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My dp is obsessed with work colleague

(18 Posts)
Itsnotmyday Fri 03-Mar-17 08:10:05

He says he hates her, he says she's a nasty piece of work and that she needs to go. This is all he's talks about when he gets home from work. He constantly talks about her in a negative light. It has been on the back of my mind that he might even have a thing for her or he might actually hate her, either way it's not healthy is it? He was on the phone talking to another colleague until way past midnight last night whilst I was in bed. I've had to listen to his rants for months now and it's getting me down. What do I do? Do I say something? But what? I really am at the end of the tether

shovetheholly Fri 03-Mar-17 08:19:04

First of all, sometimes hatred - especially hatred this virulent - is just loathing. It's not something sexual confused

It sounds as though he's in need of some strategies to switch off from his work in the evening. DH and I have what we call an 'airlock'. We are both allowed to rant about work for 20 minutes. Then we have to stop and do other things and it is prohibited to think or talk about it any more - often we potter in the garden for a while, or cook dinner, or go out to the pub. It's important to recognised that partners have a right to support over work stress, but that there are limits to that support - the stress should not be allowed to dominate to the extent that it is transferred to the other person or ruins family time.

It might help your DP to speak to a counsellor - it sounds like his emotional response is huge, and that usually means that there are some other issues. It's hard to suggest this, however, because very often men feel that it's an accusation that somehow the problem is with THEM and not with the offending party. But actually, it's nothing of the kind and counselling can be a valuable outlet and a way of learning new techniques for coping better.

highinthesky Fri 03-Mar-17 08:25:45

His choices:
- do nothing and suck it up
- tackle the problem directly at work with a view to resolution
- get a new job

Ranting at you about it endlessly is not an option.

ItShouldHaveBeenJingleJess Fri 03-Mar-17 08:25:54

Not sure. Could be a bad case of mentionitis or may genuinely dislike her. I once had a male colleague who I absolutely could not stand (rude, obnoxious twat) and trust me, I definitely did not have a 'thing' for him. Bluergh! I agree with Holly - can you find a way of 'detoxing' from his working day so it doesn't ruin your time together?

BakeOffBiscuits Fri 03-Mar-17 08:29:42

You have to say something. He's behaving obsessively, why would you ignore it?

Talk it through with him and tell him it isn't healthy. Try to let him work out how he can change things: new job/make a complaint about her(if she isn't doing her job properly) or find a new job.
He has to realise he can't carry on as he is.

OliviaStabler Fri 03-Mar-17 08:30:18

Does this woman work with him or he works for her?

Itsnotmyday Fri 03-Mar-17 08:38:16

She works for him. Talks to him like crap and has no respect for him

shovetheholly Fri 03-Mar-17 08:46:49

In that case, he really holds all the cards and he needs to learn some strategies to manage her behaviour - sounds like a combination of counselling and some HR training to support him through taking disciplinary action might be useful.

AndNoneForGretchenWieners Fri 03-Mar-17 08:49:52

I have someone at work that I find frustrating and dreadful, and find myself talking about her incessantly to DH - it's definitely a case of having to bottle it up at work and act professionally, but at home I can let it all out and get it off my chest. Perhaps that's the situation here.

Itsnotmyday Fri 03-Mar-17 09:01:04

I've attempted to talk to him about this before but I get accused of being unsupportive

PyongyangKipperbang Fri 03-Mar-17 09:02:04

If she "has got to go" then why isnt he doing something about that rather than just ranting? Have you asked him?

He needs to be proactive and address her behaviour with a view to terminating her contract if it doesnt improve. On the one hand, I can see how horrible it must be to have an employee with such a bad attitude but equally, if he doesnt discuss it with her then how can he expect her to change? He needs to start disciplinary action, following the letter of the law, and if that makes no difference then he can legally and legitimately fire her.

As it stands he is doing no one any good by just firing off rants about her but not addressing the underlying issue.

PyongyangKipperbang Fri 03-Mar-17 09:04:56

I've attempted to talk to him about this before but I get accused of being unsupportive

Then you need to make it clear.

"I will support you in trying to deal with this situation and resolve it. What I wont do is support you in doing nothing while ranting at me about her."

And while yes, it could be a case of him having a thing for her and going totally over the top trying to put you off the scent, I suspect that it isnt.

LadyLapsang Fri 03-Mar-17 10:03:01

From the sound of it, do you think the fault is all with her or do you think your DH may not be a very good manager? Does he treat her professionally, does she have a fair workload, is he organised? Maybe what he sees as her "having a go" is challenge or suggestions of potentially better ways of managing things. Having to talk with colleagues until past midnight sounds like he is not coping. Maybe he should access some workplace counselling and management training.

Llechui Fri 03-Mar-17 10:04:08

As a man, I'd say he fancies her. No man spends that much time talking about a woman he hates.

shovetheholly Fri 03-Mar-17 10:12:51

Oh, for heaven's sake. Men can be the victims of mental health issues that lead to obsessive, hate-fuelled behaviour the same as women can. My FIL apparently used to rant for hours about a boss who made his life a misery- he is a very controlling person and ended up having to give up work because he couldn't cope. He didn't fancy her - he hated her guts.

ItShouldHaveBeenJingleJess Fri 03-Mar-17 10:26:45

as a man, I'd say he fancies her Meh. When my ex was cheating, he didn't exactly slate the OW - quite the bloody opposite, which I failed to pick up on! I think you're just going to have to be Big Ears for now, OP, and gently encourage him to be a little more assertive.

OliviaStabler Fri 03-Mar-17 19:43:03

If she is bad at her work, he needs to performance manage her out of the business. Sounds like he is not able to have difficult conversations with her if he cannot discuss what is wrong with her behaviour / performance.

PaterPower Sat 04-Mar-17 07:42:30

I guess a lot of this will depend on how senior a manager he is and in what sort of environment. Blue collar, office job, retail? A lot of businesses will talk a good game in terms of their policies but are really very risk adverse and, in practice, don't allow managers to manage people out of the business. Believe me, it's bloody frustrating being the manager in that situation.

You'd hope that your DH would have a supportive boss that he could speak to and get advice from about this, but it's entirely possible that he'd be told (or he thinks he'd be told) to piss off and sort the problem out himself. If he's new in his role he may not want to give the impression he's not coping, and very few companies now have formal management training programs in place so he may be winging it a bit.

As other pp have said, if she's causing a problem then he needs to sit her down and challenge her behaviour. Ask her what her problems are, address them if they're legitimate, but set clear boundaries on the professional behaviour he expects and set out the consequences for breaking those. Then follow through if she repeats.

A lot like with DC. Although hopefully he's not having to tell her she needs to flush the loo when she goes (I've worked plenty of places where supposed adults didn't! hmm )

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