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Bizarre situation(11 Posts)
A very good friend and former work colleague (male) died of cancer about a year ago. I became quite close with his wife as she dealt with his terminal illness which happened very quickly in the end over a 7 week period and supported her through the immediate aftermath which became very complicated due to issues with his family. We've met up a few times since but although I have offered support (they have young children) along with a few other work colleagues/friends she's not really taken it. She's a very intense person and obviously the stresses of the last year have taken their toll. I sent her a text message a day after the first anniversary of his death. She sent a couple of very very rambling texts which I didn't reply (and did the same to my other colleagues) to which she followed up with a text a week ago. I didn't reply immediately , I felt I wanted to give my reply some thought.
Last night she sent a Facebook message and a couple of texts asking me to contact her immediately about something serious. The last time she did this was when she found out her husband's cancer was terminal.
Then she followed it up with a few more very long messages saying that she didn't need to talk now but basically saying that she had been told that her husband was having an affair, I replied saying of course he didn't - he loved her and the kids and I was with him all day at work and knew he didn't have time to! She then sent a further message which basically spelled out that I had been implicated in this and pretty much she was asking if we had a relationship. She didn't believe it but needed to put her mind at rest and someone was shit stirring.
We definitely did not have a relationship, he was my boss for most of the time we knew each other. We were very good friends and met up for lunch/coffee etc more so after he was diagnosed with cancer. He visited me in the hospital after I had my twins early.
I am stunned that anyone would think that anything untowards was happening - we hugged a few times when we met or said goodbye when we met up outside of work but that was the limit of any physical contact. It was purely platonic. He did the same with others.
I'm concerned about two scenarios, either someone (I can't even imagine who!) has made this up to hurt her or she has made the whole thing up. I have of course told her that nothing ever happened and that we were only ever very good friends but I was concerned about who had put this in her head and wanted to talk to her. Our mutual friends are my work colleagues or ex work colleagues and two of them are in senior positions where I currently work.
I'm just very confused about how to deal with this situation.
Well, you've told her the truth. What more can you do? Whether she believes it or not is up to her.
You said you sent a message the day after his anniversary and she sent two rambling replies but you didn't reply immediately... did you ever? How soon after the messages? Or was the next contact when she texted you about the alleged affair?
No, I didn't reply at all until last night. That probably wasn't very nice of me but I have three young children and work full time plus have family visiting so life has been very busy for the last little while.
Maybe she feels she wasn't the best dw she could have been and is looking for faults in him also to make herself feel better? Twisting his friendship with you was maybe one idea she had.
Well, you're the boss of your own time and get to make decisions about what you don't or do have time for. And you don't owe her support. It just really struck me that you were the one to reach out near his anniversary, yet when she replied with a couple of lengthy messages you ignored them. She probably feels very hurt. You said people have offered support but she hasn't accepted it. That message from you was an offer of support but it was hollow; when she did take you up on it and reply back with what must have been some difficult stuff, you went cold.
Not trying to make you feel guilty. I just wonder if that's part of the reason she has less warm feelings toward you and is therefore less likely to outright dismiss the idea of an affair having happened. I feel for her.
My first thought from rambling txt's is she is drinking too much.
Bit of a leap there gingerbread. Her husbands anniversary, someone she thought was a friend asked how she was coping or said she was in their thoughts (I'm guessing) and all we know is she sent two 'rambling' texts, by which I read 'lengthy'. Certainly wouldn't be unusual for someone grieving to write a long text bouncing around different feelings/subjects especially when really upset at an anniversary.
Is there some other reason you went straight to drink that I haven't noticed?
I have experience with people drinking too much and getting the wrong end of the stick but tbh I might have misread it.
I understand the op asked how she was but I though the op also mentioned a separate occasion with rambling messages.
I understand grief. Lost mil and son was stillborn. I haven't sent any rambling messages to anyone. Obviously everyone is different though. Just speaking from experience of being in close relations with someone who drank too much. I could be completely wrong and accept that.
The bizarre, rambling texts sound like booze is doing the talking. If I were you, I would tell her, to her face, no bullshit texting, that you absolutely, unequivocally, did NOT have an inappropriate relationship with her husband, and if someone has said this to her, you would appreciate it if she would tell you who this was.
I know I should absolutely have replied to her and I do feel guilty about that. She's just replied to me, she doesn't seem to believe it's true but is very cryptic about how this thinking even came about.
It would be his birthday today and she said she has family coming over, whether that escalated things in her mind or not I don't know. She said she's been thinking of nothing but this for the last few weeks. It just seems very very strange to me.
I really don't think she's drinking, although I don't know her very well socially. The long messages are very stream of consciousness. I don't know if she was always like this as we were not in much contact much prior to him becoming so ill.
One of the reasons we connected so much leading up to his death is that my mum died of cancer the previous year which he had supported me through and so she was keen to understand what would be coming for them and what they could put in place at home.
I think you are treating her badly. It sounds like you had some sort of connection with her dh and she is perhaps now wondering if you did have an affair, because of your strange behaviour and when you are not ‘her’ colleague I see it odd that you have kept in touch.
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