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Please help me to stop being such an idiot - married man

(147 Posts)
idiotme Sun 25-Aug-13 14:24:57

I work with him, for a long time I didn't think of him like 'that' at all as we were both married and I didn't find him particularly attractive anyway. Somehow though over a period of a couple of years of working closely together (during which I had a messy divorce) it got to the stage where we'd built up a friendship that was a bit too close, he quite obviously flirted and could be quite suggestive. I naively told myself that I'd although I liked him, I'd never let anything happen as I didn't want to get involved with someone who was married but I think I'd already allowed myself to get sucked in and started to rely on the contact and attention.

Eventually after a work event we slept together - I was very drunk, he didn't force himself on me and I could have (and obviously should have) stopped it but I feel he did take his chance and slightly take advantage of the situation. Afterwards I told him I regretted it, he said he didn't and since then he's carried on as before, continued the flirting and makes comments that suggest he'd like it to happen again.

I've told him it's not going to happen again but the problem is I keep getting sucked in. I can keep my distance and keep it professional for a while but then if I spend any period of time with him he seems to be able to win me around and it goes back to the overly familiar/flirty stage (although nothing else physical has happened).

I know I'm being a fool to let him use me like this and to be doing this to his wife - he doesn't even make any secret of the fact that he just wants something on the side, he doesn't really pretend to particularly care about me and has never suggested that he's not happy with or doesn't love his wife.

If I'm honest with myself I know it's probably a self esteem thing and I just don't want to let go of the attention but I know I need to for my own sanity. What can I do to stop getting sucked in and put a proper stop to this? There's no way I can get out of working with him although I have stopped attending any events where drink is involved and avoid being alone with him.

I know this isn't the place for sympathy, with all the horrible stories of people being hurt by their husbands and people like me but I just need a good talking to to snap out of it and put a proper stop to this.

idiotme Sun 25-Aug-13 20:15:06

I'm not sure he's doing anything I could really complain about though - he's not tried it on physically again he's just getting in my head.

Mosman Mon 26-Aug-13 02:52:48

Getting in your hgead - so he is in a position of authority - makes you feel like you couldn't complain about his unwanted advances because you'd end up coming off worse - I am giving you the benefit of the doubt that this is unwanted - and you are concerned for your position within the company if you spell it out that you do not want any unprofessional contact.

They call that sexual harrasment and it's against the law - I received 5,000 pounds in compensation and kept my job when I made a complaint about our CEO's unwelcome attention - he "worked from home" for 6 months until everything died down and kept right out of my way.
You shouldn't have to look for a new job but you can take steps to ignore his calls/texts - but keep them incase you need evidence - and for god sake don't shit on your own doorstep again. Or shit on some other woman by sleeping with her husband, karma bites back IME.

stepmooster Mon 26-Aug-13 04:30:17

I wouldn't be so sure your boss would be wholly supportive of him. Most mature employers view these kind of things as unprofessional and expect better of their senior staff.

Your boss may view the situation as 50/50.

You could try politely and firmly emailling him saying that if he does not respect your wishes and back off you will be forced to take the matter further and you will be taking legal advice. That his behaviour is harassment, that you wholly prepared to act upon any legal advice offered including referring the matter to your employer. You could say that if he'd rather not have a sexual harrassment case brought against him then you could agree if he leaves you alone and keep things strictly professional then no one need know. Make good on your threat, a solicitors letter might make himn realise you are no longer a pushover.

What's the worst that could happen this may not work and you may have to find a new job. Which is what everyone is suggesting, I don't know why more people are not telling you to stand up to this man.

idiotme Mon 26-Aug-13 15:33:48

It's not so much that he's harrassing me though as when I tell him to stop he does. It's more that I need to be able to maintain the lack of contact and professional relationship only. At the moment I tell him I don't want anything more than to be colleagues and aren't interested in anything happening, he accepts that and we are ok working together for a couple of weeks but then gradually he starts being more friendly, contacting me outside of work etc and sometimes I can feel that it's working and I'm letting my guard down again which I know is stupid.

Rootypig - that perspective does help, I know deep down he would drop me without a second thought if he thought this was all going to come out so I need to be strong enough to completely walk away from it.

There's a chance in a few months that I won't need to work so closely with him so think that will help.

yellowballoons Mon 26-Aug-13 19:18:03

He has no business contacting you out of work if you dont want him to.

MadBusLady Mon 26-Aug-13 21:18:55

You keep using these very passive phrases "he seems to be able to win me around", "I don't seem able to keep up the icequeen routine", "sometimes I can feel that it [his friendliness] is working and I'm letting my guard down again".

Your behaviour is entirely under your own control. Why do you feel you have to respond to him when he flirts? Why do you respond at all when he contacts you outside work? If you have no problem maintaining appropriate boundaries with any number of other professional contacts, why is he different?

littlebunnyfriend Mon 26-Aug-13 21:24:49

I don't think you have any sort of legal route to take, since it's clear from the subtext of your posts that you are engaging in flirting with him and that you are saying you're not interested but then clearly showing interest.

How about telling him that you are attracted to him and think he's a great guy, but that you really can't get involved with someone who is married. Tell him that if he wants to end his marriage you would be interested in seeing how things go. See how he feels about that suggestion hmmm?

Leavenheath Tue 27-Aug-13 01:48:00

Good lord no. Don't tell him that.

If you really want to get rid of him (and I'm not sure that you do) then tell him the sex wasn't satisfying and you won't be doing it again.

That should do it.

cupcake78 Tue 27-Aug-13 04:38:26

IME men like this don't stop they see it as a game, a challenge etc.

You need to control yourself! No contact outside of work! Walk away from anything flirtatious. Avoid him at all costs. If he continues tell him you will tell his wife and you will enjoy watching his perfect little world crumble. The fear factor should hopefully make him back off. Best option is to change job.

You need to find a new source of self esteem. Start dating again. He sounds horrible btw. I wish his wife knew what he was like and was free of him.

dolcelatte Tue 27-Aug-13 05:13:44

He won't back off whilst you keep encouraging him!

Isetan Tue 27-Aug-13 05:45:10

Your a grown woman FFS, start acting like it. Seriously do you think no one in the office hasn't seen what's going on and with office gender bias he will be seen as a lothario and you a slut, sluts are viewed way more negatively. Your professional reputation has already taken a hit within this company and your "I keep being sucked back in" passive hand wringing the perpetrator. You are responsible for your behaviour.

It's very simple, get a new job or iron knickers.

Mosman Tue 27-Aug-13 05:47:07

FFS this is why I so do not swallow any of the OW owes the marriage and wife nothing bollocks, this one knows exactly what's going on, exactly how to stop it and she just doesn't want to. If the wife tears your head off verbally or otherwise don't come crying on here when she finds out - and she will.

TiredDog Tue 27-Aug-13 05:59:21

Isetan is blunt but correct. You will be deemed to be the slut who led him astray and devastated a wife and child. Your job will be affected. Passive I can't help it won't cut it then. I think you know this though and recognise you need to be active in stopping this.

NC is obviously the best answer. Self esteem is the cause of your reaction to his flirting. It's also the cause of his reason to chase you. Get your esteem building elsewhere. Take up running...anything...a hobby and get out and date, meet new friends but distract yourself.

Since he is in a higher position that you, if you do piss him off (telling him sex wasn't satisfying for example) I suspect you'd see another side of him which would pop that self esteem boost instantly. He'd probably toss you aside in favour of new flirt and then conveniently manoeuvre you to a place where you were less risk and you had been discredited in the company. Ponder that.

Sugary Tue 27-Aug-13 06:42:59

Tell him how happy you ate with your new boyfriend! If you don't want to go down the harassment route then this might put him off?

Sugary Tue 27-Aug-13 06:43:34


Eating your men might scare him off, too! ;)

Lazyjaney Tue 27-Aug-13 07:05:40

Dunno why the OP is getting such crap on here, she is the free agent here, it's he and his wife who are is responsible for the marriage working, not her.

Main thing to bear in mind is if OP does get involved, at work it's likely to be OP who comes off worse when it's over. Best to find distractions elsewhere to reduce temptation.

yellowballoons Tue 27-Aug-13 08:05:51

Lazyjaney.Sounds like you are or have been in an extra marital affair?
Since when does a person having an affair with a married person been able to say that she is not behaving badly?

The op knows this. And she also knows that it is not doing her self esteem or her life any good. And is trying to get out of it. Well done her.

swallowedAfly Tue 27-Aug-13 08:23:57

'when you carry on flirting with me i feel really bad for your wife and like i should tell her what happened. i really want to believe what happened was a one off and you don't always treat her like that or i will have to tell her'

along those lines would work.

he's in authority at work but you hold cards with this one.

TiredDog Tue 27-Aug-13 08:24:58

his wife who are is responsible for the marriage working. Yes - naughty wife not looking after her man! hmm [shocked]. I agree OP is a free agent. Tbh I think the thread has been gentler than a real life exposure of an affair would be

Amiee Tue 27-Aug-13 08:27:34

Stop being such an idiot. Think of his poor wife. Jesus he's not even nice to you!

Idespair Tue 27-Aug-13 08:28:33

Just think of it as a grim liaison. Basically you did not remotely fancy him, how have things got so twisted that you shagged him. Think yuk!

He is married and so he's destroying the lives of his wife and children.

So, he's ugly on the outside and ugly on the inside. Surely you want better than that? Try to think of him this way.

Tell him clearly you wish to have a working relationship only and he needs to stop all the flirty crap.

yellowballoons Tue 27-Aug-13 08:30:01

A person has a responsibility to himself or herself.
Hence the adding to self esteem issues.
Feeling guilty about something does nothing to help self esteem.

mignonette Tue 27-Aug-13 08:31:40

Listen to Stepmooster.

No point in doing one thing and saying another unless you are not being honest about how much you enjoy being chased by somebody regardless of their own sexual and moral impropriety.

Doesn't matter that you don't class this as sexual harassment. What you need to do is send that email and keep a copy. That is the best way to keep him at bay. Anything less suggests you actually do not want this to stop.

As Madeleine Allbright once said "There's a special place in Hell for women who don't help other woman". Help his wife before you break her heart and rid yourself of this twunk.

Feelingworried67 Tue 27-Aug-13 08:38:33

OP, you have realised your mistake now you need to change it, immediately,

I can't help but feel so so upset for this mans wife, what a pig, and what a naive woman you have been, you need to go NC. I actually hate men who do this, why would you waste your time on some pig? Just grow some imaginary balls and keep the fuck away. He is disgusting. He is a player and he only wants you for the "game" he obviously likes a challenge.

God what a prick of a man, and what a daft idiotic woman you have been confused

AntoinetteCosway Tue 27-Aug-13 08:52:56

You are in control of your own behaviour. So just don't fuck someone else's husband and ruin her life and those of her children's. HTH.

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