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I'm the "other woman"

(120 Posts)
Womaninthecity Wed 13-Nov-13 20:51:19

I really need some advice please.

Two years ago a much older colleague of mine made a move at a work event. I was taken back and just warned him the matter could go to HR if he didn't stop.

Back in the office, things returned to normal. He's my senior and runs the team, so a lot of work I do is for him. We had always been good friends and he regularly asked for my opinion on work or client matters. We'd even lend book to one another and talk about politics whilst making tea - just friendly colleague talk.

One thing lead to another and somehow the conversation in the office spilled to texts after work. I asked him many times not to text me outside working hours. He continued to do so. We then met outside work to discuss things and I, again, warned him off.

He then went on a family holiday and would regularly text me about his feelings for me and how he didn't want to let this go.

On his return, I regularly reminded him that nothing had happened and nothing would. I didn't escalate the situation to anyone more senior because I figured that he was just going to a mid life crisis and it would pass.

One thing lead to another and we began to have regularly coffee meetings outside of work, which then lead to dinners. These weren't romantic dinners, usually I would listen to his problems at home and just be a listening ear.

Somehow, this spilled into something more and feelings began to develop. We began to become more and more intimate - but never slept together. It would regularly eat me up - almost monthly I would try to end up but he'd always come back asking if we could be "just friends".

I figured that I could no longer work for this man. He made me completely miserable. I didn't want an affair and I definitely didn't want to ruin his marriage.

I spent months avoiding him then found another job. I left all my friends in the office and moved jobs.

Before I left another senior person in the company found out. He wanted to take him to HR and take him through disciplinary - but I begged him not to. As much as this man made my working life a nightmare, I had feelings for him and didn't want to destroy his career.

I am not three months into my new job and I'm completely miserable. I miss my old workplace and more importantly, absence has just made the heart grow founder. I have seen him a handful of times since I left and he keeps telling me how much he loves me - and I feel the same now sad

I have asked him not to get in touch and just to leave me alone but he won't take the hint.

I want to put an end to the madness and just give us a chance to move on.

So, if he contacts me again, I am thinking about contacting his wife. It won't be a nasty "your husband won't leave me alone" message - but rather if I were marred, I would want to know.

Does anyone agree? Should I just ignore and hope somehow it'll just blow over?

Womaninthecity Wed 13-Nov-13 21:26:04

Just to clarify - two years not months. And I've not slept with him.

Definitely not innocent, just trying to find a way out of the mess.

skyeskyeskye Wed 13-Nov-13 21:26:26

Just ignore him. It's not difficult. Nobody made you meet him for meals or reply to his texts.

Delete his number, block it, end of story.

akawisey Wed 13-Nov-13 21:28:25

What mess? You had an EA at work, you left, he pursued you, you agreed to carry on seeing him and now you don't want to.

theunashamedow Wed 13-Nov-13 21:29:16

Ignore the nasty remarks op but have to agree with kew, this is not love.
But forget stirring up shit with his wife or hr (who won't take you seriously as you consented to most of this from their perspective)
Just live and learn and move on. There's a better man this this out there for you. Go find him!

EyeOfNewtBigtoesOfFrog Wed 13-Nov-13 21:33:47

Not only does he not love you, I'm really sure that you don't love him.

Something in you has responded to his tactic of pushing and being controlling and not taking no for an answer – something that tells you it feels right in some way and must be love, or that you have some responsibility and owe him somehow. Whatever that is – whether it comes from something in how you were brought up or previous experiences of men – this man has identified it and targeted it, because it allows him to get what he wants.

He could try his tactics with numerous women and a good proportion of them would have kicked him to the kerb immediately. That's why he's in this situation with you – because what he did worked on you. No other reason.

I'm not going to blame you for not being stronger – he's done a really nasty number on you and exploited your weaknesses, and we all have them. But you can still put a stop to it now. Think about real loving relationships and what they're like – not like this. You can have a man who sees you as an equal and gives you his love and attention fairly and freely as his partner. Or you can just have the same freedom and sanity being single and completely no contact with this bloke, so that you're free to see where your heart takes you.

Don't worry about what you have to say to him or his wife. Just block, ignore, get rid, never speak to him again – and if he harrasses you in any way keep a diary of every incident and go to the police.

Good luck, I think you can do it and will be much happier.

Twinklestein Wed 13-Nov-13 21:36:15

Your nickname is 'in the city' - are you actually in the city because this behaviour is quite familiar. Chasing deals, bonuses, the next pay rise, the next promotion, women, property, cars etc

I think you need to be honest with yourself. If this man loved you he would not have made you miserable for 2 years, and would not have driven you out of a job you enjoyed.

Sometimes people meet and one or other is married and they fall in love, and it's not ideal but it is human. In that circumstance it is possible to behave as honourably as possible. It should have been for him to leave his job as he was the one who supposedly in love with you, he was the one in the senior position, while you were asking him to leave you alone. It should have been for him to tell his wife that he had fallen in love with someone else and couldn't continue the marriage. Once separated he would have been free to tell you he loves you etc.

None of that has happened, he wants to chase you from the safety of his nice job and comfy married life no matter the personal cost to you.

He doesn't love you, he may not even know what love is. He wants to possess you on his own terms without giving anything else up.

PrincessKitKat Wed 13-Nov-13 21:36:47

Agree with PP it's not a mess. Just decide what you want - do you want a full blown affair with this man or not?

Creepy stalker behaviour, lack of integrity, betrayal of his own family while using them as pulling fodder... I can't see the attraction.

Surely you want better for yourself?

I agree with the poster who said you are sending out mixed messages. It can be hard to turn your back on someone who is flattering you/says they love you, but you must. If you were serious about each other he'd have left his wife, and you wouldn't want the fallout from that, would you? Imagine if he left her & you were stuck with him, seeing his dch at weekends... and then you realise that he's a boring old fart who you never really fancied anyway.

Please just tell him it's over, and mean it.

Good luck.

Cabrinha Wed 13-Nov-13 21:50:11

There's a lot of "it just happened" in your OP.
Of you didn't want him to text out of hours... Don't reply!

I'm usually all for telling the wife, as I'd bloody well want to know! But one thing stops me here... this man surely does this all the time. And if he gets caught (he may have been before) he'll trot out lies about never actually getting physically involved. I think it would be damaging to the wife to have you CONFIRM that, because he'll lie and say it's true with women that he has slept with / will sleep with.

I also think you're abdicating responsibility here. You don't need to tell his wife to stop him. You need to tell him no. No does not mean no, then give in for a drink, then dinner.
If he's a stalker - call the police.
If you love him - tell him to leave his wife.
If you don't love him - mean it when you say no, and ignore him completely.

It's to your credit that you didn't sleep with him, but really - it's time to walk away from the drama now.

mammadiggingdeep Wed 13-Nov-13 22:16:01

Yes...you talk as if this is something that's happened against your will but it isn't really is it? He's not a stalker type- you sat and had meals, chats, coffees, texts and calls...willingly.

You're happy to blame him and are considering deeply upsetting another woman by telling her that her h gas pursued you but you've been party to this. If you honestly don't want him, change your number and go no contact.

I think you're enjoying the drama tbh

CharlotteCollinsinherownplace Wed 13-Nov-13 22:40:26

I think you don't know how to say no - in a relationship context, at least.

Good book.

Hectorhugh Wed 13-Nov-13 22:54:56

Why such a low opinion of yourself? Tell his wife tomorrow, just on general principles. Jesus.

RevelsRoulette Thu 14-Nov-13 13:02:46

You're not a helpless victim in this. You made the choices that got you all the way up to this point and you have choices now.

You have the option to say to him "I have kept all texts, emails, voice messages etc. If you ever contact me again, in any way, for any reason, I will give them all to your wife.

I hope this is a clear enough message to leave me alone."

Branleuse Thu 14-Nov-13 13:12:28

reply to every text he sends you with 'fuck off and leave me alone'

RevelsRoulette Thu 14-Nov-13 13:18:23

Yeah, or that. That would work too. grin

CynicalOptimist Thu 14-Nov-13 13:21:55

You use the phrase "one thing led to another...." rather a lot and "somehow, this spilled into something more". The "somehow" was you continuing to give him attention.

"I asked him many times not to text me outside working hours. He continued to do so. We then met outside work to discuss things and I, again, warned him off."......but then you go out for coffee meetings and dinner with him?!

You are not the victim of circumstance you would have us believe, you could have at any point put a stop to this just by saying NO!

I also suspect on some level you liked the attention.

Go no contact - simple.

Granville72 Thu 14-Nov-13 13:25:13

You've not helped the matter by encouraging him have you?

Don't text me but you continue, leads to coffee, leads to dinner, leads to......

You are as much to blame in this as he is and now you want him to go away. Why should he take what you are saying as gospel? Every time you've said no, or it's got to stop you have happily let it carry on and he knows this.

If you really want it to stop then change your phone numbers and never contact or see him again. It's very simple. Only I don't think you really want that to happen

AbbyRue Thu 14-Nov-13 13:37:48

I agree that you are not at all a victim. You could have stopped this ages ago not let it go from coffee to dinners to intimate…

I do believe that you want to forget him but it seems you are not yet ready to do so.

Leave his wife out of it. Ignore him and move on.

harvestwidows Thu 14-Nov-13 13:58:56

His poor wife is all I can say !

CharlotteCollinsinherownplace Thu 14-Nov-13 14:12:33

I really think that he has to be more to blame than OP, because he has repeatedly taken advantage of her inability to successfully defend her boundaries. He has still got his job; she has had to leave hers. The power is all with him, so the blame should be resting on him, too.

Apportioning blame equally sounds like victim blaming.

(Survivors of child abuse are bad defenders of boundaries, for example. The OP may have nothing like that in her past, but then again she might. Many people do.)

AndTheBandPlayedOn Thu 14-Nov-13 14:55:58

I agree with Charlotte. The tactic this man has used is described in a book about getting what you want from people. Start small. Just a little bit. If the target will do that, then tack on an extra which certainly could/would not be denied because any reasonable person who did first step would not complain about the extra. Then a step further is an easy expectation because if the target has done this much then it would seem unreasonable to say no at this point. Repeat formula. It is grooming in a sense, it is manipulation, by definition.

Womaninthecity, you are a nice person. Imho, this is what made you a target for this dynamic. You did say no, I understand. But that is not the currency this man is dealing with. This is where "actions speak louder than words" is important to remember. You said no, yet you continued to engage him...an extra chat at the water cooler; perhaps fabricated, work related, conversations to be an excuse to speak to you more than before...then taking it out of the office, texting, then a snack, then dinner. You did all of that..."no" meant nothing because your actions defined it as nothing.

It is ok to say no and "hurt someone's feelings". Do not put your self respect aside because someone might have hurt feelings. Their feelings are their problem, not yours. You may tecieve a verbal spankig for standing your ground, but that is just noise carried on sound waves that dssipates at the speed of sound. That is his tantrum, panties in a twist, a final manipulation because calling you mean may bring you back because you'd do anything to not have someone think ill of you.

Trust me: his feelings are not being hurt here. Just tell him to move on to the next one.

AndTheBandPlayedOn Thu 14-Nov-13 15:03:42

Sorry for so many typos, and by saying "you" in the description of the dynamics , I meant it in a general sense.

Vivacia Thu 14-Nov-13 15:07:31

I think you're being dishonest with us and yourself. You describe yourself as an innocent victim of circumstance but report choices that are the behaviour of a woman whole heartedly having an affair with a married man.

Loopyloulu Thu 14-Nov-13 17:15:43

You use the words 'One thing led to another' many times over.

This is avoiding taking responsibility. 'Things' do not lead to something else unless both people want them to. You were complicit in it all.

It's like saying 'we happened to become intimate' as if someone else took over your head on that occasion and made you do things with the guy. It's nonsense.

Your attempts to push hm away were pathetic and you didn't really want it to stop did you?

If you had, you would have.

Your plan to contact his wife is - I think- your way of wriggling out of the part you played in this. You were flattered. You may not have encouraged it fully, but neither did you stop it.

Telling his wife is a bit like a child who shouts out 'Look what you made me do!' when all along the choice to behave that way was yours ( or theirs).

You are not a victim of some stalker. You had an affair and now he won't let go. Tell him once that if he contacts you again you will go to the police. Then leave it and move on.

Jan45 Thu 14-Nov-13 17:36:32

Block his number, simple. Stop engaging, you are going hot and cold as far as he is concerned, and sorry, but you obviously didn't make it clear enough if you were out having dinners with him listening to his wifey problems and now you want to contact her, please leave the woman alone, she's probably already got a very good idea he's a complete sleaze.

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