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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?

ImTenAPenny Wed 13-Nov-13 21:01:18

Go no contact and do not engage with him,you wanted this affair even if you won't admit it.

You should have cut the 'just friends act' long ago although il give you credit for trying to move on with getting a new job,etc.

I would not contact his wife instead warn him off and ignore him,you could still probably take it to HR,no?

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 13-Nov-13 21:02:00

Your complaint is not with his DW, it's with him. I don't think 'love' is characterised by driving you out of a perfectly good job and then hounding you for attention to the point that you are miserable. It's actually very nasty behaviour & not flattering at all. You should have gone through the HR channel when you had the opportunity incidentally.

You now have to tell him, in writing, not to be in touch or you will be forced to take the matter further legally. Then you properly drop contact. No texts, chats, meeting etc. If he persists in contacting you, then carry through on the threat and call the police and report him for harrassment.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 13-Nov-13 21:03:40

It's significant that he's much older than you. What you're describing is a form of 'grooming'. Very unpleasant man.

PTFO Wed 13-Nov-13 21:03:44

If I was the wife I would want to know. Its also better from the wife and kids point of view that his job remains intact.

However of you want your old job back...

If he's so unhappy at home it might just give them all the push they need to go their separate ways.

How would you tell the wife? Oh and by the way stay away from him- if he can do this to her he can do it to you.

ThePinkOcelot Wed 13-Nov-13 21:04:14

Change your number and don't give it him. Delete him from all social networks, if you have these, block him etc. Maybe threaten to tell his wife. But just ignore, ignore, ignore.

Catsmamma Wed 13-Nov-13 21:05:19

you haven't really sacked him off though have you?

conversations, leading to texts leading to dinners, leading to??? more and more intimate

No is the word you need, use it and mean it.

PTFO Wed 13-Nov-13 21:06:23

how can everyone suggest leaving the wife in the dark?! I would want to know, without a doubt but Id want prove with it.

summerbreezer Wed 13-Nov-13 21:07:58

Notice how his attention always seems to increase when you appear to be breaking away from him? Very controlling.

You're in this mess because you didn't decide on clear boundaries early on. Put some in place now. Go no contact. Work out your own standards. You do not have to act upon your feelings.

Joysmum Wed 13-Nov-13 21:08:54

You have the power to put a stop to it. By being weak you are giving out mixed messages.

akawisey Wed 13-Nov-13 21:09:42

Not really sure how you can love someone who can trash his marriage in this way OP.

StrawberryGashes Wed 13-Nov-13 21:10:20

If you don't work with him anymore then wouldn't it be easy enough to have no contact with him? Just change your number or block his if you're able to, and block his email address and social network accounts.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 13-Nov-13 21:14:33

It's not the OP's responsibility to tell this man's DW that he's pursuing her for an affair. It'll look like shit-stirring. If she had gone the HR route originally, the DW would have found out that way. If she threatens police, he'll back off rather than the DW knowing. BTW I guarantee he has other women he's working on at the same time as the OP. This man likes a project.

Womaninthecity Wed 13-Nov-13 21:14:40

You guys are right - it has sometimes hard to say no and mean it. He's sent gifts to my flat and sends me pictures and updates on his kids knowing that I'm a fool for good news.

I didn't want him to lose his job - nothing good could come of that. I wouldn't have stayed if it went to HR - so I was better off leaving and avoiding all the gossip.

We haven't been in touch in about a week. The last message he sent me was an apologetic one - apparently he feels guilty for all that he's put me through.

If this is it and he never contacts me again, I'd happily forget him and the past two months... But past experience tells me it's not. I just want it to end and can't see any other way than telling his wife? I really don't want to hurt her though, especially as I can't deny I have feelings for him (stolkholm syndrome?) so could come across crazy and manipulative?

If there's one thing I've learnt - men can be scum.

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

Fuck me! I've been the other woman and I've also been in love and neither is similar in any way to what you have described. It sounds more like stalker/stockholm syndrome combo!

He doesn't love you, he is obsessed by you and doesn't actually care about you at all otherwise he would not have hounded you out of your job.

If he really loved you, he would have split from his wife when he realised how he felt and approached you to start a normal relationship that had some hope of working with you in a job you enjoyed and him moving if necessary.

Run like the wind.

If necessary - tell him that you will tell his wife if he contacts you again.

Kewcumber Wed 13-Nov-13 21:17:07

and try to sound like you mean it!

akawisey Wed 13-Nov-13 21:17:31

All this happened over 2 months?

Womaninthecity Wed 13-Nov-13 21:17:46

Past two years - not months!

casacastille Wed 13-Nov-13 21:18:35

He sounds like a self-obsessed arse of the highest order. And it sounds like you want to contact her out of anger towards him, not out of concern for her wellbeing.

Tell him NO. Mean it. Don't engage with him at all. Tell him you'll be informing his wife if he doesn't leave you alone.

You've moved on physically, now you need to move on emotionally.

wordyBird Wed 13-Nov-13 21:19:35

Yes, best to ignore him and cut him out.
Easier said than done, I know.
But this is not a good or nice man. He's hurting his wife, and blithely disregarding your wishes. You've had to move jobs because of him. Notice this..

" I asked him many times not to text me outside working hours. He continued to do so."

This is refusal to hear the word 'No'. A very bad thing in any context.

Chances are quite high he has or does behave like this with other women.

So sorry you've been put in this situation. You've done so well keeping him at a distance, now the best thing is to just cut him off. If you allow him an inch of headspace, it will get worse.

joanofarchitrave Wed 13-Nov-13 21:20:18

Do you work for a firm with an international presence? I wonder if you might look for a secondment overseas. Sounds like a fresh, exciting new period of your life would help you make a proper break.

TBH I did have a slight confused moment when you said 'two months'. Two months?? I thought you were talking about a year or two of your life... If you ever think of him again, think of him with his wife, never alone. Change your phone number, deactivate FB for a while, fake it til you make it.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 13-Nov-13 21:20:28

Really... threaten legal action or police intervention. That way if he ignores you it's them that will tell his DW, not you. He will run a mile.

Monetbyhimself Wed 13-Nov-13 21:20:29

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

akawisey Wed 13-Nov-13 21:23:27

It's easy to walk away if that's what you want. Just change your number, block him, ignore any attempts to contact you.

But leave his wife out of it.

runningonwillpower Wed 13-Nov-13 21:24:17

It's strange. You've defended him in the workplace where he's really screwed you up.

But you want to get back at his home life?

He's a creep no doubt. But his creepiness is based in the workplace and his power there. That's where he should be challenged because that's where he is dangerous.

Get back to HR in your old company and tell them you have a complaint. Let them pursue it . I would be surprised if yours is the first.

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