A man witnessed something no words could adequately describe, but inappropriate is a good place to start.
Redditor "FuzzyTart" sought advice on the "Relationship Advice" column after catching his wife – who is 8 months pregnant with their child – in a very awkward situation.
The man prefaced the story by describing their neighbor as someone he does not like, and his instincts would later prove to be spot-on.
The husband walked in on his wife receiving a lubed-up belly rub from the neighbor already on his short list.
r/relationship_advice - I [29M] Caught My Wife [27F] Letting Our Male Neighbor Rub Lotion On Her Pregnant Stomach from relationship_advice
"This literally happened this morning. I'm posting it here and hoping to vent and maybe get some perspective because I've been extremely upset all day and can't process this productively. My wife is 8 months pregnant with our child."
"We live next to another married couple who're in their late 30's. I don't like the guy. I've found him to be invasive and the weird type of friendly that almost seems to be prying and clingy. I'm not sure if that's clouding my judgment here or if this validated my beliefs about him."
At the last minute, the father-to-be made a u-turn after leaving for work to surprise his wife.
It turns out he was the one who was surprised.
"I left for work, decided on the way there I just wasn't feeling it and called off. I stopped for breakfast before heading home to surprise my wife. 40 mins tops."
"I get home, enter from the back door and here's my wife and my neighbor sitting in our living room on the couch. She's turned toward him, fully clothed but with her shirt pulled up over her very pregnant stomach while he, facing her, is rubbing lotion on her stomach with both hands."
The wife asked to explain herself, but the logic was not there.
"They both froze, before my wife asked how come I was back and then said '(his name) stopped by to borrow the toolbox while I was moisturizing, and wanted to know if he could feel the baby so I said ok.' I told him to get out before I put him out, and he left immediately."
"I tried to stay calm and talk to her and get the whole story. Neighbor's wife is apparently infertile (first I heard of it which is amazing considering the guy never shuts up about his personal woes) and he wanted to feel the baby. That's her story and she's sticking to it. That's not good enough for me."
All that was missing from the intimate belly rub scene were candles and songs streaming from a Kenny G playlist.
"My thought process is there's a big f*****g difference between feeling a baby for 10 seconds and coming into our home and rubbing lotion on my wife's stomach. If it was some close friend of ours I might understand, but I dislike the guy and my wife has never expressed any sort of closeness to him either aside from passing pleasantries, and she's not the type to let anyone she isn't close to put their hands on her."
The timing of his visit was very suspicious.
"So in the span on a day the guy goes from being a distant acquaintance of hers at best to her deciding to invite him in and let him rub her? I also find it convenient that he showed up that early, right after I went to work, very shortly after his own wife also left for work. And he's never came over asking to borrow anything of mine before, yet 9:30ish in the morning and he urgently needs a toolbox?"
Should he listen to his gut?
"I don't believe my wife. This is the first time my trust in her hasn't been strong enough. I don't believe her story because it makes no sense."
"When I told her I'd be mentioning this to his wife, she was adamant I don't, as not to 'make more of it than it is.' If it was innocent, what more is there to make?"
"And even if nothing more is going on, I'm not ok with what I seen. I'm not ok with him rubbing my unborn child in my home without me there. I know it's her body and her choice, but I'm not ok with this. It'd be one thing to feel the baby kick, but he was sitting reclined, comfortably on our sofa, rubbing lotion on her with both leaned in to their private conversation."
He is experiencing a precarious situation where he does not want to cause further stress for his expectant wife.
"I'm trying really hard to figure out how to express the fact I don't believe her story without causing stress that'd be dangerous for her or our baby. I don't want to pick a fight with her at this stage of her pregnancy, but at the same time my mind is spinning and I'm not cool with what happened. Any advice would be appreciated."
So that happened. What's the best way to respond to this bizarre confrontation?
Most of the comments were reactionary than helpful.
"Especially the: 'what are you doing home early?' Low key blaming the guy for being in his own home... Yea, f**k that" - bruchtwarzen
"Innocent people don't freeze. Innocent neighbors don't come over to visit the moment you walk out the door. Innocent women don't let relative strangers caress their bodies, especially when very pregnant. There's no way this was innocent." – i_dont_fix_typos
The whole "borrowing the toolbox" schtick raised some eyebrows.
"Asking to borrow my toolbox would be borrowing easily several thousand dollars of equipment. Like sorry even my close friends don't borrow the whole toolbox. They're getting one, maybe two, specific tools that they don't have. Hell, you'd need a truck to move my whole toolbox anyways" – tj3_23
"This is exactly what jumped out at me. "Borrow the toolbox" sounds like a very made up thing by a woman that doesn't mess with tools. No one needs to borrow a toolbox, they have a specific task they need a specific tool for." – cjwoodsplitter
The signs are all there.
"Everyone has a different idea of if/how it's ok to touch a pregnant woman's stomach but all that aside, there's three clearly suspicious things here: 1.) they froze when you came in 2.) she doesn't want you telling his wife 3.) when you threatened to 'put him out,' neither one of them said 'whoa, wtf, that's an overreaction!'"
"Guilty consciences abound here. Even if a belly rub was the extent of it, it meant enough to them for them both to feel like they got caught doing something wrong. PS was the toolbox even out?" – MaggieMC201
Others offered a non-combative strategy.
"Or just be calm and straight forward about the rubbing lotion situation in the first place, calmly explain why it makes him uncomfortable and mention what the husband said about her being infertile. Phrase it like you are coming from a good place and just wanted to let her know what you saw and her take on it. 'I may be overreacting but I saw... and was told.... what do you think?' No need to play games when it comes to two marriages and a child. Edit: a marriage —> two marriages" – longtimelurker-
"If it is true she is infertile, and he is rubbing over another woman's belly, I would see that as hurtful from the other wife's side, so tread lightly for her sake. It sounds so weird." – Oilydragon
Casually feeling the belly briefly is one thing, but the lotion slathering is another.
"I'm a single childless man and I've touched a number of pregnant bellies, but it usually goes "omg it's kicking, you wanna feel?"
Me: "Do I!"
Also me: "it feels like you got a chest burster brewin'!"
Also the lotioning makes it weird AF" – AY_YO_WHOA
"This is the only comment I've seen that addresses the fact that pregnancy is a fetish for some people. It's more common than anyone thinks." – prozaczodiac
A woman's perspective:
"I'd definitely not be okay with my husband in another house alone with a woman rubbing anything on her anywhere. They both knew that was crossing the line. When someone would touch my pregnant stomach with my shirt covering it I would feel a bit uncomfortable, man or woman. She was obviously very comfortable with him, seems really odd to me." – ifukupeverything
This guy feels like something more is happening between his wife and the handsy neighbor. Is the husband's gut reaction accurate?
While trust is crucial to any relationship, home surveillance systems are now available (here) to fit any budget.