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...to believe that my DH's female colleague has ulterior motives?

(192 Posts)
Icantbelieveitsnotcrap Thu 06-Mar-08 10:18:38

Name changed for this one.

I know this may be hard to believe as many men are not, but my DH is a lovely, sweet, shy and innocent man. He was surprised once before when a woman he was in an orchestra with developed a crush on him and he had to let her down gently.

The woman I am probably unreasonably worrying about this unnecessarily has been working with him for about 7 years now. Without wanting to say anything to identify any of us, she is an equal at work, no career climbing thing going on and it's not that kind of environment anyway.

She always seems to be somewhere in his close vicinity when I see them in a big groups (ie when out at restaurants with colleagues, etc, or when I drop into the office at lunchtime...)

I asked my DH about this last night, as he failed to mention that he was playing Scrabulous against her amongst the few other people he is playing that he did reel off (he's only playing about 4 games, and one of them is against me). I happen to know that he is playing this woman because he left himself logged into his scrabulous page on my computer the other day.

I should say that I do not think there is anything untoward going on between them at all.

I just get the very strong feeling that she is ready and waiting should anything go wrong between my DH and me. My DH said last night that she wonders why I am frosty with her. I wondered that might bother her in the slightest since I hardly ever see her, and frosty only inasmuch as I do not want her to be in possession of any more information about our family than she already has.

My DH says that they are just friends, that he does not speak to her about anything personal apart from "why Icantbelieve doesn't like me". He also said that he does not understand why I do not like her.

I want to know if this seems as mad on the outside as it's beginning to feel on the inside, or whether in your collective experience a vague feeling can be more often right than wrong. I have NEVER felt this way about any other person with whom my DH comes in contact- I am really not a serial jealous person.

ElfOnTheTopShelf Thu 06-Mar-08 10:21:38

Do you trust your husband? He has let somebody down gently before without dropping his kecks and jumping in bed with her, so what makes you feel that this woman would be different?

binkleandflip Thu 06-Mar-08 10:23:30

It sounds innocent enough at the moment I think. I remember getting myself in a right state when my dh was hiring a new pa and kept raving on about this one girl he had interviewed who was great and who is now his pa - she is now a good friend to both of us and completely not interested in him or vice versa but they just get on and gel very well at work.

I think that when there is an actual attraction as a woman you can literally and instinctively feel it (tho you may choose to deny) between your dp and another woman. Do you get that feeling or is it just a bit of envy that they get on well?

Icantbelieveitsnotcrap Thu 06-Mar-08 10:23:58

Yes, I do trust him. It's the fact that she is always there, plus the 7 years of irrational feelings against her that are so wearing. I need to think it through in more depth and slightly nearer the surface, with some added MN common sense, hence this post.

bethoo Thu 06-Mar-08 10:25:15

this is tricky, i think you may be a little insecure in the fact that she sees him regularly and perhaps that worries you? be careful as if you do get insecure and it starts showing then if she is interested then she is waiting for something like this to happen if that makes sense. i would not worry, your dh sounds lovely. smile

Icantbelieveitsnotcrap Thu 06-Mar-08 10:25:51

Well, it's not really envy, because I get on very well with him as well. Plus we have a 20 year close relationship as well. It's more a vague feeling of threat.

binkleandflip Thu 06-Mar-08 10:29:14

bUt what I mean is - has she given you any reason to feel threatened or is it just envy in that they spend time together getting on (as well as you do together IYSWIM?)

Icantbelieveitsnotcrap Thu 06-Mar-08 10:31:29

binkle- this is the problem: nothing I can put my finger on. I suspect that a very small seed was planted in me ages ago, and it's grown into a hideous triffid...

Icantbelieveitsnotcrap Thu 06-Mar-08 10:33:00

Apart from her always sitting next to him or close whenever she can, which my DH pointed was perfectly reasonable in a group of people you have more or less affinity with- it makes no sense not to gravitate towards the people you like more.

purpleduck Thu 06-Mar-08 10:33:36

it may be hard, but could you start being nicer to her? Then she will maybe feel BAD if she does fancy your dh?
If you are frosty to her, she will just think "oh that cantbelieve is such a bitch and doesn't deserve him like I do"

Don't ignore your feelings though

Icantbelieveitsnotcrap Thu 06-Mar-08 10:35:37

I know, purpleduck! That has also crossed my mind. But if it the case, I would have to be fake nice to her as I do not want to end up in each others' pockets, for obvious reasons... I am really not good at dissimulation.

binkleandflip Thu 06-Mar-08 10:38:19

Difficult - I can speak from experience that I was very close to a guy I worked with - he was the funniest person ever met and I loved his company so we were always together at work (and lots of colleagues did speculate something was going on) We even went on a couple of weekends together with other friends.

However I never ever fancied him and tho my friends insisted that when I started since my BF my male friend was upset and obviously jealous I never did feel that he was attracted to me - just that we had such a good vibe together. I miss him actually. So I think it can be innocent. I also feel that 'niggles' tend to be unfounded whereas if there was anything more going on (even her being attracted to him and putting out 'signs') you would JUST KNOW, no niggling about it...do you see what I mean?

Twiglett Thu 06-Mar-08 10:39:15

you sound jealous with no foundatin and I think you should maybe just look at your own reactions and work out why you're so insecure or believe other women are out to grab your man

if 'she' was a 'he' and you saw the same 'proximity / scrabulous' would you worry? I think not.

although I might be wrong because I've never met any of you .. if I am then you should just be nice to her

Icantbelieveitsnotcrap Thu 06-Mar-08 10:42:30

Twiglett- that's the thing- it's not other women, just this one. Has never happened before. DH has many other work colleagues, men, women, straight and gay, he has known for similar lengths of time and far longer, and I have never felt jealous about any of them.

skidoodle Thu 06-Mar-08 10:43:47

If you're not someone who is generally threatened by your DH's relationships then I think you should trust your gut on this. I'm not sure there's much you can do since his behaviour seems impeccable, but it's good that you've been able to talk it through with him so he knows how you feel.

I must say that the fact that she repeatedly goes on about your coldness doesn't sit easily with me. If I had a male colleague I got along well with and I felt his wife was cool towards me I would not bring that up with him as I would feel it was overstepping a mark. There's an implied criticism of you in bringing it up and an attempt to get him to choose sides.

Icantbelieveitsnotcrap Thu 06-Mar-08 10:45:07

And you're right about the he/she thing as well. Although I would start wondering if I saw the same colleague of either sex always sitting next to him and going to the same orchestras (which this woman also does) and going out on the same lads nights out (she gets to go on those too). It's quite a male dominated environment, so by its very nature, many of my DH's colleagues are men.

Icantbelieveitsnotcrap Thu 06-Mar-08 10:46:02

skidoodle- that was my point as well, although I didn't say it to DH in so many words...

bubblagirl Thu 06-Mar-08 10:46:14

if you have had these feelings for 7 years about her would something not have happened by now if it was going to

dont find yourself feeling insecure around this woman

are you not happy with yourself at the moment could you do anything to make yourself feel better and gain more confidence

i would hate my dp to have friends who are girls as i'm very insecure yet i know he loves me and would accept this unless girl was clearly flirting and vice versa

i think its more how you feel about yourself as dh has stayed faithful to you and in 7 yrs i'm sure something would of happened if it was going to

and i'm sure she isnt going to wait around until things go wrong so for the next 20 yrs she's just going to wait for your dh i dont think so

maybe if you were not so frosty to her you could see why he likies her as a friend you too could like her

dont be threatened i have many males as friends never have i wanted more and obviously neither does your dp she isnt taking him away from you and he isnt confiding in her he has a collegue he gets on with and i think you shopuld try harder to get on with her to

bubblagirl Thu 06-Mar-08 10:48:43

also i worked with a bunch of guys once and was always invited on there nights out

some girlfriends didnt like it persumed i was a tart with no reason to do so was engaged but as my work place was male dominated i was just thought of as one of the guys

did get to know the girlfriends and they realised they were so wrong about me

Anchovy Thu 06-Mar-08 10:49:29

Hmmm. I work in a predominantly male enenvironment and a couple of the men I work with have inevitably become good mates. That happens - you tend to gravitate towards some people. One in particular is very supportive in that he often covers for me when I am swamped (and vice versa), is a good gossip, and, we have similar views on things. When we go on retreats etc he and I will often slope off for dinner together rather than going to the "official" one.

Now I would be pissed off if his wife was - actively or passively - giving me a hard time because I have never ever done anything to court this - other than spending time with him. I never discuss personal issues with him - well, we talk about our children and he knows my DH vaguely from something unrelated out of work. I never talk to him when I am upset/cry in his office/ask his advice about things etc. He has never put his arm round me/told me anything about the state of his marriage etc. We do not have a "girl/boy" relationship, just a "colleagues" relationship.

So I think you need to have a look at your husband's demeanour. See what he says about her. I'm probably "often around" this colleague, but I can guarantee that if my colleague talks about me at home - and I'm sure he does, just in that way that you do when you are talking about who said what during the day - that he says "Ooh, Anchovy is thinking of getting a new car"; or "Anchovy got told off for gossiping too much" or "Anchovy's DS fell over and cut his head", just day to day stuff like that.

On a separate point, my DH's former secretary finshed in the top 3 for "Miss Zimbabwe" 2 or 3 years ago. I found this reassuring, as I just knew she could do better than a tired looking 44 year old! the last

OverMyDeadBody Thu 06-Mar-08 10:49:31

Agree with Twiglett, if she was a he you wouldn't have these niggling worries would you? It does all sound very innocent tbh, and if they've worked together for 7 years it's only natural thet they should gravitate towrds each other, it is just through familiarity.

Try to be friendly towards her, don't act like you think she is a threat in any way around her. You never know, getting to know her better in this way may help you dispel those niggling worries. It does souns a bit like you are insecure and jealous and you are feeding your own worries, making them into a bigger deal then they actually are.

Octothechildherder Thu 06-Mar-08 10:50:09

Why the fuck is your husband discussing you with her anyway? She sounds like trouble to me. I would be on edge too - trust your instincts. There may be nothing in it as far as your dh is concerned but she def has other ideas from your OP. My dh would never notice if someone fancied him - oblivious to it. Last year he told me that a lady in his office he was working with told him that green didn;t suit him - I went ape - who the fuck does she think she is - errr blush and that was the end of that!

Octothechildherder Thu 06-Mar-08 10:51:12

Oh and agree with overmydeadbody - don't let her know how you feel - make sure you come over as perfect to everyone - obviously!

OverMyDeadBody Thu 06-Mar-08 10:58:54

Good post anchovy.

Instincts and gut feelings are often wrong.

Why do so many women always see other women as the enemy or a threat when it comes to their DPs? Can't men have social relationships or colleague relationships with women if they have wives/girlfriends? hmm

My closest friend is a happily attached man. We have persoanl conversations, share all sorts of details, have hugs etc. but I'd never sleep with him and he wouldn't either, that would be like sleeping with a sibling in my mind. Thank god his girlfriend isn't a posessive jealous type!

Icantbelieveitsnotcrap Thu 06-Mar-08 11:01:05

Potential causes of insecurity include:

1) we have been struggling to conceive another child for some years
2) she is younger than me and therefore probably still laying eggs
3) her education, training, background and hobbies far more closely tally with my DH's than do mine
4) and now for the really mad reason: she is not better looking than me, but is a lot more like his mother in colouring than I do.

Yes, I need help, clearly.

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