Hello to all on Happily Married -
Please read the full post before responding -
I'm involved with a man who is a personal trainer. He has been earning a living this way for about eight years and is good looking, in his forties, age appropriate for me. He and I have only been exclusive for two months, but we have discussed long term posibilities for this relationship. Given that we are still in a getting to know each other phase of the relationship, I am remaining objective about where this could go. We do have strong feelings for each other, and he has demonstrated devotion to me.
Me question is, how does the partner of a man whose profession involves being flirtatious with other women deal with that? At this point it has not been an issue for me, since I understand that people need to project certain personas for their jobs.
He invited me to a dinner that includes clients and their significant others, and a woman who is a prospective client. He is looking to close a deal with her, so I understand there may be some flirtatious behavior. I have yet to see exactly what that looks like with him, and only have perspective from how men have tried to use charm to win me over in a business deal as a point of reference.
My concern, and this is based on past experience, is how the women there, including this prospective client, will treat me. I have already been in situations with other partners in the past in which women either misread attention or charm as more than what it was and were hostile to me in a catty (covert) manner or were overtly trying to take the flirtatiousness to a more serious level, and were blatantly disrespectful to me. They have tried to block me out of conversations by cutting me off, talking over me, or dismissing my contributions to the conversation, or going so far as to try to (again, read in a catty manner) squeeze me out of my space when sitting next to my date so they could get closer. I am not looking to project negativity, however; I want to mentally and emotionally be prepared and composed, since this unfortunately has proven to be the way some women inevitably behave.
I know that by inviting me this man is making the effort to show me he has noting to hide, and also to make it known to others that he is not single. I want to know how couples in similar situations deal with this, when the nature of their husbands' work involves some kind of turning on charm and selling their appeal to get a client or deal. I believe that it is my partner's job to make sure the boundaries are understood and that I am not put in the position of having to fend off women from my significiant other. Is that unreasonable?
I want to make this relationship work and be realistic, mature and supportive, but I can't tolerate being disrespected for the sake of someone else's success. This is also an opportunity for me to see how he will field that kind of behavior towards me if it occurs, and if he even picks up on it. The nature of cattiness is to go undetected except by the person who is being disrespected.
Thanks in advance for the feedback.