Most people would agree that unwanted sexual advances are not okay.
But when those advances are coming from the adult child of one of your friends, is there a proper way to address the issue?
Redditor Herps15 has recently had some issues with her friend’s daughter being inappropriate with her husband, so she turned to the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) to see if she’d be in the wrong with her potential solution.
“WIBTA if I tell someone’s mom their kid’s behavior is making me uncomfortable?”
The original poster (OP) explained how it all started.
“First time poster. I (30F[emale]) and my husband (33M[ale]) are happily married.”
“He has a group of friends in their mid-late 30s that I feel I have integrated well with and I enjoy meeting up and spending time with them. One of the group has a daughter (19) who she often brings to dinners and meet ups.”
“At first I enjoyed spending time with her in the group, however I have started to feel uncomfortable with her around my husband.”
“It all started when she said she wanted to get into a specific industry, he has experience in this industry and offered to help with her CV if she needed it.”
“She took him up on this via messenger, however, the messages started getting a little flirty from her side and my awkward husband tried to deflect by sending her a photo of our cat.”
“She responded by asking ‘to see the other chonker’ and no don’t send her a photo of me which upset me and he then stopped responding to her.”
The daughter’s behavior only continued to escalate.
“The next time we met as a group I felt increasingly uncomfortable as she kept finding excuses to touch him e.g picking things off his clothing, playful shoves etc and sitting next to him, very closely, if I got up for any reason.”
“He then started getting random calls from her asking if he could pick her up from places because she was stuck etc. and he politely declined or suggested she called her mom. I think this was we had discussed this was getting uncomfortable.”
During their most recent gathering, it all got to be too much for the OP and her husband.
“At the last BBQ we had before [the pandemic], her mom brought her along. She arrived in a bralet top and mini skirt combo, normally I would say wear what you want but a big show was made of taking her coat off in front of him.”
“During the afternoon she made every effort to get him alone. If he went indoors to get something, she would find a reason to do the same.”
“This happened about 4 times before I just followed her indoors and she was lent up against the kitchen counter trying to chat to him as he washed up.”
“When she noticed me she told me ‘go back outside.’ I said ‘no thank you, it’s my kitchen.’ She went outside after this and my husband and I followed after exchanging ‘wtf’ glances at each other.”
“After this we were sat cuddled up and my husband was chatting to me and kissed me. She then became incredibly silent and moody. Others started commenting on what was up with her, she stayed that way for the rest of the afternoon.”
Now the OP is wondering if it’s out of line to approach her friend about her daughter’s behavior.
“My husband says he doesn’t want to tell his friend not to bring her kid, but it is awkward, and I certainly don’t want to offend anyone but she is being inappropriate in my opinion.”
“I haven’t had to think about this much due to [the pandemic] but now that things are opening back up I can see it rearing its head again.”
“WIBTA if I have a quiet word with her mom (who I’m more friendly with) and explain this is making both me and my husband uncomfortable and to have a chat with her.”
“I’m second guessing myself as to whether I’m just being overly jealous. I’ve also debated talking to her directly but don’t know where to start.”
Redditors weighed in on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Many assured the OP that sexual harassment should always be called out, regardless of who it is.
“NTA and please call this what it is, sexual harassment. Your husband is the target of harassment, which is plenty of reason to stop inviting the harasser to gatherings.”
“Doesn’t matter who they are or whom they’re related to.”—blahdefreakinblah
“NTA. This. Say something before she goes absolutely mental because your husband won’t be with her.”
“You never know these days. You don’t want her crazy a** accusing you or your husband of ANYTHING. I would speak to the mom just so she is aware.”
“If they don’t care they aren’t welcome back. It’s weird, it’s sexual harassment, and honestly how she speaks to OP in her own house is WRONG. Let some little girl trying to get with my husband tell me to get out my own kitchen.”
“There would be a MAJOR problem.”—Ok_Principle_6640
“NTA. I think both you and your husband should say something together though.”—menace-to-sobriety
“NTA but the results would probably end up making you feel like you are. You and your husband need to be a united front when speaking with both her and her mom.”
“I would recommend him blocking her on all social media. At the next dinner party, post [pandemic], see how it goes. If the behavior is not currently continuing because there is no contact, then she might be over your husband by then.”
“Do not ever let him be alone in the same room with her for even a second. Hurt feelings at 19 can result in unfounded accusations of sexual assaults.”—rst012345
“NTA and you’d be well justified in raising this with her mother.”
“It may also be worth asking your husband if he’d like to practice more tactics for shutting her down.”
“It is NOT his fault or responsibility to stop her from harassing him but he may feel better if he’s armed with things like ‘that’s obviously inappropriate,’ and ‘what a disturbing comment,’ and ‘I don’t appreciate this and you need to stop.'”
“Some people freeze in the moment and rehearsing in advance can set them up to advocate for themselves.”—stephowl
But there were some who thought it should’ve been addressed long before it got out of hand.
“I don’t know that I think you would be the AH per se, but I do think it would be the wrong course of action. Some of this could have been avoided if your husband had set very clear boundaries with this young woman from the get-go.”
“Having that awkward conversation several calls/texts/visits ago would have been much better than an even more strained conversation now that the behavior has been avoided/brushed off for so long.”
“It bothers you, but this behavior most effects your husband directly and if he wants it to stop, he should say something. Otherwise the message is muddled by you saying something to the girl or her mother.”
“That girl is an adult. Your husband should tell her that she needs to adhere to his boundaries or she won’t be invited over any more. You talking to the mother just adds too much distance from the actual people with the problem.”—Purple_Sorbet5829
“I get that, I also get not wanting to embarrass and hurt the girls feelings because instinctually that is what is comfortable.”
“That is to say it is easier almost to just deal while the ‘kid’ acts out. Problem is as you’ve discovered that this behavior has been relatively undeterred and she will not stop pushing the line.”
“As others have commented you need to draw a very clear line, document what you can proactively, and prepare for a tantrum or some other bad behavior.”
“I’m also curious if anyone else at these gatherings has noticed or made a comment. If I was 19 at a gathering with one or both my parents and was inappropriately flirting, they would be very aware and I’m sure all of their friends would have made comments to them.”—a0rose5280
So while Reddit may not agree on a specific tactic, they all agree that the daughter’s behavior is unacceptable and needs to be dealt with.
Hopefully by the time they’re able to gather in person again, the daughter will have moved on from her crush.
If not, then she may find herself getting escorted right back out the door.