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#3011123 11/12/19 10:56 PM
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This is my first post, as recommended by my friends wife who has an account here, but I’m glad she did. Lots of good topics and discussions!

Anyways, I have been married for eight years. In May, my wife and decided to find a babysitter. We have two kids and it was at the point where my daughter was constantly late for soccer because getting them both ready and out the door (ages 7 and 2) and driving all the way there wasn’t fair to her.

We found the babysitter through word of mouth. She is a 23 year old college student. She and I get a long great. I’ve spent sometime with her and the kids to see how she interacts with them and all. My kids LOVE her! She is very attractive, but also one of the sweetest people I have ever met. Just genuine. Me and her joke around a lot as I have a sarcastic personality and I have been told throughout the years that I am very funny and quick with one liners so I have that going for me.

Out of nowhere last week she sends me a text complimenting my parenting and saying how I am one of the best dad’s she’s ever met. She says she notices I am great with the kids, patient, loving, and selfless. This was a huge compliment for me as I do question myself from time to time and wonder if I need to be more patient with them. She mentions that she was talking to her friend about it (her friend subs when she can’t come watch them). I just figured it was very nice.

We had a third child recently and she had never held a newborn so I showed her how and she was a natural. She text me later “Thank you for trusting me with the new one ❤”

My friend and his wife were with me as they stopped over to visit. She immediately says that the babysitter is flirting. I don’t think so. She gives her reasons as:

She’s talking to her friend about you
The hearts in some of the texts
The “one of the best dads....” text out of nowhere
She says it in texts because she knows that there are times that you wife is still around
You sent her flowers and she was deeply touched (I sent her flowers from the girls when she was recovering from an accident and she was touched and told us she was so happy she cried)

My friend’s wife, as nice as she is (and I have always liked her) is a bit overdramatic. I told her that it is unlikely.

We’ve been together with just us and the kids running around playing and she’s never done anything to even make me think she was flirting
I am realistic. I am not much to look at (not putting myself down, but again being honest). I am 5’9, 220 pounds and it is not all muscle. I am also fourteen years older than her.
She has been with her boyfriend since they were thirteen and he looks like he is chiseled out of granite. 8 pack abs, 6’3, much better paying job than I have and he’s twelve years younger.....
Complimenting parenting doesn’t mean flirting. She may have been talking to her friend about sitting for us and it came up.

She mentioned it to my wife and my wife even laughed and said “yeah, he wishes a 23 year old woman was in to him.”

Is there a way to tell if this is flirting or if she is just being nice and sweet since that’s how she appears to be naturally?


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I think your friend’s wife picked up on something and if you want to stay one of the best dads the best thing you can do for them is let her know not to text you anymore and let your wife be the one that interacts with her.


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I think there are a lot of problems here. First, you are spending time ALONE with the babysitter without your wife’s presence. If you are with the children, there is no reason for the babysitter to also be there. Why are you spending time caring for the kids together? Second, you are filling each other’s needs. You being a good dad is filling a need for her. Having conversation, joking around, is filling needs. Her complimenting you, is filling your needs. You now have the recipe for an affair, spending time with the opposite sex, filling each other’s needs.

This is a disaster waiting to happen. Honestly, as a wife and mother the whole post made me cringe. I am sorry that your wife does not see the danger here, but I do and most posters on here will too. If the 23 year old babysitter, was sending private texts to my husband with little hearts, she would be FIRED. And to hear your wife just gave birth to a new little one, while you and the 23 year old babysitter are spending time together, filling needs, blagghhh. Dude, get rid of her before the train derails here. Spend that time with your wife, talk to your wife, joke with your wife. Send some flowers to your wife.

This whole post is about whether she is flirting. I think YOU are flirting, and I think you are enjoying this and already a little captivated.

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Originally Posted by unwritten
I think there are a lot of problems here. First, you are spending time ALONE with the babysitter without your wife’s presence. If you are with the children, there is no reason for the babysitter to also be there. Why are you spending time caring for the kids together? Second, you are filling each other’s needs. You being a good dad is filling a need for her. Having conversation, joking around, is filling needs. Her complimenting you, is filling your needs. You now have the recipe for an affair, spending time with the opposite sex, filling each other’s needs.

This is a disaster waiting to happen. Honestly, as a wife and mother the whole post made me cringe. I am sorry that your wife does not see the danger here, but I do and most posters on here will too. If the 23 year old babysitter, was sending private texts to my husband with little hearts, she would be FIRED. And to hear your wife just gave birth to a new little one, while you and the 23 year old babysitter are spending time together, filling needs, blagghhh. Dude, get rid of her before the train derails here. Spend that time with your wife, talk to your wife, joke with your wife. Send some flowers to your wife.

This whole post is about whether she is flirting. I think YOU are flirting, and I think you are enjoying this and already a little captivated.


I agree 100% with unwritten. I, too, was cringing while reading this. I strongly suggest the original poster read Dr. Harley’s articles and some of the forum threads.

We have seen situations like yours dozens if not hundreds of times, and this is an extremely dangerous situation

I don’t think that either you or your wife understand the dangerous situation you’re in with this young woman. Search the forum for threads about keeping proper boundaries with the opposite sex. What you describe is already highly inappropriate. Do your marriage a favor and get a new babysitter and learn about and practice keeping strong boundaries in the future. I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you just don’t understand the risk to your marriage.

Best of luck to you and your wife. I hope you’ll take this advice seriously, we’ve seen scenarios like this all too often, and it NEVER ends well.


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All good points. To clarify a few things and answer some things from replies:

- the time spent with her and the kids is 5-10 minutes at a time once or twice in the five hours she’s here . Saturdays I work from home after I bring my girls home from dance. The girls ask if I can come out and play for a few minutes or push them on the swings when I get a break. I feel guilty having to take on the extra work, but my wife had to go out of work two months earlier than we expected and we need the extra money. I’m home, but in the home office. I have the baby with me during this time (sleeping baby is easier to work around than children wanting to play with the buttons all the time on the computer).

- my wife has has been home most of the time (again, had to go out of work early) and spends more time with the girls and the babysitter than I do. Long story short we are also in month 11 (awful project manager, construction worker issues what will surely be a court battle) of what was to be a three month construction project so now she uses the babysitter time as time to work on the baby’s room, house stuff, etc while I do my work that is hard to do with two small kids running around.

- I never even entertained I was flirting because I have never gotten any flirty vibes from her. To me she’s young. Makes me realize how old I am when a 20+ year old is a “kid” to me. I also do t see the appeal of giving up a successful, in shape, tall, good looking guy for average height and gut (protective covering over MY abs), BUT It’s good to know and to be made aware because if she is flirting I hate to think anything I’ve said could make her think I was. I have been oblivious twice in my life with girls interested so I know it’s possible and I appreciate all the advice above.

- I’m not interested in an affair. I’ve seen two friends marriages end because of it and how strongly it has messed up their lives. I’ve been cheated on in the past and know the hurt. Besides being married, I never want to do anything that would make me less of an example to my kids. My childhood wasn’t easy at times and I try to use a lot of what I learned then to guide my kids away from what I experienced. i also have worked too hard to lose everything and everyone for a woman.

- I believe in “don't give up a good thing for a good time.”

With that said I ABSOLUTELY take the above replies to heart and not lightly. To know that even one other person (that’s not my friends overly dramatic about everything wife) feels that she might be flirting I keep that in mind and I thank you all for your time and your insights. I am glad she recommended this forum to me. Getting honest opinions often takes a long those that don't know me personally. Totally neutral and honest posts. Thank you!

Last edited by JJones4734; 11/13/19 03:20 AM.

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Why don't you find a nice, unattractive, short-haired 63-y old babysitter? Better safe than sorry.

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I didn’t hire her lol. I didn’t want a babysitter, but my wife said since so much was going on, and one daughter was already always late for soccer and that led them both to being late for dance after that adding in me needing to rush home to do work (log in code only works between 11am-12pm when assigned weekend work) she felt it’d help.

The original interviewer she wanted to hire was a knockout blonde and I said no so we didn’t hire based on looks. The one we did hire got the job because she has babysat before and is a volunteer EMT so if there’s an emergency she could handle it. The blonde annoyed me and came off too immature and attached to her phone to be watching two kids.

One thing Inhave notice is I checked the current ones Facebook and she does the heart emoji after just about every post so I really am not sure it’s directed at me personally in a “hey big boy” kind of way smile but just my opinion.


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You cannot prevent that a bird lands on your head, but you can make sure it doesn't build a nest.

By the way, my sister and brother in law did hire a babysitter based on looks. The unattractive sweet elderly woman was a perfect choice in more than one way.

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Hi JJones, welcome to Marriage Builders. I applaud you for coming here and being open minded. Most people don't do that in time to save their marriages. Like the others, I cringed and my jaw dropped when reading your post. You are her employer, can you imagine if a female employee sent adoring texts with little hearts to her corporate manager? I recently retired but I was a corporate manager for years. If one my male employees did this, we would be visiting HR.

The time after a new baby is born is the most vulnerable time in marriage because the husband's needs are not being met. With this 23 yr old flirt around this is downright dangerous.

Quote

- I’m not interested in an affair. I’ve seen two friends marriages end because of it and how strongly it has messed up their lives. I’ve been cheated on in the past and know the hurt. Besides being married, I never want to do anything that would make me less of an example to my kids. My childhood wasn’t easy at times and I try to use a lot of what I learned then to guide my kids away from what I experienced. i also have worked too hard to lose everything and everyone for a woman.


99% of people who have affairs are not looking for affairs. They mostly believe they are "not like that." We hear this all the time. Even their spouses are shocked and say it is "so out of character." But they are usually the ones who have affairs. Why? Since they believe they are immune, they have the poorest boundaries. Affairs are very much like the frog in boiling water analogy. They start when one emotional need is met outside of marriage, usually conversation and admiration. When one emotional need is met outside of marriage, the others are soon to follow.

Also, your wife being in the same house would not prevent an affair. Every nanny/babysitter affair we have seen over the years has done exactly that.

Please get rid of this babysitter and hire someone else. The most important thing to your children is your marriage and you should protect it all cost. It is better for them to adjust to someone new than have this girl around.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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Keep this in mind: Affairs happen in 60% of marriages. About 1% were out looking for action. People that are looking for action usually don't get married. You don't have to be one of the 1% to be one of the 60%.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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Before I was sent the link for this forum, I had asked a few coworkers that I have known a long time. One has experience as her husband ended up cheating on her with their basement tenant a few years back. I took out any names that were in the emails below, but figured I’d share these also for discussion as this thread is really helping me understand things so I appreciate the feedback and advice.

The text in question was “....Received the payment. Thank you guys! I had a blast with the kids, as always. (Child) seemed like she was getting very tired at the end so she didn’t eat much of her lunch.” followed by “would just like to say that you are hands down one of the best dad’s I’ve ever met. I was speaking to (friend that also sits for us) about it the other day. We’ve never seen someone with so much patience and that has so much attention to each of their children individually. You never let them down and you are so selfless. It really is incredible. We both think so, so it must be true 😝❤”

Coworker #1 - “Sorry it took so long. I was out the last few days. (Son) had the flu. I don’t know. I don’t really see or get a sense of her flirting. I looked her up on Facebook and from her posts and stuff like that it seems like she is just a genuine person. I can also just base this on my own experience though. When I felt that our tenant was flirting with my husband and I checked her Facebook and Twitter pages she gave off a much different impression than your babysitter’s page does. (Tenant) was obviously an attention seeker and had pictures up of her at the bars/clubs in skimpy outfits. She also did this stuff right in front of me as if to taunt me. Your babysitter has a lot of pictures of her and her boyfriend up, uses the same emoji’s and writes her posts the same as the texts she sends you so that doesn’t seem out of the ordinary. Her and her friend talking about you would seem odd if the friend didn’t know you or sit for you at times too, but since she does there is something in common it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for it to come up. Could have been a simple “are you sitting this weekend?” “Yeah....you know he is a good father isn’t he?”

Coworker #2 - “I don’t think she is showing interest. If she was texting you all the time or everyday I would say yes, but if it’s once a week to find out what time to sit the following weekend and then she texts you after you guys pay her to say thank you and that she enjoyed her time with the kids then I doubt it is meant as anything extra.

Coworker #3 – “This is how young ones text these days. I wouldn’t look in to emoji’s too much. My son sends me the poop one every time he texts me since he is getting in to them now. If the hearts mean she is flirting with you what do the poops mean for me 😊? IF she is interested, tell her boyfriend on her. That guy is gorgeous!!!!( from the pictures she has up anyway) and it looks like his family owns (business in NY) so umm....hot and rich....I can handle that.”

Last edited by JJones4734; 11/13/19 11:57 AM.

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It's harder for people with no experience in how affairs begin to see the problems. This is why 60% of marriages experience affairs. If the average Joe was so smart about affairs why do so many of them have affairs? Most of us here are very familiar with Dr. Harley's views and have witnessed thousands of affairs come through here over the years.

For example, if I have an engine that knocks I can email all my friends for opinions, but do they really have experience with engine mechanics? Do they know how to detect problems? Do they have training and experience? Or should I go to a master mechanic and ask him for his opinion? If he tells me the knock means that my engine block is busted should I dismiss his opinion as paranoid? Biased? Should I shop my friends to get their "objective" viewpoint? Should I ask my sister, who is a CFO, about her opinion on my knocking engine?

I think you get the picture. We are all pretty experienced here with the dynamics of how affairs begin. It is up to you how you use that feedback.. You can take it or leave it.

Best of luck to you and your wife!


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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You should read this How Do Affairs Begin?


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Originally Posted by BrainHurts
You should read this How Do Affairs Begin?


Very interesting and informative....thank you


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Hi JJones,

good to hear that you are a family man, not interested in having affairs and wanting to keep it that way.
There is a point though, in Dr. Harley's take on this.

Our emotions are not voluntary.
You cannot help being disgusted when smelling foul eggs, just as you cannot "not like" someone who is likeable.
When we are around someone we like, or someone cute or sympathetic or someone who compliment us, they automatically get points in our love bank.
That is regardless if it is the nice woman at the post office, or the nice waiter at the restaurant.
If we see people more often, and we have positive experiences around them, they automatically become associated with positive emotions in our brain.
This process is involuntary.

When persons or places become associated with positive emotions, our brain will make us want to spend time with them.
We are then lightly attracted to the idea of spending time with these people. If this continues, our brain becomes somewhat addicted to spending time with them and we feel happy even thinking about spending time with them.
This is the brain waiting for its shot of dopamine. Our conciousness, only has little power over the mighty dopamine reward system.

Those people who make us feel more positive emotions, are likely to reach the romantic love treshhold, when we spend enough time around them.
This is the reason we advise against being around others of the other sex, who can potentially evoke positive emotions.

In your case, there are several risk factors:
- the girl in question is young and attractive.
- your wife has just had a baby, making her less available and making your time with your wife less fun, less enjoyable, because of the hassles of small baby care.
- the babysitter has time for you, without demanding you do the taxes paperwork etc., making your time with her careless
- babysitter compliments you, which you like. It is impossible for us not to like being complemente. We call that filling the need for "admiration".
- men tend to fall in love with young women, who take good care of their children. It comes natural.
- it is noticable from your writing, that you like being around her and that you are considerate of her feelings. This would be ok if she where mother Theresa (that old, I mean), but can speed up the process of gathering love bank units in both your and her love bank.
- You have not been going out with your wife on dates, or just having fun with her in the last few weeks-months.
- There is something called the contrast effect. This means that we are totally happy with our old and reliable Toyota, untill we see the brand new Mercedes for a very small price at the car dealer. The contrast effect is also involuntary and means, that we automatically compare people around us. When you and your wife are visiting a care home for the elderly, you will look better to her, then when you are standing next to a swimwear model. This can subtract from the love bank units your wife gets in your unconcious love bank.

For these reasons, it is always a good idea to prevent problems, by avoiding people, who have the potential to create positive emotions. Just let the babysitter go, while you can still think clearly. Once other people gather too many love units, we are hooked and our brain will draw us to them, as if it were a cheesecake while we are trying the newest diet.

The sensible thing to do is thank her for her help, but you will not be needing her anymore. Let your wife provide her with a goodbye gift. Then, look for a lovely old tart/lady/woman/grandmotherly type.

Take care,
Happyheart

P.S. I really do like old lady babysitters ;-)


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Very well written and explained. I understood immediately what you were saying.

To me this is a lot as far as what I have/ am learning. To me it was as simple as I’m not looking, to me she’s not offering it or hinting, and it was case closed. I never imagined how much of it can be subconscious and involuntary. It’s really a mind blowing revelation to me. I always thought the “one thing led to another” or “I don’t know why I did it” were poor excuses from people, but see now it might have some truth to it. To me it was always that I wouldn’t have enough “appeal” so this was never even a concern of mine.

Actually, after reading your post and digesting it I felt punched in the stomach and out of breath as mentally it took me right back to when I found out my first girlfriend cheated on me. Also takes me back to when a girl I dated later on for three years and I broke up. That’s the girl I always felt I’d marry. There’s enough evidence to suggest she also cheated, but I will never know 100% if she did or not. I never asked either because it was after the breakup that it became clear and wouldn’t have changed anything to know or not. No positive would come of it.

Sorry to ramble on. I didn’t expect that reaction as I haven’t thought in depth about those experiences in a long time. This normal?


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It's quite common to have your eyes opened and yaw dropped after reading articles by Dr. Harley. Suddenly you understand what actually happened. And more important, how to do better from now on.

About the girl you thought you'd marry, it is ok to analyze, but don't spend too much time. Memories of the past have a way of triggering accompanying emotions. You need to focus on your present and future. Read the articles and find out how you can transform your good marriage into an amazing one. That is the best thing a father can do for his children.

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In the process, you will also learn useful stuff on how to deal with the construction case. Good luck with that.


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