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My weak husband won't protect me.

M y husband's best mate of 20 years has just taken it into his head to sexually harass me.

Last night he pressed me up against the fridge when I was getting him a beer.

The day after, he phoned me up and made all these filthy suggestions. I slammed down the phone but he's not put off.

I told my husband today but he just said I should ignore it. He says his mate has always been like this with women and it will blow over.

He says his mate's such a good friend these little things have to be ignored.

I know he's a friend but I'm really angry with my husband. Why won't he protect me?

Men are amazing, aren't they?

They'll suffer all kinds of indignities rather than question their masculine code of loyalty. It's as though they were blood brothers and had to remain loyal, no matter what the cost.

It's something few women understand.

Because of our sensibilities we couldn't bear to see someone hurt or humiliated, regardless of loyalties. We'd put their feelings first.

Long before their teens, boys have learned to stick together come what may and that's exactly what your husband is doing. He's re-enacting boyhood solidarity.

And the odd thing is - at least odd to women - that men think they're acting honourably when they behave this way. It's more honourable to protect a mate than to stand up for a wife.

Many a man would have to be restrained from giving your tormentor a good hiding.

Any woman would feel let down by his attitude. It's really degrading that he refuses to come to your aid.

It's positively insulting to tell you to ignore this pawing interloper. No friendship should be that precious.

Could you get another man to talk some sense to your husband? A brother, a mutual friend? Is there someone he really looks up to?

Your husband is so immature that he won't respond to reason alone, only to another man.

Are you sure you want to stay with someone who's so oblivious to your mortification?


I am a pensioner. On Christmas Day I sat alone in my flat. The doorbell rang and my neighbour was there with her husband and baby. They handed me a large hamper containing everything I could need. I just kept crying. She also did so much for me when I was sick. Please thank her.

Flowers are on their way to this wonderful young woman from Islington, North London.

I'm worn down by his jealous rages

My husband is obsess-ively jealous, though I have never given him any grounds for suspicion.

If the telephone rings and it's a double glazing salesman, he assumes it's one of the many lovers I have stashed away.

My driving instructor is under suspicion, especially since I failed my test and had to do more lessons.

If a bloke says hello to me it means I want to sleep with him.

I've spent my marriage trying to convince him I love him. Each time we have a row about this, he says he's sorry, then does it again.

It makes me sad because we had a good marriage once. Now I would end it if it weren't for the children.

Jealousy is a terrible emotion, both to feel and to be subjected to.

Jealousy can be overwhelming. It replaces all other emotions. Someone in the throes of jealousy cannot think straight.

They're not open to reason and they forget about love, friendship and generosity.

The root of all jealousy is insecurity.

If you can see this point of view you'll realise that your husband believes himself to be inferior to other men.

Have you asked yourself why? The fact that he's been suspicious of your merest contact with other men all your marriage suggests that it's very deep-rooted.

It could possibly go back to his teens, even his childhood.

His mother might reveal some interesting details. Was he considered the ugly duckling of the family? Did his brothers and sisters tease him?

Was he a loner at school? Did he have difficulty making friends? Was he painfully shy?

A gentle chat with your husband over a bottle of wine in a quiet restaurant might uncover painful memories.

Failing important exams, being turned down for a job, missing promotions, being scorned by a girlfriend.

And having found a loving wife, terrified of losing her. Who knows?

I'll wager there's a very frightened youngster inside your jealous husband and if you want to help him it would be worth finding him and exorcising his fears for good.
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Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Stoppard, Miriam
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 25, 1997
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