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Husband and female colleague

(174 Posts)
123awife Sun 31-Jul-16 23:29:36

My husband of 3 years has recently been having more contact with a female colleague who is about 10 years younger and single. I will describe the contact and welcome your views on whether I should be concerned of a slippery slope.
Checking through his emails, I see that she confided in him about a personal work issue and he emailed to comfort her, telling her she should pop over to his office if she needed to talk and for a coffee. He then emailed her again very shortly after, with work stuff in the email, but asked her for her mobile number as he wanted to call her. He could have called her at her office surely! In the email he gave her his mobile. Then I see he emailed her several times in a short space of time with other work stuff, but telling her the work stuff could wait given her personal issues. If it could wait why didn't he leave her alone?
A few days later she emailed to say they should discuss the work stuff but it could wait. My husband was on annual holiday by this stage, but despite this time off, he offered to meet her. She suggested his office but he changed and suggested a coffee shop during the day. He could have met her at his office but suggested the coffee shop. He later contacted her to say he was running late as he was picking up papers at his office to give her at the coffee shop- even more reason meeting at the office would be more convenient for them both! Later that day he met her he said it was good to have some of her time. He emailed several more times after the coffee date and the emails were sent late, well after her working hours, and he was on holiday don't forget. He then emailed her a day before we left for our own holiday together. The work stuff could certainly have waited as it wasn't urgent by any means.
We both then went away on our holiday together. She probably didn't know we were away but she replied to his email, also late into the night. He then replied to her at midnight during our holiday thanking her for her valuable comments which he has taken them all on board. Again, not urgent work matters, but to email her at midnight on holiday with me! In the email he also asked her how her short holiday had gone and probing a bit for details of her holiday as she had been away by the time we went away. So he knew her holiday plans as well. Should I be concerned? What's going on between them, it feels and reads like he's pursuing her?

RainIsAGoodThing Sun 31-Jul-16 23:51:09

Hmm. Maybe I'm naive, but I think it could be innocent - but the fact you think it's not speaks volumes. Has he given you reasons not to trust him before?

DP has arranged to meet colleagues during his annual leave, when something has come up that really only he can sort. He's also emailed colleagues about work on holiday. Some of them are probably female, probably younger, and he probably does ask them how their holidays were - I don't give a fig, because I don't believe he has an ulterior motive.

SandyY2K Sun 31-Jul-16 23:55:09

Should I be concerned? What's going on between them, it feels and reads like he's pursuing her?

What specifically makes you feel he's pursuing her? Has he said anything flirtatious to her? Is he complementing her?

Or is he discussing personal non related work matters?

Sometimes this is how affairs start. The OW becomes in awe and offers a thank you drink for the help he gave her and the rest is history.

There's a very good book called 'Not just friends' by Dr. Shirley Glass.

LanaLeder Sun 31-Jul-16 23:55:48

Hmm, doesn't sound innocent at all.

At best, they are good friends, at worst, he is into her.

LanaLeder Sun 31-Jul-16 23:58:49

Your story sounds quite similar to how my ex started his affair with a younger work colleague. It always starts with the man taking an interest and often pretending to be interested in her welfare etc, when usually it's just an excuse to get close/spend time with her.

ChablisTyrant Mon 01-Aug-16 00:02:04

This seems like completely normal workplace behaviour to me. That said, it is also how affairs start. But you can't confront him for his behaviour so far...

Primaryteach87 Mon 01-Aug-16 00:03:03

I think it's possible it's a slippery slope but that it's probably at the top of the slope and could be totally innocent. Does your husband email other colleagues late or on holiday (I do, I'm terrible for not switching off!). If it's not abnormal for him it's different to singling her out for attention.

I wouldn't say it was a LTB type of place but it's probably a good idea to talk about your expectations if each other in terms of contact with colleagues.

PickledCauliflower Mon 01-Aug-16 00:03:50

I think this could be innocent - but it depends on the situation.

Is the work issue is - something that could grow arms and legs as they say. Is it something that he wants to nip in the bud - so as not to cause huge headaches in the long run?
If that is the case, I can see why he would respond out of work hours.

If not, I would be suspicious. I would keep an eye on things and see how this develops.
It is horribly stressful for you though in the meantime. Try to keep care of yourself. I hope it amounts to nothing and the concern he is showing is nothing more than a work issue.

Primaryteach87 Mon 01-Aug-16 00:04:31

^apologies for millions of typos, typing on phone one handed while m feeding baby m.

123awife Mon 01-Aug-16 00:07:28

He has complimented her work in the emails. I've asked generally about colleagues at work as he's not mentioned her that I recall. However, it appears she has been in the job for about a year and doesn't work in his company but an outside company so they are not "friends", which makes a suggestion by him for coffee in a coffee shop unusual. The issues they were discussing (according to the email) are not issues that have just come up and they cold wait until after the holidays, or be discussed over the phone. But he suggested coffee and then suggested a coffee shop. How would you take or interpret that from your hubby?
The offer of coffee at the coffee shop does not appear to have been as a thank you drink either. Why did he ask for her mobile and why didn't he just reach her through her office?
In her email whilst we are on holiday, she mentions she's been away but her replies at midnight whilst on our holiday away and asks her to elaborate on her holiday.
I hope the additional information will help folks to form opinions. I just wonder is he being overly attentive? Is he pursuing her?

123awife Mon 01-Aug-16 00:10:43

The issue isn't a major work issue they are emailing about but just seems to be planning for something that will happen in several months time. Her workplace agency appears to have only a small role in the work issue for my hubby, so it seems disproportionate contact especially over the summer holidays.

Diamogs Mon 01-Aug-16 00:11:10

Has his behaviour changed toward you? That would be the biggest clue as to what is going on here.

I am ten years younger than my boss. We e-mail / whatsapp regularly out of hours, sometimes it veers into friendly chat as we are friends.

I've been on leave last week, but there was something that needed doing, he came over and we did it at my kitchen table as I did not want to leave a poorly child on their own / drag them out.

Totally innocent and our respective partners know this.

123awife Mon 01-Aug-16 00:17:03

Sorry my mind is now running riot with worry! I should also add I noticed he emailed a female co-worker before we went away - this co worker he works more closely with every other week. The email to her was an update to round things up for the session. The email was more matter of fact in the sense of saying "you may or not pick this up during your summer holiday" and that the team should meet when they return to work. He didn't ask her for a meeting and he's worked with her more closely for a few years. I'm feeling sick with it all. Its an awful feeling but am I seeking things clearly?

123awife Mon 01-Aug-16 00:23:02

We sometimes have disagreements about my wanting to do lots of things and him wanting to stay home and chill.
I have noticed looking through our photos that compared to my brother and his wife our body language in photos seems quite distant, like he's always just standing beside me- no PDA or cuddles. Why would he be keen to express interest in her holiday, it wasn't just hope you had a good time, it was apart from doing X how was the trip?
Sexually ive not noticed any change but I'm always busy so may not notice. We don't have children.

Overthinker2016 Mon 01-Aug-16 00:24:25

I must say that whether you are right or not I would go absolutely ballistic if my partner went through my work emails. My work is mostly confidential and I would get in all sorts of trouble if someone else looked at my emails.

Why did you decide to look through his work emails, was there something that prompted you to look?

OutToGetYou Mon 01-Aug-16 00:29:46

Why are you reading his work emails? That is bang out of order.

123awife Mon 01-Aug-16 00:31:00

I noticed he was on the PC a lot towards end of term and he seemed more occupied towards the holiday. I just wondered what he was doing on their at midnight and what was soooo urgent. Ok I should not have looked but its not like he's running a company or anything but has a steady professional job that he does very well. He has excellent organisational skills but seemed pre-occupied. When I say the first one from her about her personal work issues, and his response by asking or her mobile I froze.

Doinmummy Mon 01-Aug-16 00:34:18

It doesn't sound innocent to me at all I'm afraid . Work should be conducted during working hours unless it is massively urgent.

PickledCauliflower Mon 01-Aug-16 00:36:17

If you are picking up a vibe - I can understand this as a reason for you having a snoop.

I do hope that this amounts to nothing, but at the same time I understand your concern.

If the work issue is not one of urgency, he should not be responding whilst he is off work on holiday ( I have responded to work issues on holiday, as I a have detachment issues from work)..
If this is the case with him - I can see some reasoning. If not, in your position I would feel the need to discuss.
If so, can you do this and have an honest discussion? Will he just say it's a work issue (and it may be). I don't know if it's worth sitting on it for a bit.
Saying that, I can appreciate how difficult that is for you.

123awife Mon 01-Aug-16 00:39:16

Its strange but I don't feel I can place any blame at her door. What do folks think? I'm thinking that he has done the pursuing here?

Doinmummy Mon 01-Aug-16 00:40:07

Trust your instincts . If it were innocent and he was acting in a professional manner , he wouldn't be meeting another woman in a coffee shop .

PickledCauliflower Mon 01-Aug-16 00:41:46

And I know we shouldn't snoop, but sometimes we get s spiky sense and feel the need to.
I know it's not right - but sometimes these insecurities override other senses. I know it's still not right, but most of us do things irregular when these feelings overwhelm.

ohtheholidays Mon 01-Aug-16 00:42:41

It doesn't sound innocent at all OP.

I can't imagine anyone sending someone an email at midnight whilst they're on holiday over something that wasn't urgent and pushing for details about someone's holiday and asking for they're mobile number and giving them his

Persuading the other women to meet him in a coffee shop when he was going to be in the office any ways is very off as well.

If I was the women in this situation I'd feel really uncomfortable with the unwanted attention and if it didn't stop I'd report it.From what you've said it does sound like your husbands doing all the chasing.

I know that's not what your going to have wanted to hear but it doesn't sound great.

Doinmummy Mon 01-Aug-16 00:42:42

Even if she was Pursuing him , it's his duty as a married man to put her off.

DietCockBreak Mon 01-Aug-16 00:44:02

It doesn't sound like an affair, yet, but it certainly sounds like it could turn into one. A change of behaviour - always on the PC, sending work emails at midnight, but only to her, the friendly/personal tone, sympathy for her situation, meeting outside of work when he's on leave - it's all really, really not quite right for 'just colleagues' and massively inappropriate for the married one.

I agree I wouldn't blame her for anything, she hasn't said any vows to you let alone broken any. I think you need to talk to your husband and tell him your concerns. Nip this in the bud now before it becomes a problem. If he doesn't agree to stop seeing her outside work and stop emailing her outside hours then you have a real problem.

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