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Ask Amy: Harassment interferes with friendship

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

While his wife was sitting right across from us, he again started whispering sexual comments to me.

Up until recently I was making excuses for him. My boyfriend said, "If he's making you uncomfortable, you're reading the situation correctly.”

Should I tell Marianne that Chris is looking for people outside of the marriage?

I'm sure that if he's made advances with me, then he has done this with others. Should I just avoid him at all costs? Or just grow a backbone and tell him I'm not interested and if he wants to be with other people he shouldn't be married to my friend?

She deserves better.

– Guilty Friend

 

Dear Guilty: “Chris” is sexually harassing you. This might not be a case of him looking to have a relationship outside of his marriage. He is doing this because he feels like it, and because he can. He chooses his moments, hiding in plain sight and in front of others when he believes he can’t be overheard. This is brazen, obnoxious, and creepy.

His behavior is an assertion of power, and yes – if you feel safe doing so – you should tell him, directly and loudly, to knock it off.

“Stop it. Stop sexually harassing me. Stop speaking to me. Back off.”

And then, by all means, tell your friend. Report truthfully to her that Chris has been sexually harassing you, that you’re sick of it, and that you have told him to stop. Tell her that you would like to maintain your lengthy friendship with her, if possible, but that you will be maintaining a distance from him.

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