and listen. I'm kind of a wallflower. But my wife was born to dance. She'll hit the floor alone, where she's invariably asked by other men if they can dance with her. The skeezier guys don't ask at all, they just put their arms around her and try to get close until she pushes them away. This is not cool.

My wife also likes going on "girls nights" with her friends to clubs. I'm concerned that a gaggle of girls dancing together in this setting paints an extra-large target on my wife for would-be Don Juans. Not to mention that her friends are single and receptive to that sort of thing, and don't offer her much help staying away from it.

I've told my wife that I'm not interested in being a controlling husband or telling her what to do. I want her to have fun and do what she wants to do. I don't want to become one of those couples that disappears off the social radar as soon as they get married, because "married people aren't supposed to do those things." I trust my wife too, so I'm not worried about her reciprocating male attention; I just want to help her avoid those uncomfortable situations. We're not ready to give up on bars yet.

So my questions are... how can we have fun together and minimize people trying to pick us up, when we enjoy doing different things at bars (her dancing vs. my chilling), and what are some things my wife can do when I'm not there to keep unwanted attention away? I'm mostly concerned about her wellbeing because frankly, pervy/leery/grabby men are more of a problem in these bars than women are... my wife gets much more unwanted attention than I do (plus she's on the dance floor, which puts her more "out there" I guess). I hate how I'm unable to enjoy myself now because I'm so preoccupied thinking those guys might treat her like public property. I want to relax and have fun again without always being on alert for that crap, and so does she.

Maybe the problem is mainly that I'm just jealous, but I think it's more than that.
posted by anonymous to Society & Culture (36 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Theoretically your wife was dealing with these skeezy dudes when she was your fiance, and when she was your girlfriend, and when she was just the girl you were dating, and even before that. And you only have a problem with it now that you're actually married? If she was fine with dealing with these dudes before the wedding, I'll bet your wife is still just fine at dealing with these dudes. And this means that, in fact, you're right, and the real problem is that you want her to be treated as "taken" -- that the real problem is your possessiveness. Work on that. Remember that your wife hasn't changed, and the bar hasn't changed -- all that has changed is your attitude.
posted by amelioration at 9:49 AM on July 7, 2010 [38 favorites]

Do you think your wife is going to hook up with one of the skeezy guys that tries to grind up on her on the dance floor? No? Then don't worry about it.

Has she expressed to you that she can't handle herself out there, or asked for help? If not, then back off - she's just as capable of taking care of herself on the dance floor now as she was before you got married, and if you try to come in like a white knight you're likely going to end up looking like a controlling jerk.

It is a fact of life that gross guys are going to try to dance with pretty girls in clubs. They don't really care what their relationship status is, because they're not looking for a relationship on the dance floor. In my experience, all you have to do is dance away from them, and they get it.
posted by amro at 9:49 AM on July 7, 2010 [4 favorites]

I kind of think you're overthinking this. You wife can easily tell any male 'that's my husband over there' if she chooses, and if she gets flirted with and danced with she might like it. For a lot of people, that's a nice, meaningless, self-esteem boost. Unless you're living in some bizarre 70s singles/date rape scene, turning people down gracefully is reasonably easy for most adults with a couple subtle cues.

I think you should work on what you enjoyed about bars in the first place -- hanging out with her, hanging out with other friends, and worry less about 'pervy, leery, grabby' men. The way this comes off, to me, is the way super-germphobic people come off, which is that I wonder how you even got your head filled with this.

And maybe you want to rethink your last sentence a little.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 9:51 AM on July 7, 2010

It looks like there really isn't a significant problem with women hitting on you. This question is mainly about dudes hitting on your wife. As amelioration says, she probably has years of experience in how to deal with that. If she sees it as a problem, maybe she should be asking the question.
posted by grouse at 9:52 AM on July 7, 2010

I agree with amelioration - i find it strange that presumably you guys have been going to the bar since you've been dating, but only now that you're married does the bar scene seem to be a problem for you. How did you deal with this as a couple before getting married?

I love to have a dance when I get the chance, and my husband isn't as enthusiastic about dancing. I just dance with whoever is around, and it's no big deal - everyone understands that it's a dance, not a marriage proposal.

If someone gets skeezy, I usually I just smile and shake my head, and if they persist, I just walk away. Easy.

If my husband asked this kind of question on AskMe, I would a) wonder why he hadn't spoken to me about it instead of asking strangers on the internet, and b) wonder why he doesn't trust me.
posted by ukdanae at 9:59 AM on July 7, 2010 [2 favorites]

My wife also likes going on "girls nights" with her friends to clubs. I'm concerned that a gaggle of girls dancing together in this setting paints an extra-large target on my wife for would-be Don Juans.

Unwanted attention is one thing, but it's saying stuff like this that makes me think that you're biggest problem is jealously. Your wife is not prey, she is not a "target", she's a person. If someone tries to approach her (which is not in and of itself a sleazy thing to do, at a bar or anywhere else), she can say she's not interested. If that doesn't work, she can ask for help from her friends or club employees. There's nothing to be "concerned" about.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:01 AM on July 7, 2010 [32 favorites]

You're being possessive and trying to controlling without living up the controlling stereotype, which I guess is good so YAY YOU in a way.


You're being possessive and controlling and potentially treating your wife a child/object that needs your protection. There's nothing in your post that indicts she can't handle herself just fine, it's all about you feeling this way or that way and trying to control the situation even when you aren't there.

There's nothing to fix here, no grand problem for you to solve. If some guy starts getting grabby with your wife, sure step in, but otherwise, you're worrying about nothing IMO. Guys like your wife, yet she doesn't return that attention and instead goes home with you every time. I'm failing to see what the issue is, other than your own jealously, which you need to fix.
posted by new brand day at 10:01 AM on July 7, 2010

I do not have this problem that your wife has, because I am not the sort of woman who gets hit on in bars. I avoid the problem by being tremendously fat, but that's probably not a good solution.

Holding up their ring fingers at someone one and pointedly jiggling the ring, however, is something I've seen women do to signal their non-availability in a "it's too loud in here for me to tell you I'm not available so this is me telling you I'm not available" sort of way. It's only something you do after someone's already started hitting on you, though, it doesn't stop people from trying in the first place.

I do have to echo ameliorization, though. What was your wife doing to ward off unwanted advances previously, and why aren't those same techniques working now?
posted by jacquilynne at 10:02 AM on July 7, 2010 [3 favorites]

Or if you don't like the suggestions above, you may have to consider downing your social interactions. My husband and I were into partying like there was no tomorrow, but somehow, without planning, all of our friends now are couples, and we have fun doing stuff with them, or alone.

If I feel like dancing or if he feels like going to say, Iron Maiden concert, we go alone with friends, and we completely trust eachother. A couple of times we've come back with funny stories of the now alien flirting scene. Those stories are actually fun. Like the times guys try to tell me sexy things is Spanish, because I look foreign.

In short, yes, she knows how to deal with it and you probably know how to, too. BUT I think there should also be some sort of diminishment in possibilities, after all, I think there is a huge difference between a married person and somebody in a relationship. I may sound like an old lady, but there are things a married person just can't do anymore.

So, we do go out on our own, but VERY rarely. We also in a very casual and non planned way give eachother a little report of the things that happened when we were alone.
posted by Tarumba at 10:06 AM on July 7, 2010

If you really dont want other guys dancing with your wife (honestly I wouldnt care, but I am not you) then you need to get over yourself and learn how to dance (or at least enjoy it) and dance with her.

The rest is just you being irrational and paranoid.
posted by BobbyDigital at 10:07 AM on July 7, 2010 [4 favorites]

This seems to be much more about you than her. Men hitting on your wife has nothing to do with you. Don't take it personally. They aren't purposely disrespecting you, or challenging you. Your wife's marital status isn't going to stop guys from hitting on her. Your wife has obviously been putting up with this kind of behavior from men in clubs for as long as she's been going to them, so it seems that it only bothers you now because you see it as a sign of disrespect towards you, the husband.
posted by iconomy at 10:07 AM on July 7, 2010

I really understand what you are saying, and I don't think you are irrational, paranoid or self-absorbed, like other people suggest.

It may be a cultural difference, but we feel exactly the way you do. We think there is a huge difference between being paranoid and being cautious.

After all, your wife will possibly drink a little at those bars, and there is a tiny tiny chance that something bad could happen, so why not plan or think about it? Being married is not the same as "being engaged" or being in a relationship.

I apologize for the lame and extreme example, but If Tiger Woods is touring 9 months out of 12, then does it really come as a suprise that he cheated? Pretending it's all jolly good will only result in a higher possibility of misery. So why take the chance? I say discuss this with your wife, and yes, it's all about diminishing the possibilites, no matter how much you trust, everybody has stupid moments.
posted by Tarumba at 10:21 AM on July 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

anonymous, drama is not love. Just cut the drama - you'll be a happier person. Getting hit on (in a polite fashion) is not a big deal, or threatening to a marriage, or traumatic.

My husband is more interested in live music than I am, and goes out alone. After we were married, my husband lost his wedding ring and was hit on from time to time. I'm sure he dealt with these advances in his usual adorably vague fashion, and no scenes were caused. Then he would come home and we would laugh about the goofy pick-up lines women used on him.

When we go out together, no one hits on me because I'm old. He's old too, but I guess it's more attractive on guys or whatever. But also, I must admit we've never been into a scene where "skeezy guys" treat women like "public property." I wouldn't go places where strangers regularly put their arms around me, marriage or not, because I'm standoffish.

But anyway, if your wife likes those clubs - she should go and dance and you should chill. If men cross some sort of line with her, she most likely has the tools to deal with it, or she wouldn't enjoy those clubs.
posted by Squeak Attack at 10:21 AM on July 7, 2010

There is no way to prevent all unwanted male attention to your wife. There just isn't. You don't say anything about your wife feeling uncomfortable or threatened by the attention, so she probably sees it the way many women do: as a part of reality, and as a situation that she's learned how to handle.

So this does seem to be about your jealousy. It's okay to feel jealousy, it doesn't make you a bad husband -- as long as you address it constructively and work on improving it. And try to look at it this way: instead of being threatened by other men paying attention to your wife, feel proud! No matter how many other men may want her, this amazing, sexy woman you love chose you.
posted by spinto at 10:23 AM on July 7, 2010

If she has a problem with their approaches, I would assume she would either deal with it or retreat to you: Having a guy on hand is ooooh-so-nice for those super-skeeze emergencies on the dance floor, and most women know that instinctively!

If YOU have a problem with it, you have a couple options.

You can (a) intervene --you might not like to dance, but if you really think someone's crossing the line, there are diplomatic ways to say, "excuse me, I'd like a moment with my wife" on the dance floor. 5 minutes of dancing is a relatively small price to pay for feeling instantly better. Honey might be even be pleased to see you, depending on the situation and how you handle yourself.

Or you can (b) do nothing and feel aggravated.

Or you can (c) try and understand what exact part of the situation is bothering you, and talk to her about it in detail later, say over breakfast, in an openminded fashion.

I'm not saying that what she has to say on the subject is going to automatically make everything better, but if you had a better idea of what she considered "over the line," and how she feels it should be handled, you'd have the starting point for what hopefully would be a constructive conversation. It could turn out that you simply don't agree on what is "reasonable" for public dancing. Or it could turn out that she has some sound reasons for feeling that the situation was "under control" that you would find reassuring to know.

If there's a big mismatch in interpretations/comfort levels, maybe you could work out some reasonable compromises: It's not an automatic no-no to ask her to adjust her style; it does take diplomacy on your part & understanding on hers.

And this will sound really cheesy, but a hand-signal or two for indicating levels of comfort (for you AND for her), might be helpful. That way she could catch your eye from across the room & give you the "bail me out!" signal, or you could flash the, "can you throttle back a bit" high sign from afar.
posted by Ys at 10:25 AM on July 7, 2010

From your post:
There seems to be this unspoken presumption that everyone there is single

I want her to have fun and do what she wants to do. I don't want to become one of those couples that disappears off the social radar as soon as they get married, because "married people aren't supposed to do those things."

This unspoken presumption is just barely unspoken. Typically people do tend to stop doing things that single people do when they get marrried. If you want your world to be different, then you have to be the change you want to be. One of these things is being mature enough to realize that not everybody in the world is going to be working under the same assumptions as you. They are assuming that a woman dancing by herself is by herself because that is all they have ever known. Teach them otherwise and maybe they'll stop assuming. Maybe not. But you can't get what you want unless you offer it as a solution.

Trust me, I understand where you're coming from. I was going to say "even though I'm gay" but in fact it's "especially because I'm gay" -- imagine your problem but if you and your partner were going out to a bar where just about everybody could be interested on everybody else and couples are rarely seen. (This is actually less of a problem today than it used to be .)

If you want to keep going out, which I really encourage you to do, you have to learn how to be polite in the rejection and when to learn that somebody hitting on your partner, as long as your partner is not put in an uncomfortable position, is ultimately just a reflection on your good taste and has nothing to do with your relationship.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:27 AM on July 7, 2010

Flirty dancing isn't the same as hitting on someone. Sure, there are a few skeeze-balls out there that may try to take advantage and dance too close/suggestively, but in general, guys like to dance too, especially when there are women to dance with. If you danced more, you'd know the vibe is completely different when people are on the dance floor. Now, if a guy really wants to hit on your wife, he will approach her after the song is over - and she can politely turn him down. But relax about the dancing, it's harmless fun.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 10:41 AM on July 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

If you don't dance, who is your wife supposed to dance with? Herself? Married people dance with people other than their spouses all the time, and it's not some weird sexual promissory note as you seem to imagine.
posted by crankylex at 10:47 AM on July 7, 2010 [3 favorites]

Jealousy is poison. Keep it out of your life. You should learn to dance and/or learn to not be bothered by the inevitable advances of males. Both will take practice. Both are really about not giving a f***.
posted by palacewalls at 10:56 AM on July 7, 2010

FWIW, I don't think you're being irrational, paranoid, or too controlling either. I got the sense from your post that this is something you have already talked about with your wife, and it doesn't seem like this is causing any animosity between the two of you. Hopefully this is, indeed, the case.

One concrete suggestion I could offer is to keep going out, but experiment with different bars/venues for live music. There are definitely places where the gross guys of the world go to hit on women, and there are also places where this kind of behavior is, maybe not unheard of, but far less frequent. In my area, we have quite a few bars/clubs where the atmosphere just isn't like that - either the clientele is mostly couples and/or slightly older adults (30's), or it isn't the kind of bar where people are pounding tequila shots all night, or...I'm not really sure how to say this, but it's just an atmosphere kind of thing. This most definitely applies to places where there is live music/dancing, as well. Shop around and see! If nothing else, you may get to experience some cool new places and new music.

That being said, some of this situation is just the inevitable outcome of hanging out at bars. If you are genuinely worried about her safety and dignity, then I hardly think that's an irrational mindset - after all, this is your life partner and it's only natural to feel some degree of protectiveness toward her. But, as MCMikeNamara mentions above, the general assumption at many of these places is that a woman on the dance floor without an immediately visible swain must be there to meet SkeezyGuy and for no other purpose. It is a fact of life that is not going to disappear. The best I can tell you is to discuss this openly, honestly, and as frequently as needed with your wife.
posted by deep thought sunstar at 11:05 AM on July 7, 2010


Your wife has been deflecting unwanted advances her entire life. She did not lose this skill when she got married. She had it when she was single, she had it when she was dating you, and she had it when you were engaged. She still has it - nothing has changed.

You seem to be asking "How can I keep people from hitting on my wife?" and the answer is that you can't - in a bar, at work or in the grocery store. Part of being in a monogamous relationship is trusting that your partner will deal with these situations with 100% accuracy 100% of the time - "Sorry, I'm married."

That's the trust part. You have to trust her. It sounds like you either a) do not trust her, or b) are so massively insecure that you'll think she'll say yes to the next really good offer.

And really, both of those things are probably more about you than about her.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:08 AM on July 7, 2010 [2 favorites]

After all, your wife will possibly drink a little at those bars, and there is a tiny tiny chance that something bad could happen, so why not plan or think about it?

Because this is not his job. He is not suddenly the "owner" or "protector" of his wife simply because they are now married. She is an adult. It certainly seems to me that he is the one seemingly feeling threatened by others not recognizing his "ownership" of this human being now. He wants others to automatically understand that she is "taken" by him. But the fact is that she is a human being who is responsible for handling these things herself. Good on the OP for recognizing some pitfalls in his thinking, because this seems to be a matter of possessiveness and paranoia. I hate to think that you two may ultimately choose to limit your enjoyment of these activities just to placate this negative tendency.
posted by wondershrew with a helping of potato salad at 11:09 AM on July 7, 2010

If your wife is uncomfortable with the attention, she can flash the ring in the person's face. If the person persists, she can give the bouncer a holler.

There is no way you can stop jerks from being jerks in a setting where being a jerk can sometimes get you laid. You will give yourself an ulcer trying. So long as you trust her, you have nothing to worry about. Be jealous enough that she thinks it's charming, and not so jealous that it's counterproductive.
posted by davejay at 11:15 AM on July 7, 2010

Actually, let me answer again, more directly based on your opening question:

How can you enjoy the bar scene when you're married?

Relax and enjoy everyone's company, and have a good time just like you did before, knowing that you can trust your "new wife" to do the right thing (and if you can't, you have bigger issues than the bar scene.)
posted by davejay at 11:19 AM on July 7, 2010

When you marry you give up childish things. That includes bar fun. Find fun things to do with other married couples. You will outgrow the need for this kind of fun in due time.
posted by JayRwv at 11:41 AM on July 7, 2010

When you marry you give up childish things. That includes bar fun. Find fun things to do with other married couples. You will outgrow the need for this kind of fun in due time.

You sound really old, really boring, or not understanding of interests that aren't your own. Going to a bar and listening to music or dancing isn't childish.

Also, he says they are enjoying this and don't really want to stop.

The problem is he thinks he can be Mr. Jealous now that he put a ring on her -- not that they are doing childish activities.
posted by zephyr_words at 11:52 AM on July 7, 2010 [5 favorites]

I thought that a single girl on the floor would be more left open to getting hit on than a group of girls. If they're good female friends, they'll be protective of her because they know she's taken and doesn't want to get hit on. They'll just block the creeper out. Try to get more people to go out with you to the club, have her bring friends along more often.

At least the long-term upside is if you and your friends tend to be bar-hopping people, then perhaps you're just one of the first to get married or one of the lone couples, and eventually there will be more of them around for you two to hang out with.
posted by lizbunny at 12:30 PM on July 7, 2010

People say that things change when you're married, but I think don't think that's the case, and your concerns about being out in public are a prime example.

People would or wouldn't hit on you and/or your wife when you were in bars and not visibly associated when you were dating, when you were engaged, and now that you are married. The only thing that has changed, for someone who doesn't know you or you wife, is the ring. It's not that big of an item, though it's not hidden. People may not see the rings, they may see the rings and not realize what they signify, or they might ignore the rings.

That is the only thing that has changed to the unknowing masses once you got married. Otherwise, the advances will or won't be there, and the reply to advances is pretty much the same: "sorry, I'm with someone" became "... I'm engaged" became "... I'm married." Jerks will be jerks, no matter on your marital status. Don't let them ruin your fun, remember they're not only interested in you (or her).
posted by filthy light thief at 12:39 PM on July 7, 2010

I agree with the answerers who are reminding you that your wife is an adult & likely capable of fending for herself.

But a lot of what you seem to be asking about is how you can control the thoughts/perceptions/actions of others. The answer, of course, is that you can't. Your only real option, then, is to control your own responses -- including politely refusing unwanted attention when that's necessary. This happens, even to married people. It's not a big deal.

You say you trust your wife, and she trusts you. You guys sound like you're on the same page with regard to continuing to enjoy the bar scene. You just need to let go of the notion that you can somehow control the actions of other bar patrons. Let go, a little. It'll be fine, and you'll have more fun if you're not worrying about this element all the time.
posted by dryad at 12:46 PM on July 7, 2010

Also, have you thought of taking dancing classes? If unstructured "club" or "bar" dancing isn't your thing, you might like styles that have a format, as they give you guidelines, and you can get rhythm in the process. You and your wife will probably dance with other people, which could help you overcome your jealousy, and embrace the dance as simply social, not something to signify that you have deeper intentions for the other person.

I'm speaking as someone who used to be a wallflower in high school, and relaxed over the years since then. I've taken some classes with friends in college, and I've even taken up country line dancing with my wife. I don't like all the music played at line dances, but it's a lot less of a "club" scene, my wife really likes it, and I have fun. And then there are slow dances, which are pretty simple, involving rocking from foot to foot with your partner in your arms. It's very nice.

In short: don't write off dancing, because it can be lots of fun, and be a way to get closer to your wife.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:55 PM on July 7, 2010

I don't think that you are jealous, irrational, or paranoid.

I trust my wife too, so I'm not worried about her reciprocating male attention; I just want to help her avoid those uncomfortable situations.

I'd also be very interested in hearing some actual solutions on how to avoid those uncomfortable situations.

I am a woman who loves to dance and my husband doesn't. Every single time I go out with friends/husband to dance I get unwanted male attention. I've had men completely disregard my deflections, examine my wedding ring, or say things like "you're married, and how does that matter to me?"and many other things. It can put a weird vibe on a fun and upbeat evening.

My husband isn't jealous, but he knows that it makes me uncomfortable so he's uncomfortable. And really, let's not kid ourselves, it's not like people are bars are waltzing. In my experience, men can and often do approach in a pretty provocative (and persistent) way. It's yucky. Very yucky.
posted by Hop123 at 1:03 PM on July 7, 2010 [2 favorites]

I trust my wife too, so I'm not worried about her reciprocating male attention; I just want to help her avoid those uncomfortable situations.

Did she ASK for your help to avoid those situations? Does she seem uncomfortable? Has she said "Gosh, I hate going to the bar, those guys always hit on me!"

Yes? No? If yes, I'll go back and ask, WHAT DID SHE DO BEFORE YOU WERE MARRIED and why doesn't it work now?

No? Then stop trying to manage her life for her. I bet it's not a big deal to her.

I have a friend who is supermodel gorgeous. When we go out, it is like a light goes on over her. She knows how to handle the jerks, the nice guys, the idiots, the frat boys. When Mr. M. joined us one night, all he could say was, "I don't know how you do it!" and she said, "Do what?" It's second nature to her at this point.

Not to mention that her friends are single and receptive to that sort of thing, and don't offer her much help staying away from it.

WRONG AGAIN. You seem to think that her single friends are going to encourage your wife to cheat. I cannot even begin to tell you how disrespectful this is to your wife, and to her friends. Do you know what happens when girls go out together? We keep an eye out for each other. We block, we parry, we wave at imaginary friends across the room, we babysit drinks, we go get the bouncer. We do not stand there helplessly.

And again, has your wife expressed that it is difficult for her to fend off attention when she is out with her friends and that her friends do not help her, or is this all in your mind?

Personally, I think you just need to pick a different bar. Go somewhere that isn't full of guys on the prowl.

The key to avoiding unwanted attention is the word "No." No "I'm married". Just "No." "No, thank you" if you want to be polite. Just no. If someone touches you without invitation, yank your hand away, walk away, and keep saying "No, I don't want to dance with you, stop bothering me." I see too many women try to be "nice" in their refusals ("I don't like this song... I'm tired... I just finished dancing...I'm married") when they just need to say NO.
posted by micawber at 1:18 PM on July 7, 2010

First, unless you are going to college bars populated exclusively by younguns with fake IDs, most bars are already full of married or otherwise attached people. You will fit right in. Now, of course different bars have different personalities and draw different demographics, and perhaps as you age you'll want to transition from punk dive bar to old people wine bar or whatever. But trust me, married people go to bars, together and separately, just like they go dancing and go out to dinner and everything else.

Secondly, being married doesn't make her your property -- dudes are still going to hit on her (though maybe not as often as in your most fevered imaginations), she's still going to get buzzed (and maybe even trashed) with her friends, and she's still going to get freaky on the dancefloor. Like others have said, I think you need to work on your possessiveness, rather than trying to find ways of controlling and monitoring her behavior.

I mean, either she's the kind of woman who enjoys kissing strange guys at a bar, or she's the kind of woman who enjoys drinking with her girlfriends and laughing about the guys who hit on them. Either way, that's who she is, and if she's the first type you aren't going to be able to monitor her at every minute. And chances are, she's the second type, and your energy would be much better spent worrying about something more worthwhile like climate change. Yes, she and her friends should be careful about roofies and accepting rides from weirdos and all the other things they've already been dealing with for their entire lives. Your concern is sweet, but misplaced.
posted by Forktine at 1:20 PM on July 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

You know I'm a girl who likes to dance and doesn't like weird guys rubbing up on me. I don't even like dancing particularly close with male friends, I find it weird and constraining. While you'll occasionally get a really persistent guy/asshole, generally guys will back off pretty quickly if you just give them a little push away, move away to another part of the dance floor or tell them you have a boyfriend/are married/whatever. I'm guessing your wife knows this too and does pretty much what most of other women do with unwanted male attention because you aren't complaining that she is encouraging or tolerating their behavior.

You say you don't like her being treated like public property. It's really hard for my mind not to finish that sentence with "because as my wife she is my property and I want my ownership respected." You seem to be dressing it up with concern for her safety, but honestly unless she's going to some REALLY crazy raves/clubs and isn't getting falling down drunk, she's gonna be fine. Honestly, the scariest confrontations I've had with men trying to hit on me were not in bars or clubs. There are too many people around. There is the staff and the bouncers. I've routinely seen complete strangers come to the aid of girls who were dealing with some drunk guy who wouldn't back down. And really even this situation is very rare.

A group of girls going out is really quite safe. Girls stick together and watch out for each other in a way groups of guys do not simply because of safety factors.

The only real way to avert male attention is to have a male at your side at all times. That's really it, otherwise you're going to have to get over it. I think this really boils down to jealousy and possessiveness.
posted by whoaali at 3:38 PM on July 7, 2010 [3 favorites]

Another option is to become a regular at some of these places (and/or the late night bars the staff go to after hours) and develop a network of trusted 'representatives'. Of course this would require a significant time and money and liver damage investment, and possibly land you with way more problems than a slight jealousy issue.
posted by yeahyeahyeahwhoo at 11:12 AM on July 8, 2010

Your first positive step is continuously wearing your wedding rings. This will not only discourage men from approaching (even though you feel it isn't affecting this problem) but it will more importantly remind you and your wife that you are serious and committed.

The next step, is to trust yourself and trust your wife. If you are an attractive couple, of course people will be drawn to you! And if you make sure to be your own person, you will be able to socialize freely. Just mind yourself and make others feel at ease when they are socializing with you. And flaunt that ring! you deserve it.
posted by HStern at 4:55 AM on July 15, 2010

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