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(Tiny) alarm bells ringing over husband and work colleague

(79 Posts)
ShakyMilk Mon 20-Nov-17 11:11:23

This might sound like nothing, but I just have a bad feeling about my husband new work colleague. A few tiny things have made me feel like this:
He has started wearing nicer clothes for work
He refers to her by her name (in the past he would always say “the <job title> says...”)
The other day he said he had to make a work call in the car while we were on the way out as a family. No issues with that. He called her, all fine,nothing that made we worry, but then we carried on driving and after a few minutes he said, more to himself, “I told her not to...” as if he’d just been thinking about her since the call.
Then this week he couldn’t get hold of her (she was out in the community) and seemed really worried, to the point where he rang her a few times then rang his boss. I have never known him show this level of concern for previous employees.
He interviewed and hired her, if that makes any difference.
I realise none of this sounds much, but somewhere inside me, a little alarm bell is ringing. For context, I am not at all a jealous person and neither is he.
We are a happy couple who rarely argue but things have become a bit dull, I suspect. We have two small children and very rarely have a night out together due to lack of babysitter (last one was months ago). We go out separately occasionally.
I am not massively happy with myself at the moment, feel a bit fat and bored, and as if everything is child/house/work related, so it might be me projecting.
I suppose I’m worried because he has a work night out coming up. Should I mention it or does it seem like i’m being paranoid?

Justbookedasummmerholiday Mon 20-Nov-17 11:14:09

Catch him off guard and ask about her - does she have dc /dh. See how much he knows, is willing to tell you - is he flustered? His body language will show if he is a bit too close I would imagine.

SweetMummy911 Mon 20-Nov-17 11:19:01

Invite her round for dinner - see how the interact with each other and get to know her. After, if you still unsure, I would just confront your partner and ask him if there is anything you should know.... good luck flowers

DontDrinkDontSmoke Mon 20-Nov-17 11:19:16

Sounds to me that he is fond of her, but not in the affair sense.

He looks out for her. Possibly because he hired her and wants her to do well or he’ll look bad. Maybe she reminds him a bit of you, or his sister/mum.

It’s always worth keeping an eye on things if your spidey senses are pinging though.

Andrewofgg Mon 20-Nov-17 11:20:51

I know which of the women I work with have an OH or children or both - chatting over a coffee, photos on phones and all that - but that does not mean I am misbehaving or want to misbehave with any of them.

StVincent Mon 20-Nov-17 11:23:02

Hard to tell at this stage but I can see why it's on your mind. He obviously cares more about her than most colleagues.

(Although the name thing might be if she's consistently doing a job that used to be swapped around a lot? So it would make more sense to say "Rachel says..." than "the midwife says" for example, cos it's always Rachel now.)

Somethingfantastic89 Mon 20-Nov-17 11:23:09

I used to have a boss who really showed he cared about me. He had hired me and from the first meeting it felt like we were like minded. It became a great friendship and even after I left work, we stayed in touch. Maybe that's what it is with your DH too?
I agree with inviting her over and get to know her, maybe you'll like her too. But only do this if it won't feel like an investigation grin
I would also try to break routing with DH, do what it takes to feel better about yourself... I think redirecting your partner's attention to your relationship is the best thing you can do at this point.

VladmirsPoutine Mon 20-Nov-17 11:24:40

Invite her round for dinner - see how the interact with each other and get to know her.

Don't do that.

I'm inclined to think perhaps he is more concerned about her as he interviewed and hired her therefore in a way her performance will to some extent reflect on him.
I think it's wise to trust your instincts but don't get carried away; all else being equal marriages do go through dull periods especially when you're just carrying on with the drudgery of daily life with small dc and no time for each other - especially if you're not feeling to great about yourself.
Do raise it with him, but not in an accusatory way. Work on the marriage - don't get on the defensive side.

GabriellaMontez Mon 20-Nov-17 11:31:22

I would ask him in a friendly way.

"Do you think she's hot?"

Not in a hostile "are you having an affair?" way.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 20-Nov-17 11:32:00

I agree with Vladmir, don't invite her for dinner. It always looks like the contrived event it is.

I would probably say, "DH, you hired this employee and I'm sure she had the right experience and qualifications to do the job - so trust her to get on with it. If she needs help, she'll ask for it".

He probably is thinking of her. Whether it's for innocent reasons isn't clear but if you really do get an inkling that he's stepping over the line I would just say, "You're starting to look ridiculous and I'm not going to be dragged along there with you. Stop it before it becomes something you never intended".

ShakyMilk Mon 20-Nov-17 11:35:22

Thanks all. I suspect it’s probably more to do with me than him. I have no reason to distrust him.
Not sure about inviting her round, think it would just seem a bit weird as he works in a large organisation and we’ve never invited anyone else round.
I agree about not being defensive VladimirsPoutine - that’s a good tip.

Ijustbookedasummerholiday she is with a man who was already in a relationship when they met... but trying not to let that sway me as I don’t know much more than that.

PiffleandWiffle Mon 20-Nov-17 11:40:37

To be fair, if work had just rung me while I was driving along with my family I'd probably be thinking about the call & muttering for the next half hour - it's the same if I'm on my own, you're never at your best whilst driving & spend ages thinking "if only I'd said" afterwards....

Inviting her round would be quite weird if he suggested it, even weirder if you did so stick to your instincts on that one!!

PyongyangKipperbang Mon 20-Nov-17 11:50:02

Going against the grain but this sounds like Mentionitis to me.

If your alarm bells are ringing then its for a reason, something has changed.

I would recommend watchful waiting. Keep an eye on things like whether he starts coming home a little later or needs to "pop in to work" for an hour when he didnt before. Wheher he starts being funny with is phone, that kind of thing.

It could be that he has a crush but I would be worried that the crush could be reciprocated.

I have to admit that if she has form for being OW then it would probably bias my opinion too, but I thought what I posted above before I read that bit!

SendintheArdwolves Mon 20-Nov-17 11:52:24

Your spidey senses are tingling OP, and since you say that feeling jealous is out of character for you, I think you should listen to them.

To be clear, I don't mean "assume your DH is definitely having an affair, hire a private detective, cut up his clothes, speak to a solicitor". It is most likely that there is a bit of an attraction between him and this woman, and you're picking up on this. It's totally normal for married people to occasionally get crushes on people who are not their spouse, and it's how that person deals with it that is important.

What exactly are you picking up on? I don't know. But it can be incredibly subtle - for example, with my last DP, I was telling him about people who were going to be at an event we were attending. I reeled off a list of names and he immediately asked "Who's Jim?" Jim (names changed to protect the innocent) was a guy I'd had a crush on at college and had always carried something of a torch for (full disclosure: he was, and remains, ragingly hot). My DP had picked up, just from the way I said his name, that there was something about this guy that he didn't like.

mybestfriendisadog Mon 20-Nov-17 11:54:47

idk - i don't think it's good that this is unprecedented behaviour. Your DH may not realise he's doing it. I'd do 2 things exactly: I'd look at my budget and see where I could squeeze money for a night out (we often go to a cinema that serves wine and snacks to save on the meal bit), something for you to look forward to regularly and get dressed up for?

I'd also have a quiet word with your DP about your concerns - not in an accusatory way, just point out the differences you've noticed, get some reassurance, but at least you've held up the mirror and DH might be a bit more professional with her once he reflects.

MrsHathaway Mon 20-Nov-17 11:54:58

I agree with pps that it's likely he's just feeling responsible for her.

But even if there's more to it than that, it sounds more like he mildly fancies her and she is oblivious. He may also be oblivious! If she actually flirted with him he might be startled and horrified.

Surely if something were going on he would carefully never mention her at all.

ShakyMilk Mon 20-Nov-17 11:56:02

pyongyangkipperbang mentionitis is a good way to put it!

PyongyangKipperbang Mon 20-Nov-17 12:00:26

I dont think anyone thinks that there is something going on, but that he may have a sweat on for her and there is the potential if she feels the same way.

I would also worry me that his behaviour re not being able to contact her is bordering on unprofessional. He might not see i but I am sure his boss will have wondered why there was the panic about this woman and not other colleagues. Others will have noticed his smarter clothes too. He runs the risk of looking like a bit of a fool over this.

Madonna9 Mon 20-Nov-17 12:08:19

Who don't you talk to him about the last part of your post? How you don't feel very comfortable in your skin at the moment and you miss time together? Work on that rather than feeding the 'green monster'.

BillyDaveysDaughter Mon 20-Nov-17 12:09:29

He might have mentionitis, but I'd be amazed if he made a call to her while you were right there in the car if there was anything brewing between them.

I think he is clearly quite "fond" of her, in the sense that he recruited her, manages her, is responsible for her and considers her a decent person good at her job. I'm not seeing any major warning signs personally.

I'm quite "fond" of my boss. He is witty, clever, we talk every day, and when he was ill recently I was concerned about him. I probably mention his name a lot because we work very closely. But he is also 20 years older than me and resembles Shadrach Dingle. We are totally not having an affair.

But I personally don't believe that the other person being attractive to your spouse is what kicks off an affair - it's usually the condition of the marriage. I've seen it happen to close friends, it was awful.

I don't think you have anything to fear. I suspected my DH once, and an old friend warned me not to "look for problems" where there were none. So I stopped noticing silly things, and the issue sort of resolved itself.

CrazyHairSister Mon 20-Nov-17 12:09:48

Ok this could be totally innocent - and I hope that it is.

To give you the other side of the coin - my (male) boss and I have a very close working relationship. We call / message each other at all times of the day and night about work stuff mainly or sometimes funny stuff relating to our industry / things that have happened.

My job involves visiting clients out in the community and can be confrontational sometimes and he always gets me to call in when I am done. On more than one occasion I was longer than expected and didn't answer when he rang several times (against company policy to have phone on at appointments), he was worried so he actually started driving over to me to check on me.

We are both in strong happy relationships with other people, there is nothing more than mutual respect, admiration for each other as colleagues and affection for someone that we spend a lot of time with (we spend more time together than we do with our respective partners).

flowers for you though as it is not nice to go through the wondering about it.

CrazyHairSister Mon 20-Nov-17 12:12:16

Oh and on the mentionitis front, if OH asks how my day was etc my boss' name will come up as we work so closely together.

rafthoggerrose Mon 20-Nov-17 12:14:26

I think he has a crush on her.

The trouble with this sort of thing is that he is getting to spend quality time with her - likely coffee chats at work, lunches even (all away from the domestic setting of home life) and it will make her appear really interesting and attractive, even though she's probably not.
If he then sees her dressed up on the work's night out, it will make her seem doubly appealing. It could progress things to the next level.

Is there no any way that the two of you could go out occassionally? Have some evenings where you can dress up and relax and have interesting conversations, conversations that don't revolve around the children and the domestic life.
So that he sees you in a different light?
It sounds a very simplistic and shallow way of looking at things and (a bit 1950's,) but some men really do need to be steered back on course in this way, occasionally.

Singadream Mon 20-Nov-17 12:14:56

I would also have alarm bells. Bu then I am a suspicious person. How about fixing it from your end - book a babysitter and have a nice night out. Try to recapture the magic...

PyongyangKipperbang Mon 20-Nov-17 12:16:44

I have never known him show this level of concern for previous employees.

That was the key thing for me. It isnt just his style of management, but a new thing that has only happened with this employee.

If there are no other issues such as suddenly working late etc then I dont think anything is happening, but as I said, I would keep an eye on the situation. In fact it would be worrying if he suddenly stopped mentioning her at all.

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