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Irene S. Levine, Ph.D.

Irene S Levine Ph.D.

How to handle a BFF who hits on your husband

Flirting is a far cry from acting on those feelings.


Hi Irene,

My best friend since first grade has an obvious crush on my husband. She would never admit it outright and would be hurt if she heard me say it. My husband has asked me to end my relationship with her because it makes him feel uncomfortable.

My husband is really my best friend and we've been married for 15 years. People have tried to hurt us in the past. I don't want to end my relationship with my girlfriend but how long do I let her throw herself at my husband until he caves? We're nowhere near that problem but we have a strong marriage because we're smart about people like this and don't keep them in our lives.

This story is actually more complicated and I don't want to give you all the details but what do you do when a good friend hits on your husband? I love both of them and I have just been ignoring it for years but it's come to a point that I need end the relationship and I'm so sad over it. What are your thoughts?

Signed, Rachel


Dear Rachel,

Flirting or having a crush on someone is a far cry from acting on those feelings. If your friend has been sexually provocative and it's bothering you or your husband, you need to have a talk with her and let her know. She may not realize how she is coming across. You also might want to restrict your get-togethers with her so you are always a twosome—without your husband.

However, if this has happened multiple times with different friends I can't help but think that your husband is sending out signals that he welcomes attention from other women or even actively encourages it. You also mention that you're worried about him "caving in." If this is the case, you need to speak to him about your concerns.

It's wonderful that you and your husband are close friends but could he be overly possessive and, perhaps, threatened by your having close female friends? Husbands or lovers don't substitute for the closeness we feel with female friends and vice versa—and it shouldn't be cast as an either/or situation. It sounds like you have a long history with this friend that's worth saving.

Hope this helps.


Prior posts about balancing friends and lovers on The Friendship Blog:

When longtime friends fight over a guy

BFFs and BFs:Preventing problems between your two faves

I love my BFF but I can't take her husband!

Keeping friends after you say 'I do'