How To Tell When Too Much Flirting Is Too Much

If you happen to stumble upon an email or text between your wife and some other guy that says something like, “OMG I can’t wait to have your cock in me again!!” Then you have a pretty good idea that what is happening is a whole heap of not good.
But what if it’s something like, “Was great to catch up with you again!” That’s kinda sorta nothing in particular, but kinda sorta might be the tip of the iceberg of something in particular.
If there’s anything she says negative about you to him, that’s a red flag. She’s expressing a lack of interest in you and thereby opening the door for the other guy to advance his position on her. Likewise anything he says negative about you, is sending out a feeler to see if she will respond with a defense of you. If she doesn’t defend you, she’s granting him permission to continue to advance his position on her. If she does defend you, he just bides his time and tries again.
Opening up the topic of anything sexual is also a red flag. People rarely have conversations about sex with a member of the opposite sex unless they have attraction for them. Also the “What if things were different?” lines of inquiry where alternate reality scenarios are discussed are red flags. Things aren’t different, she’s married. Talking about sex via a private message is hitting all three areas of Instigation, Isolation and Escalation; a red hot gaming move.
A lot of emails, texts, phone calls, and Facebook messages don’t hit on those red flag areas. But you can still have a sense of something not quite right going on. In cases like this it’s usually best to simply ignore the content of the communications completely, and simply focus on the total volume of communication. Or put another way, if your wife is talking to another guy on the phone for a couple hours a week, what they are talking about simply doesn’t matter, something is starting to happen. If there are twenty text messages/emails/Facebook posts a day between them, the content of the messages don’t matter, something is starting to happen.
If you’re her husband, and you start dropping into the zone of getting less communication touches than another guy, the content of the messages don’t matter, something is starting to happen.
The content doesn’t matter, because the real message is “I want to be in heavy contact with you.” He might make expressions of attraction to her and she can even say she’s “not interested”, but if she continues the communication level… she’s expressing interest.
One or both of them can deny anything more than flirting and friendship is going on to the other. Even repeatedly so. But if the communication frequency continues on unabated, the real message is “I want to be in heavy contact with you.” Which means more than flirting and friendship is going on.
When you call them on what is going on as being inappropriate, they will always deny anything is going on and say it was all a big misunderstanding and that you are taking it out of context. After all, it’s not like they were texting “OMG I can’t wait to have your cock in me again!” Plus they will blame you for being a control freak or otherwise being unbalanced. That is the point where you say you don’t give a rats ass what they think, you’re not an idiot and it needs to stop.
Usually if there is nothing overtly red flag in the communications, it will stop right there and she will do a 180 and suddenly be more attentive to you. Basically both of them were too cowardly to escalate the interaction further, and you being confident and dominant will make the other guy back off and make her respond to your dominance.
Just keep half an eye out and ensure it doesn’t go underground and continue… that’s seriously bad.


  1. Anonymous says:

    It's like you have a window into my life.

    Where was this post 3 months ago when I needed it?

    Seriously, though, my wife started with the flirting and the emailing around February. By March, I had fielded a late night phone call from the guy. He immediately handed his phone over to the buddy standing next to him in the bar he was calling from, so the buddy could pretend the call was something semi-legitimate and important.

    That call was the red flag that started me checking into my wife's call history and emails. What I found was not sexual, but pretty much what you describe in this post — friendship over sports and a playfulness that I had not gotten from her in years, none of which I was told about, which was actively hidden from me. The more I asked, the more was hidden. Omissions became lies. Etc.

    It turned out to have never been sexual, or even romantic, but it was headed that way. But by a couple of weeks ago, I had pulled 6 months of phone records, intercepted all of the emails, and installed a keylogger. Two weeks ago, she found the keylogger, but by then, I had already stopped using it. A couple of blunt phone calls to the guy had already taken all the fun out of their flirting.

    In any event, because there was smoke but no actual fire, when she found the keylogger, I was cast as the over-reacting privacy-invading stalker.

  2. Athol Kay says:

    Show her this post and this link then.

    And for real work on raising your game and pulling her attention back to you. You did great on the breaking it up front though. High marks.

  3. If it is only appropriate to react when an actual affair has already resulted in penetration, how does a husband defend his territory without a full-blown affair resulting? Not an over-reaction, plain and simple.

  4. FixingItNow says:

    Caught wife in a similar situation. I didn't have the guts at the time to say "[I] don't give a rats ass what [you] think, [I'm] not an idiot and it needs to stop." but exposed the relationship and (in a very beta way) explained away how it felt and that I'd like it better that if she's insisting on staying friends with this old pal of hers from the past that they just make sure they stop acting inappropriately. Good lord, why did I say that?

    Well, a month later after devouring your blog (your book should arrive tomorrow), recognizing all the beta junk I was engaging in since my first child was born almost four years ago, upping my rank (lost 30lbs, new wardrobe, her girlfriends are noticing me), and getting my alpha game back into play (I really wasn't the same confident, attractive guy that she fell in love with five years ago despite her saying otherwise "I'll always love you, we're married") there have been many changes for the good that the difference is very noticeable and all for the better.

    While at the time I didn't demand she cut off the relationship she did lower her contact with him, she's still buddies with this guy. Sure he's overall pretty beta but he was showing some Alpha traits by having the balls to engage in flirty conversations with a married woman – conversations I wasn't having with her yet she obviously desired. I have secretly kept tabs on her convos and they are much more "how's it goin?" rather than "hey sexy" but because I was a coward at the time I didn't cut it off when I should have and in the proper way.

    So now my intent is to get her attention fixed entirely on me by turning back into the man she was supposed to have and consider my strategy to get this guy totally out of our lives.

  5. Athol Kay says:

    Elahf – Exactly. You have to do something.

    FixingItNow – Doesn't sound like you have to push it to an ultimatium as she has backed off. Continue running The MAP for now. And be alert.

  6. FixingItNow – what you said about him being beta reminded me about my theory as to why affairs never work out. Willingness to engage in an extramarital affair is an alpha move, no matter how you slice it. Preselection, ballsyness, sex-focused, attraction, and dopamine all play into it. However, once it all blows up, if the two in the affair try to get together legitimately, most of those factors are missing.

  7. Anonymous says:

    (I'm the Anon from the first comment)

    You would not believe the shit storm that ensued when I pulled her emails, and then called the guy. As though I were some kind of criminal. Then she called him and apologized FOR ME. So, I pulled more emails and called him again. We had a nice long chat.

    Now he's lost interest, because I'm a hassle. He hates hassles.

    I see now exactly where and when I let things get this bad. So many missed opportunities for vigorous sex. We could have been sharing our recreation instead of playing separately. Now I'm working 5 times as hard to fix a problem that would have been relatively easy to avoid a year ago.

    The root of it was my idiotic decision to hold onto petty resentments I had toward her. That anger led me to withdraw and pout rather than man the fuck up.

    And the worst thing is that I now see that my resentments were misguided from the start. I had this stupid, omega belief that our marriage obligations were equal and symmetrical. As though there was no male role or female role. That she had to support me emotionally, like I was a child or something.

    I should have been far more alpha and emotionally independent in the first place. If so, I would not have expected that kind of emotional support, and would not have gotten angry that I never received it. The I never would have built resentments and would never have with withdrawn as I did.

    And then she would not have been so excited by getting attention elsewhere.

  8. FixingItNow says:

    @Athol – good to hear and just what I figured.

    @Elahf – YES! and that's my game plan right now. I'm back to being the alpha in her life and she seems genuinely grateful for it – wanting to spend more time with me than just "wasting time of Facebook".

    This morning I decided to start talking to him myself which I suppose is an attempt to make sure he knows his place and help build my confidence instead of seeing him as such a threat – of course he may still be which is why I need to keep my eyes sharp.

  9. Athol Kay says:

    Anon – "Now I'm working 5 times as hard to fix a problem that would have been relatively easy to avoid a year ago."

    Exactly! You have it clear as day now. The good news is that you're turning it around. Well done.

    FixingItNow – Sometimes all you have to do is make it known you're on to them. If you have the confidence to do it, then do it!

  10. FixingItNow says:

    Just a little follow up:

    Wife and I had a great night out last night. A chat during our little dinner seemed to reveal that my tactic of starting to buddy up with/cockblock Mr. Guy on Facebook already has had a positive effect in draining the dopamine she gets from talking to him. I even passed a rough fit-test later in the evening (regarding something with our kids) that got me some great attention this morning and a phone call apology from her. Something I would have usually just apologized away and sunk away from had I not been given the ability to recognize what was going on.

  11. Athol Kay says:

    Great job FixingItNow.

  12. Anonymous says:

    In April, my wife confessed to "flirting" that had gone too far on FB, and it wouldn't happen again. I took that as a good sign that we were communicating well and I didn't scare her from being honest etc. All Nice Guy stuff, unfortunately. I wish I'd had this to read back then.

    May 4th was my D-day. I snooped and verified that they'd actually had virtual sex, even after she'd confessed and made the promise.

    It's a long story, but I used that info/power to save my marriage. By manning up I showed her I still cared and that I could break out of my nice guy patterns. She's done communicating with the other man, and we're happier than we've been in years. Still a lot of work to do, however.

  13. Athol Kay says:

    Anon 1:16 – excellent job. Take it as a wake up call, and just move ahead.

    As far as "Red Pill Wake Up" moments go, you had a fairly benign one.

  14. perplexed says:

    After getting blind drunk I flirted too hard on FB. I don’t even remember the conversation. I had no intention then or now of anything extra…I guess I was lashing out at myself and the relationship. I really don’t know why. It only has happened once and I will never do it again. I haven’t eaten in 3 days. Should I confess?

  15. What about being on the other side of this? My man and I have been together for just a few years. He hadn’t mentioned a female “best friend” when we first got together that for reasons I’m not aware of he was no longer in contact with. About a month ago he saw on Facebook that it was her birthday and texted her a Happy Birthday. They seem to be texting frequently since, and he’s mentioned something she said several times. They were all little comments he thought were funny, but they really weren’t particularly funny so I’m thinking there’s a light flirtation going on at least. I trust him, but an incident very early in our relationship where he hasn’t cut off sending sexually suggestive texts to someone else has always left me with worry. Do I address their communication?

    Yes you do address it. The sooner the better.

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