I came across this phrase on a website

Show me a husband who won't, I'll show you a neighbor who will

I could not grasp the meaning.

If it is widespread among English speakers, would anyone explain the phrase ?

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    No, it's not "widespread", and it doesn't therefore have a "fixed, established" meaning. My first impression on reading this question was it meant if your husband won't do DIY jobs around the house you can safely assume a helpful neighbour would step in. After looking at the site and seeing they're all about love/sex, I now suppose it means "If a husband doesn't satisfy his wife's sexual needs, she'll start an affair with a neighbour". It's not a good site to learn English from - even many native speakers won't get the full meaning of, say, Nice guys finish last (which I find clever! :) Apr 5, 2015 at 19:58

2 Answers 2


There exists a trope of unfaithful wives who sleep with their neighbours, plumbers, or mailmen, especially when her husband pays her little attention. This stereotype is common in overused internet jokes and pornography.

This phrase implies that for every husband who doesn't please his wife sexually, there is a next-door neighbour who will.


This phrase is not widespread among English speakers, I have never heard it before. My impression of the meaning is

When a husband doesn't show his wife attention (whether sexually or relationally), she will fall in love with the neighbor who will give her attention (sexually)

Since most of the quotes on that site are about sex, I would assume this phrase is also, but you could use the phrase in a non-sexual way.

Show me a husband who won't (take her on dates, bring her flowers, say kind things, etc...), I'll show you a neighbor who will

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