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DP and new colleague (long, sorry!)

(151 Posts)
needabitofperspective Sat 10-Nov-12 09:53:24

I feel threatened by DP's new colleague. I don't think anything is going on between them (yet or possibly ever - but who knows) but they click and it's shining a light on the way we don't in some areas. I feel very uncomfortable.

DP and I work at the same company, but in different departments on different sites. He's making friends with this new colleague. She works in his department. He doesn't have any management responsibilities towards her, they wouldn't usually work together, but he's senior to her and they are currently working together, just the two of them, on a specific creative project.

She's young, pretty. But the most important thing is that DP is really, really into his music, and likes some pretty obscure stuff. New colleague is also really into music and likes the same kind of obscure shit he does. Which even I have to admit is pretty amazing for her age - to have even heard of it let alone be really into it. He is amazed to have found a kindred spirit (my words) in such a young person.

He's being very open about making friends with her, but it's making me very uncomfortable, I'm writing this to help me work out some perspective.

New colleague is having a hard time at the moment. She is new to the town and is finding it difficult to make friends. She contacted DP last night because they were both on Facebook and she felt she needed to chat to someone she could trust. She got very drunk at a work do and slept with one of their other colleagues (he's her age). Now some of the bitchy women in the department are gossiping about her and making snide comments in her presense. She regrets it, feels crap and last night felt like quitting. (Not sure how serious the quitting was in reality, could just be how she felt at that moment).

DP was sending her music to cheer her up, which was working. He was being totally open about how he was doing this. However he was chatting to her for over 2 hours, on and off. He stayed up an hour after I went to bed to chat to her.

It's partly that I feel threatened by the connection they have over music. It's so important to DP, and it's not a passion I share. I have music I like, but I'm not a muso like he is. I know he'd love it if I could share this passion (most of his exes have) and I feel like it's a massive part of his life I'm not part of. It's not just that though, although I adore him and we get on, I often worry that we don't really click. He's not one to go on about his feelings. I on the other hand am happiest when I have lots of affection and am told often that I'm loved! He does things to demonstrate his love for me, but I can't help worrying there's something missing sometimes. But then I think it's just the way he is (quite a closed book) and that it's improving over time.

I knew DP would offer to meet with her, and so I suggested that he invites her round if she's having a hard time. We've not met, although we've had contact via email for work stuff. I would have suggested this whichever of his friends was having a hard time. DP (and myself) are also the type of people others often come to for advice (and a drink!) and we often have waifs and strays at ours (from work and outside). However I must admit my motivation here was to meet her so I'm a real person to her, also my DD and my pregnant bump! Just in case there's something brewing. Is this sensible or am I stepping into dangerous territory here?

Some background - we work in the creative industries and it's not unusual for our job to spill over into our private life. DP is a very friendly person, so am I. We both have many, many friends of the opposite sex, and it's not unusual for us to make new friends of the opposite sex. I just feel threatened by this one.

I did read their chat. There was no flirting on her side but there was on his IMO. Could be interpreted as friendliness, but made me uneasy. It was her who mentioned me (he mentioned work, she said "that reminds me, I need so send <admin stuff> to <my name>") which I think is a good sign as far as she is concerned. He invited her to come round for a drink and a chat tonight and said we've got a spare bed. This is totally within character, it's how DP would treat any of his friends. However DD and I are off to my parents to sort some stuff out today and I'd half considered staying over. DP doesn't know if I'm going to stay or not, I hadn't mentioned whether I was, but he must have known it was a possibility. This makes me very uncomfortable. But am I just being paranoid?
She declined (as on medication, can't drink atm) but said she'd like to come another time. He later invited her to come round for food, and mentioned me then. I think this bit might have been when I said "why not invite her round".

DP is a lovely, warm hearted person, who is extraordinarily nice to people. He's a great friend and very caring. We often have people come over for a drink, male and female. I don't want to go all green eyed monster at him, if he's just being his usual lovely self! But I know that if we weren't together, he'd be really into her.

I do think I need to think about what it is in our relationship that's making me feel so insecure.

Sorry for the essay - thanks for reading!

I'd appreciate any thoughts on the situation. I need ot get some perspective!

strumpetpumpkin Thu 15-Nov-12 11:45:37

i cant understand what there is if you dont have good communication with your partner, and if you find it easier to discuss the issue with your own colleague than him, and if he feels youre disinterested in his hobbies? What is YOUR bond and connection?

Lavenderhoney Thu 15-Nov-12 09:45:35

Good point Blueberry, yes I suppose so. however the op says her and her husband have friends of the opposite sex and they all meet each other. It's seems in this instance the new friend is being treated differently and is unaware of the sharing between op and dh which has happened in the past.

B1ueberryMuff1n Thu 15-Nov-12 08:54:18

Lavender, if you normally act like that I think that works but if that is out of character it would come across differently. NOT saying I don't think it's a good approach though.

blueshoes Wed 14-Nov-12 23:08:59

I like your style, Lavendar <takes notes in case>

A nice warning shot across the bow and one OP's dh cannot argue with.

Lavenderhoney Wed 14-Nov-12 17:54:17

Been lurking but wanted to support you op- hope your date night goes well.

Being friendly isnt private messaging and listening to music, chatting online for hours. It's saying hello, did you have a good weekend? That's it really. And she should be out and about, making friends not messing with your dp. He is not helping her by being her new best friend. You need him, and he needs to know that. There is no way I would let her stay or come over alone - if he manages to talk you round, and invites her, insist you invite someone her own age or she brings someone.

And when you go to bed, she leaves. Not staying up giggling and you all lonely.

Your instincts are right IMO, and if you have access to his pc, I would delete her messages or write back gaily ' dh isn't here, can I help? He has told me you have trouble making friends, he is being so kind, really you youngsters! " I got rid of someone hanging round like that once, but I was a bit more direct iykwimsmile

Your dh can't complain can he, after all she is just a Friend you both feel sorry for.

Looksgoodingravy Wed 14-Nov-12 10:43:35

Agree with MOS.

In my case the private chat facility enabled dp to conduct ea which led onto infidelity, the chat turned into texts turned into meet ups.

I think the private chat (when used this way) can seem extremely intimate between the two parties, you also can't add tone to the way things are typed, you can also type things which you probably wouldn't say in real life, before you know it things have got out of hand and it all becomes secretive, something you don't want your dp seeing.

I hate the chat facility! but that's through my own experience of dp abusing my trust. I often wonder if I'd have stumbled upon his 'chats' earlier things wouldn't have gone as far as they did but you live and learn I suppose.

All being said, you've mentioned that you have access to his fb so this is something at least, I presume that their 'chats' sit where you can read them if you log on? can they not be deleted?

fiventhree Wed 14-Nov-12 09:13:53

tbh, I think you have a bigger problem than his behaviour towards that woman, innocent or otherwise. You have difficulty openly discussing your feelings, and no doubt this will arise as an issue over other areas in the future.

Good healthy communication means being able to say what is on your mind to your partner without all this overthinking. And him being able to hear it and take it on board without being all defensive.

You need to talk, and at the end of it he needs to agree with you that it isnt appropriate to have extended that invite.

AvonCallingBarksdale Wed 14-Nov-12 09:10:21

I would use private chat rather than "wall" chat, too, OP, but I guess the issue here is the content of the chat, which has made you feel uncomfortable and insecure.
It would be a long conversation to get him to understand why it seems dodgy!
sad I really feel for you, that he can't see that it is inappropriate and that you seem reluctant to call hiim on this. Hope you can work it out.

needabitofperspective Wed 14-Nov-12 08:26:52

MOS, it was in their private chat. So to look at it I had to snoop. The things I object to are things I found out by snooping and I'm not ready to admit that atm.

However DP's account isn't something he keeps private from me. He has the same password for everything, which I know (and he's even set up some accounts for me with this password!)

DP and I often use each other's computers too.

I don't think using private chat to talk is unusual in itself. I much prefer using private chat to talk to my friends rather than their walls, and will usually use this if I see they're online.

I'm pretty sure he doesn't think he's doing anything more than being friendly. It would be a long conversation to get him to understand why it seems dodgy!

B1ueberryMuff1n Wed 14-Nov-12 08:20:49

yes......... you could say that nobody can ever live their life never making their partner unhappy, and if it's something important like a job or if they're torn between two members of their family that'd be one thing.. but making your partner unhappy so you can spend more time on the internet?

MOSagain Wed 14-Nov-12 08:18:25

From what I've experienced over recent months I'm quite clear on what is appropriate and what isnt'.
Anything that you/DH/DP wouldn't want the other party to know about, ie conducted in secret is, in my view, in appropriate.

If it was all 'open' on FB/joint email account etc, then it is out in the open. If it is secret texts/FB chat (not on wall) then I believe that is inappropriate and the person doing it is clearly trying to conceal it for a reason. The reason may not be that they are having an affair, but deep down, they know that their partner would be unhappy about it. In that case, clearly the knowledge that their partner would be unhappy makes it inappropriate.

PosieParker Tue 13-Nov-12 19:49:36

If I thought my DH was too friendly with someone, tbh, I would just tell him....

B1ueberryMuff1n Tue 13-Nov-12 19:06:24

Elephantsandmiasmas, agree 'like'.

MadAboutHotChoc Tue 13-Nov-12 17:40:56

Not only is she insecure about their relationship, but also I think her boundaries have been blurred over the years and as a result she isn't sure what is appropriate and what isn't.

I also think she is afraid of pushing him into an affair if she confronts him.

OP - unfortunately there is nothing you can do to prevent him from having an affair, infidelity is all about the cheater's ego, issues and coping mechanisms. Please do not bend over backwards being the perfect wife - he won't notice because he does not want to as he is already checking out of your relationship and becoming far too absorbed into this new thrilling exciting friendship....

I hope you have checked out the link I sent you upthread.

MamaMary Tue 13-Nov-12 16:38:06

Needabit, you sound like a lovely person. But I honestly don't know why you don't bring this issue up with your DP. WHY are you tip-toeing around him? Just be honest! His behaviour was inappropriate and unacceptable. The more I think about him inviting her back to your house (on an afternoon when you were to be away) and offering a spare bed....the more I realise how deeply inappropriate and dangerous that it was. I can assure you I'd be livid if my DH did such a thing - especially without informing me! Never mind your casual, cool, relaxed relationship (which is clearly working in his interest at this point): you need to have boundaries of what is and isn't appropriate. It would be so dangerous if that had happened. No wonder you're worried. Never mind the facebook snooping - I take it you're his friend on facebook and have access?

I agree with the others that you actually sound quite insecure about your relationship sad You shouldn't be scared of laying down the law. Are you afraid that will turn him away? If so that's a bad sign in itself.

I'm glad you're going out on a date and I hope it goes well - but please be more open with him. smile

ElephantsAndMiasmas Tue 13-Nov-12 15:21:22

Instinct is amazing, isn't it? I've only felt jealous of other women twice in my life, the first time the girl turned out to be a serial cheater who tried it on with pretty much every man I know, the second time it transpired later that she had declared her love to my then-partner. Sigh.

Sounds like you're handling it well, and it's really good that you're pinning it on him rather than her. She is probably hoping that having made friends with an older, family man she will be able to confide in someone without having to worry about crap like him flirting with her or trying or it on. Or at least only in a "safe" way that she can brush off (as you saw).

He really doesn't want to be that particular brand of pathetic loser who gets a crush on someone half his age and makes it awkward for her at work. She's already suffering from being the object of gossip there, that's the last thing she needs. Maybe you could approach it from that angle, if you do at all? I.e. that he shouldn't develop any kind of "special" friendship with her because she needs a chance to establish herself in her own right at work without people talking snidely about her?

blueshoes Tue 13-Nov-12 14:51:35

You seem to be treading so gingerly around your dh. It is as if you are not secure in your relationship with him.

I never give dh ultimatums as regards his friendships with other women. It is not my style nor do any raise alarm bells. But in this case, if I were you, I would have every siren going off at the same time.

I have no fear to look my dh in the whites of his eyes and set out the boundaries very clearly in this instance. The rest is up to him. But it looks as if you are not prepared to do this. Can you ask yourself why?

blueshoes Tue 13-Nov-12 14:45:51

Needabit, what is facebook for but for snooping. It is designed for snooping. Presumably you are his friend on facebook. Why should you not have seen the message?

People don't put messages on facebook if they don't want it to be read.

I would just be matter-of-fact about reading it. If he accuses you of snooping, well, he would be deflecting and that would count against him.

AvonCallingBarksdale Tue 13-Nov-12 14:42:44

Only he can take the decision to have an affair

AvonCallingBarksdale Tue 13-Nov-12 14:42:04

Oh, OP, I really hope this works out for you. I would second what Charbon posted at 1246. I know you think we've all got the wrong end of the stick re your DP, but you haven't given us much else to go on. What I see is an immature man in his late 30s, who's flattered by and attracted to a younger colleague who's into the same "stuff" as him. And I see a worried partner, who says she would feel partly responsible if he did have an affair because she doesn't spend enough time on him confused Only he can have an affair, and my instinct would tell me that he's halfway to having an emotional affair already. sad

springyhopes Tue 13-Nov-12 13:13:22

yes, you do seem to have a boyf/girl relationship re 'I don't want to sound too keen/bunny boiler'. All well and good when you were late teens/early 20s and there are no particular commitments between you. but you have a family now...

What I can't forget - and this is creeping into my rl thoughts OP! - is when he asked you about the song/band, knowing what your response would be. It was blatant comparing.

Plus your alarm is going off, big time. Listen to that!

Charbon Tue 13-Nov-12 12:46:31

I said in my last post that you don't seem to see in your DP what others do, based on your posts about him. That could be because you've given an inaccurate impression or it could be that you're too close to the situation to gain an accurate perspective.

In your latest posts, I see some further problems. You seem to think that your own behaviour can prevent your DP having an affair and that if you stop using the computer as much, this might help. You also say that if he had an affair, you would feel partly responsible for it because of the time you spend not focused on him. This is flawed thinking.

The only person who can prevent him having an affair is him actually and one of his deterrent factors should be to come away from his computer, facebook chats and 2 hour conversations with his colleague.

You also seem to fear being honest with him about how vulnerable you feel about this friendship and that seems to have deeper roots than just your fear of confrontation in relationships.

SobaSoma Tue 13-Nov-12 12:39:09

You're being so accommodating OP, I just don't get it. His behaviour is totally inappropriate and if it were me I'd be telling him that his relationship with this woman was not acceptable. Is it because you're scared of driving him away? Obviously you wouldn't have posted if you were comfortable with the situation so maybe you should just admit to yourself it's a big deal. Because it surely is.

I'm intrigued by the music thing BTW - what is your DP into?

kerstina Tue 13-Nov-12 12:16:18

Sorry that was a bit sexist women can be just as bad!

kerstina Tue 13-Nov-12 12:11:48

The more I read this the more cross I get on your behalf! He is out of order to have invited her over and flirted with her. Have men got no sense we just read this time and time again on MN. Men being immature and selfish having affairs because they could not help it !
See there is nothing wrong with finding other people attractive. There was the other side of a similar situation where the woman confessed to fantasing about a man she worked with. It is whether you cross the line and risk hurting and losing your partner. It is about respect.

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