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-   -   What is inappropriate behavior for a coworker and your spouse? (http://www.askmehelpdesk.com/marriage/what-inappropriate-behavior-coworker-your-spouse-52659.html)

  • Jan 5, 2007, 10:49 PM
    tjl
    What is inappropriate behavior for a coworker and your spouse?
    My husband got a text message from a female coworker around 11pm at night, he was at home with me, this was also the night of the company Christmas party, which we decided to not attend as we have 2 small children and no babysitter. The first text message was "where are you" and the second was asking something about needing him there for a "dance off" (it was implied that it was a "dance off" with fellow coworkers). He didn't seem to think this was inappropriate but I did. I called her on his cell phone and told her that he was home with me, his wife and we were not going to the party. My mom was at the Christmas party as she also works at the same company. She said the girl seemed drunk and was dressed in a short skirt and heels. I had never met her before. When I told my husband I did not like her texting him this late about the party, he got a little defensive and thought I was being a little rediculoius about it. He thinks I am just a jealous person. I met her shortly after this and she seemed nervous around me and wasn't overly friendly. My husband introduced me to her, she seemed friendly for a second but the rest of the night we shared what seemed like uncomfortable glances with each other (the woman and I)
    A couple weeks ago after this she asked my husband for a ride to work as her car was in the shop or something. I found out about this by seeing a text message from her saying "dont forget me", it was sent a little before the time he would have went to pick her up. She sent him a text today during when they were working, asking a work related question but then went on in the same text making stupid jokes like "why do bananas smell like glue?" "why do I ask so many questions?" (she is 28 years old believe it or not). I told my husband I think she is a bit immature and he got very defensive. So my question is, is this appropriate or inappropriate behavior from a coworker of the opposite sex??
  • Jan 6, 2007, 09:32 AM
    Fr_Chuck
    Ne needs to keep business at work,

    Tell him to TELL her to stop the text messages, you don't like it and unless he wants his cell phone flushed in the toilet to make it stop NOW>
  • Jan 25, 2007, 12:22 PM
    avendia
    Your husbands relationship to this woman in inappropriate. Regardless of whether there is any attaction or not, his relationship to her is deflecting from his relationship to you. In some ways, your husband is being unfaithful to you regardless of non-sexual activity. It's called Emotion Infidelity. If your husbands respects you and his marriage, he must end his relationship with this this woman immediately. My husband and I have been going through the same thing you have and it took our friends intervention to show him that he was indeed betraying me by seeking emotional stimulation from outside of our marriage. I lost trust in my husband and it will take time for me to regain it back but he now understands why his relationship with her was crossing the line. As his wife, I should not have to compete with another woman to attract my husbands attention.
  • Jan 26, 2007, 10:08 AM
    RubyPitbull
    I agree with both posters above, but there seems to be more to this than just your husband's actions, reaction, or non-action as the case may be. From your actions (reading text messages sent to him), you seem to not have any trust in your husband. Is there any history that would warrant this action from you? If he has never done anything to lose your trust prior to this, your invasion of his privacy might escalate the situation. Ethically, is it fair or right for you to be looking at his text messages? There has to be a certain amount of trust in a marriage for it to work properly and you need to review in your mind what he has done in the past for you to be so concerned. That being said, if he states to you that he feels you are "just a jealous person" maybe you should respond, "Yes, I guess I am jealous. I love you and I dont want to lose you. Is that a bad thing?" Get into a dialogue and clear the air. You need to make it clear to him, in as tactful and non-accusatory way, without any yelling, that he should be telling this woman that her contacting him makes you uncomfortable and next time, to please ask someone else for a ride. He needs to make it clear to her that work is work, personal is personal, he wants to keep his personal life separate, and to stop sending non-work related messages to him. If she has a joke she wants to share, it should be done in the confines of the office so that everyone else can enjoy it too.

    The most important thing to remember is when you yell, scream or throw off aggressively negative emotions, it creates more of a wedge between you. If you can manage to have a calm discussion about it, it will create a closer bond between you. Find a moment when the kids are in bed, and you both are in a loving and rational mood to broach the subject. You might find that he will be more open to discussing, rathing than dismissing, your concerns. I hope this helps. All the best,.
  • Jul 13, 2009, 12:15 PM
    fyf0003
    I'm going through the same problem right now. There is a female co-worker at my husbands work who is constantly crossing the line. Texting him sometimes late at night. Sending him emails all the time, I even found an email that I wasn't suppose to see where she bad mouthed me to my husband and was trying to get him to meet up with her and have a "friend lunch". They worked together for years, they talked a lot about personal stuff a lot. She has said some very nasty things about, and is constantly interferring. He recently has started a new job back in the office where they used to work together. Today was his first day back and she could not stop telling me how she was so glad he was working with her again. Yes, I know this may sound weird but we all work for the same company and I have tried the approach " keep your friends close and your enemies closer" so I do communicate with her from time to time. We had a long talk and he finally admitted that he thinks I'm right that she likes him and he work keep the communication to a minimum. But I found out from her today that they had a big hug hello this morning after he told me he wouldn't. She even went as far as telling him she thought I was having an affair with someone at the office to try to split us up. I don't know what to do about her I've tried talking to my husband, but she is not backing off. Should I confront her? I'm so lost.
  • Jul 13, 2009, 12:49 PM
    Jake2008
    I think that it's perfectly normal for a married couple to keep checks and balances on each other. I've done it for 33 years now, and he's never taken offense to it. If I see something, or think of something, or read something, I just ask him. No big deal. It's called communcation, not translated into 'are you having an affair with the secretary'.

    I would be a little p***ed with the late phone call from the coworker in the short skirt, but I would not have called her back and created a big deal. What that does is tell your husband you don't trust him, and it puts a wedge in there far bigger than the phone call.

    The only thing that matters is that her contacting him, (does he respond to her texts?), bothers you, and it is up to your husband to put a stop to it. Keep in mind that does nothing for them sharing essentially the same relationship at work, face to face. She can ask her dumb jokes in person, with a skirt up the wazoo, and a flirty tone.

    I don't get the impression that he is hiding anything, or has done anything wrong. It is an unfortunate fact of life that women like that exist to receive the accolades of male counterparts, regardless of their marital status. You cannot change her.

    Trust your husband. He is not likely the only one she flirts with at work, or at social functions. She just is who she is.

    If you notice other things, such as he's 2 hours late for dinner, forgets your anniversary, smells like cheap perfume and there is a charge on his credit card from a sleazy hotel, then I'd be concerned.
  • Jul 13, 2009, 02:49 PM
    Jake2008
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by fyf0003 View Post
    I'm going through the same problem right now. There is a female co-worker at my husbands work who is constantly crossing the line. Texting him sometimes late at night. Sending him emails all the time, I even found an email that I wasn't supose to see where she bad mouthed me to my husband and was trying to get him to meet up with her and have a "friend lunch". They worked together for years, they talked alot about personal stuff alot. She has said some very nasty things about, and is constantly interferring. He recently has started a new job back in the office where they used to work together. Today was his first day back and she could not stop telling me how she was so glad he was working with her again. Yes, I know this may sound weird but we all work for the same company and I have tried the approach " keep your friends close and your enemies closer" so I do communicate with her from time to time. we had a long talk and he finally admited that he thinks I'm right that she likes him and he work keep the communication to a minimum. But I found out from her today that they had a big hug hello this morning after he told me he wouldn't. She even went as far as telling him she thought I was having an affair with someone at the office to try to split us up. I don;t know what to do about her I've tried talking to my husband, but she is not backing off. should I confront her? I'm so lost.

    Fyf, I think this is quite different from the OP's question.

    Clearly your husband is hugging back, if you get my drift. Nobody crosses boundaries, especially in your own personal space, without permission.

    She is playing a nasty game. Whether she is serious about him, or just serious about stirring the pot, who knows. But change in your relationship with your husband, won't have anything to do with her.

    Women like that do not stop, for whatever reason, until their behaviour is cut off cold turkey by the object of their intentions.

    That would be your husband. If he does not see that he is engaging in innapropriate conduct with her, and that he's a willing participant, then he's got a problem with setting personal boundaries.

    I presume he hears your concerns. Whether he understands them, or respects you enough to change, has nothing to do with you. You speaking to her, calling her, texting her, etc. only diminishes your own integrity. The old saying of not stooping to their level, is what it really is.

    Suggest to your husband that you would like to go to see a therapist for a few visits so you can explain better how you feel, and he can express himself, and a good mediator can point out a way to reconcile those differences. A goal would be that, assuming he has no feelings for her, he would not think it hard to follow certain restraint in dealing with her.

    You will have peace of mind without having to mix it up with her, he isn't monkey in the middle, and will have an opportunity to put his faith in his marriage first, understand why this issue needs resolved, and the two of you are back on the same page again.

    I would think that he would appreciate the opportunity to solve this, and also appreciate that you trust him enough to want to.
  • Jul 13, 2009, 03:42 PM
    N0help4u

    It may be a good idea for fyf003 to start her own post or maybe a moderator could split this into another post so it isn't piggybacking.
  • Jul 13, 2009, 06:51 PM
    Gemini54
    Look, it's up to your husband to set the boundaries in his co-worker relationship, not you.

    Clearly he's flattered by her attention - he's a man and she wears short skirts after all - but remember that the night of the office party he was home with you. (Not at the party with her!)

    I don't think, from what you say, that he's engaging in an emotional affair, it sounds like a flirtation to me. We all do this from time to time, it's not infidelity!

    I do think that you could probably back off and stop looking at his text messages and nagging him about her - if he hasn't given you reason to distrust him - then don't create reasons.

    Try having a bit of fun together with him - make sure that he's happy and validated at home, instead of him feeling that he's walking on egg shells. Perhaps you can even have a laugh about her flirty behavior together!

    You can't control what goes on between them in the workplace - but you can change your reaction to it.

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