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Was I at fault?(18 Posts)
Right, the situation is that I met with a friend yesterday for lunch.
This friend is male, and used to work with both DH & I, and we all worked in the same office.
I have got on well with this friend for many years, but we don't meet up normally, just at work related/social events. I have met his wife and I got on really well with her, as we both have disabled DC's.
Anyway, after an extended leave of being at home, I have recently entered the working environment again. I have struggled as I have gone back to a similar job but not with the same firm. I saw the above friend a few weeks ago at a work event and, as he does the same job, I asked for advice and we agreed to go to lunch.
The lunch (yesterday) went horribly wrong, he was flirting and inappropriate. We originally started with talking about our respective families as we both know the pressures of having DC's with disabilities, and he started to go into his failing marriage and how, although he was getting on with things, he felt that his marriage in certain 'aspects' was over.
I was a bit shocked, as I thought he and his partner were stable, so I sympathised <idiot> and then he ramped up the flirting, and started to get a bit touchy feely. I moved away and deliberately talked about work.
That didn't help the issue, and he basically said he was known as a flirt and that everyone would be gossiping about us I said don't be daft as everyone in the related field knows DH & I are a strong couple and love each other. He also stated that a fling with him would help him put me in contact with people who could help my career.
It continued in that vein and I was glad when it was over.
However, it was all quite jokey in manner, and this friend has always been so stable and dependable previously, that I left feeling like I'd done something wrong, as it was out of character. Admittedly, I've not lunched with this man alone before, but due to the work situation it didn't seem odd to make the lunch appointment at the time.
I should have walked away, but I made it clear that I wasn't interested and I don't think I lead him on at all. I talk about DH a lot (especially for work convo's and family life), and I definitely wasn't flirting.
But I am so utterly confused by the whole thing and wondered if I had done something wrong? Is this what the working environment was like and I just forgot?! doubtful, but unsure as I have been approached a couple of times (normally by unmarried men and people who don't know about DH & I) but never by someone who I considered a friend.
You definitely haven't done anything wrong and you made your position very clear. I would just have a quick chat with your DH about what happened...
"He also stated that a fling with him would help him put me in contact with people who could help my career"
What a bloody cheek! I think you were very dignified, given the situation.
It wasn't you, it was him. Please don't beat yourself up and I would tell your DH too, just so you are both on the same page with regards to this guy.
No you did nothing wrong. He behaved like a tit and I hope he feels like a total idiot.
OMG you should report him for sexual harassment in the work place he sounds sleazy
friend or not. You should not be talked into a fling to help you with your career ladder!!
I just felt so bloody awkward! We know so many of the same people, and even joked about a supposed affair he had with a mutual colleague.
DH asked about the lunch and I discussed about the work stuff that wasn't flirty. Talking about other aspects of the job etc.
DH knows this guy better than I do - but we both thought we knew him really well. Not sure how DH would react - or ask why I didn't end the lunch (a question I have been beating myself with since yesterday). I am new to this role, despite having worked in the same area before - can't say much more in case I out myself. But he's very experienced.
God I feel like such an idiot.
you are not an idiot.
You were not expecting him to behave this way.
Sometimes, the people we know the longest, turn out to be dickheads.
I would keep a distance from him and even though it's nice to have attention, stay professional at all times and invite other colleagues or your dh if you need to meet him outside of work.
You are not an idiot. Women are taught from a very young age to put up with this sort of disrespect and to be polite. He trampled all over your boundaries and you were totally put on the spot.
Thank goodness for MN!
I certainly won't be meeting him again for lunch - that lesson was well and truly learnt. It is really normal in this profession to go for lunch with associates, but I will be more cautious than perhaps I have been previously.
I definitely didn't enjoy the attention - I was more just questioning what the hell was going on, and if I was mis-reading it. He was so jovial and saying things in a jokey manner but with subtle undertones that it really made me doubt myself. I don't get it, I don't understand his behaviour at all.
Do tell your DH everything. If this guy feels you gave him the brushoff he may decided to get his own back by telling your DH his own version of what happened yesterday. I think you can explain it as you have here - you froze and panicked and just didn't know how to react. As you did not feel yourself to be in physical danger you thought it was better just to get away without causing embarrassment.
CailinDana is right - we are conditioned to be polite and put up with this kind of shit. And he is in a position of some power, albeit not directly over your career. It sounds awful and surreal.
It's very important you not feel like you've done anything wrong. That's how these cowards operate.
I don't think we miss read when someone is into or coming on to us.
try and focus on your career now get what needs to get done don't worry about him, you know what he is like now for the next time you have to deal with him. Sounds like you need a glass of wine before bed now ;-)
I agree with trib, you have to tell dh, before this twat invents some shite and gets to H or someone else dh knows first.
A fling with him could put you in touch with people who could help your career?
So could LinkedIn. The difference is that LinkedIn doesn't involve sleeping with sleaze bags.
You've done nothing wrong. How were you to know he would start flirting. Don't be confused. It's quite straightforward. He is a predatory male who tried it on. You rejected him. And that's it. Don't worry about it.
Don't feel bad - he caught you by surprise and confused you. You (and DH) have known this person as a friend for some time so how were you to guess that he would turn into a sleaze bag over lunch? You are returning to work after time out so you may be feeling a bit unsure of yourself as well and this could have stopped you walking out.
I would tell DH everything - not saying anything could be seen as suspicious and he also needs to know the truth about this 'friend'. He sounds horrible - trying to hide his lecherous intentions under a jokey manner - it is probable that he is well practiced at this sort of thing.
For the record I can be a bit reserved and not a flirt and I would still get married guys coming on to me at work - so it's not you, it's him - he was totally inappropriate and out of order. You did the right thing by talking about DH and keeping it neutral and by deciding to avoid future lunches - you have nothing to reproach yourself for. File him under COMPLETE TWAT and stay away.
Just thought I would update this.
I had a chat with DH last night. He was completely supportive despite also being surprised at this persons actions.
He advised that I stay well away and should he need to get involved he will do. I told him that it wasn't necessary but that it had really caught me off guard.
The friend may well be doing this more regularly I really don't know or want to find out.
Great, glad your DH is being supportive. Will you have to see this man again, albeit in a group? I'd have trouble not punching him, to be honest.
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