Will hiring a nanny tempt my husband to cheat

My husband tends to make a beeline for young women at parties, preferring to chat to friends' daughters or their nannies.

I never worried about this until a woman said his behaviour was 'embarrassing' her nanny and that I should 'rein him in'.

This comes at a time when I am about to employ an au pair for my own children. Should I doubt my spouse's motives, and am I being foolish in bringing an attractive woman under my roof

Temptation A reader is worried a young au pair may lead her husband astray (posed by models)

Temptation A reader is worried a young au pair may lead her husband astray (posed by models)

There is no doubt that you are the only person well placed to know your husband’s intentions towards these younger women. If your sex life is fine and you have never had good cause to worry about his behaviour, then he doesn’t sound like a sexual predator. It sounds to me as if his motivation is bolstering his fragile ego.

I know a few middle-aged men who are for ever scurrying after young girls. Many of these males seem a bit nervous of women of their own age and feel more comfortable recounting their exploits and achievements to doe-eyed young women who are unlikely to challenge them on any score and feel obliged to listen politely.

It is also true that some tender-hearted males simply make a point of talking to employees and hosts’ children, who might otherwise feel left out at a social gathering.

However, men who fall into this entirely innocent category are as likely to talk to a deaf great-aunt as an au pair. It’s the grown-up lost-boys who head straight for the nannies. On the whole they’re not looking for love affairs; what they want is some sympathy, a hug and a glass of hot milk.

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Your spouse’s behaviour strikes me as more clumsy than sinister.

If he has prompted one acquaintance to lodge a complaint with you, then it’s fair to say that several woman in your social milieu have found his approaches oppressive. I doubt your friend would have approached you had other hostesses not moaned about it.

The one good thing about the whole incident is that it means you have a good excuse to talk to your husband before your own au pair turns up.

It’s one thing turning a blind eye to the fact your spouse corners young women at parties, but you don’t want to have to do the same thing in your own home.

Your husband needs to understand that if some pretty young thing listens to his outpourings, it doesn’t mean they’re fascinated by every word. Hired helps are in a tough position because their job depends upon them behaving courteously.

Also, you don’t want to employ someone to look after your children and then find they’re minding your husband. You need to get the au pair’s role straight before she arrives. Why don’t the two of you draw up some guidelines about how he should behave towards your new employee

As for the attractiveness of your au pair, that’s a matter for your own judgement. One friend has always had Croatian child-minders who look like supermodels and laughs at the notion of her balding mate pulling one of these beauties. She says these girls are the ones least likely to run off with your husband as they always have handsome boyfriends.

But the bottom line really is that if you can’t trust your husband to behave properly with your au pair, you can’t trust him anywhere.