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Best friend's DH dating a colleague, do I tell her?(125 Posts)
Hi all, regular poster on Relationships and AIBU but I have NCed as this post might be outing and I don't want it to be linked to my regular activity on Mumsnet.
I work for a large organization in a senior position, with 30+ people reporting to me. My best friend also works in the same company and in a senior position. Our DC go to the same school and are good friends, we are part of the same social group (which include our respective DHs) so we see each other often. Our DHs work in our company as well (it is a big employer in the area). We are all mid 40s.
I was aware that my friend's marriage had been rocky for a while, and she and her DH eventually decided to split up 6 months ago. He moved out of their FH 3 months ago. The separation has been amicable and respectful so far, they spend together with the DC and help each other when needed. Part of the reason why the separation has been so amicable is that no one else was involved.
Fast forward to this week, a colleague mentions that my friend's DH has been seen out on a date with a woman who reports directly to me. Apparently they looked very loved up and affectionate. This woman is 10 years younger than us, single, attractive and very good at her job. Our work relationship has been excellent so far. I feel a bit weird about her being involved with my friend's DH, although I understand it is none of my business.
The gossip will get out there in the office soon and people will start talking about it, if they haven't already. As both my friend and her DH have been working for this company for many years, everybody knows they were married and that they have recently split up. They were considered a bit of a "power couple" and it was a "big news" when the split came out a couple of months ago.
I don't think my friend knows her DH is seeing someone, let alone that specific younger colleague, whom she knows as well. She might find out through office gossips, which would be awful for her. I also can't help but wonder if maybe this has been going on for a while, perhaps even before the split? That would potentially damage the amicable nature of the separation.
What do I do? Do I tell her what I know? Do I stay out of it? I am really on the fence on what to do here
I would tell her. It was enable her to get herself together before the news hits publicly.
I would tell her as I would want to know if it were me. Not an easy conversation to have though
I think you should tell her. You can tell her privately and sensitively.
I'm sure she'd much rather hear from you than be blindsided by hearing it in general chatter by other colleagues.
I would stay out of it.
They aren't together anymore, so who her ex dates isn't really anyone's business, even hers.
If she were just an acquaintance I'd stay out of it but she's your best friend - definitely tell her, she'll appreciate being told sensitively rather than finding out through gossip.
If you are close friends, tell her. Although as factually as possible: they were seen out together, definitely a romantic date rather than colleagues having a drink. I’d leave out any speculation about how ‘loved up’ they were and let her ask him about it.
Tell her the simple fact you heard, but do not add your other suspicions or conjecture about when it may or may not have started. That's none of your business. The date has been brought to your attention and you are letting her know out of kindness so she isn't made aware by gossip. Let her draw her own conclusions beyond that and be there as her friend.
If you are all friends I would speak to the husband.
Say you heard people at work talking about him dating the new woman and he needs to tell his wife before she hears it from someone else.
As her best friend you should tell her.
However, since your jobs are involved you could get caught up in a whole heap of trouble.
Not sure what the age or attractiveness of this woman has to do with anything.
You know your friend better than us. Would this cause problems at work? Especially if the new girlfriend complains that you are treating her different, or something further down the line.
The other side of the coin is that it's not really her business who he dates. Though I think its poor judgement on his side.
If a woman was dating and being pressure into telling the husband she is seperate from, I doubt so many people would be staying he has a right to know.
If it was going to cause problems in my job, I would keep out if it. I also work with my best friend and she would understand that its something that's come up at work. I would understand if she kept something from me.
Surely they can remain amicable AND both date.
And you have no evidence anything happened before the split. Theres no point contemplating that.
All you know is that they are dating.
Would this cause problems at work? Especially if the new girlfriend complains that you are treating her different, or something further down the line.
Selfishly I am a bit concerned about this. This woman is aware of the fact that I am very close to my best friend, and will potentially be a bit on the edge about me knowing once the news is out. I worry that this could create work issues for me in case in the future there is a professional conflict/disagreement between me and this woman, and she might think I am biased against her because of her involvement with friend's DH.
I think you should tell her what you know to be fact, but definitely don’t tell her any gossip or hypothesising. Just tell her sensitively that colleague mentioned she thought she saw him on a date with the woman and that you just wanted to give her the heads up before she heard it through the grapevine, and possibly embellished. Please don’t add that they looked ‘loved up’ and certainly don’t suggest that maybe it’s been going on since before they split. All she needs to know now are the facts to save her hearing them elsewhere, anything else is between her and her ex.
It's not selfish to consider you career.
As I said I work with my best friends she is now my sil (i am with her brother) we have strict 'work is work' policy.
We are both aware that we will not share info. Even if it personally involves the other. If it there is potential to cause difficulty at work.
Since your husband works there, knows the company and the husband and wife involved as he given an opinion?
tell your friend but beyond it's not your business to get involved, judge or otherwise, you don't have to become embroiled in gossip either.
I would tell her. She's your best friend, when she finds out from someone else she'll wonder why you didn't tell her.
She's going to find out, I doubt it will come from him. Others probably already know, she won't want to be the last to know.
It's much better to get a heads up from you rather than another work colleague. She'll no doubt come to you when she hears the news thinking you're unaware.
None of your business. They are amicably seperated and what they each do has nothing to do with anyone else.
Try to take the worry out about work.
There would be no reason for you and the woman to have any conflict if you both remain professional (I'm sure you would).
They're both adults & are fully aware of what they're getting involved in. Im sure they'll not want it to cause problems either. They're not hiding the fact their seeing each other.
At this point you don't know whether this is true, or gossip with no real foundation. Unless I or someone I wholeheartedly trusted had seen them kiss (or anything else that indicated that they weren't just meeting as affectionate friends, I'd not be sure enough to pass it on. So no. I wouldn't say anything yet.
Since it's your best friend then i think you should tell her. I would understand (and recommend) staying out of it in any other circumstance, but I'd want to be able to trust my best friend to tell me something like that.
Who he dates us his business now. I wouldn't say anything. She'll soon find out.
It really doesn't matter if the woman he's dating is younger/older or attractive or not. The woman is free to date him, as he is seperated and free to date.
Them being a power couple is irrelevant. Are you suggesting she shouldn't date him because she knows his wife?
If it’s as you say nobody has done anything wrong have they? Your friend will find out and maybe ask you if you knew, but you can say you didn’t want to get involved as you didn’t know the facts and it’s none of your business what her ex does. All of which is the truth.
I think that because this is your best friend and the woman that your best friends ex husband is now dating works directly under you, you should tell her.
It would be much better coming from you than through office gossip.
FYI, it is your business to a certain extent. It puts you in an awkward position
As the new woman is your report I would stay out of this and not say anything at all.
Keep personal stuff outside of work.
You do t know how this will pan out and you could find yourself in a very difficult position.
Your company sounds a bit like a village to be honest.
What happens if your friend takes the new relationship badly and your report feels she has to leave as a result? Do you want to be appearing at a tribunal as her boss who listened to gossip and told her friend?
Jaysus why didnt he date someone outside the company that's so off
While it's technically not up to you to tell her I do think do say something. She'll be upset and this way she can gather herself before she finds out from someone else of bumps into them. It would be a kindness to her. Stick to the bare fact that you e heard they're seeing each other.
I’d wait until I had more information. What if it’s just a hook up? Wouldn’t want to get the friend upset over a fling.
You haven't seen them out together yourself - you've only been told about it by a colleague - therefore at the moment it's gossip and shouldn't be passed on. If it turns out to be an exaggeration, you'll have stirred up trouble to no purpose.
I agree with ScreamingValenta
Off topic, but how revolting that her DH has gone straight for a woman 10 years younger.
I'd tell him that it's now office gossip and you hope he tells her before she finds out in an unkind way. Make it clear you expect him to tell her. If he won't, you might have to, though it shouldn't be your job, and no one ever thanks the messenger.
To start with, it's not her DH, is it?
It's her estranged husband if not ex-H (you mentioned a split but not divorce).
It's really none of your business and she may already know.
I'm guessing she's not 15, so what if she's 10 years younger?
Are you afraid this will damage your relationship with her?
Very difficult OP - my instinct is always to maintain boundaries in the workplace and given that you manage the younger woman, as you fear, once you involve yourself in the situation, there is a potential that if she found out you were involved, she could allege bias on your part?
Is it possible to stay right away from all discussions about this or will people be aware that you already know? What a tricky situation.
The OW is a fool for getting involved with someone who works with her and whose wife (not divorced) works with her!
Her DH should tell her if their relationship is so amicable!
@ScreamingValenta it’s not gossip as a colleague has mentioned it to the OP, they’re trying to avoid it becoming gossip and the (D)H should have the decency to tell her.
I agree with drogon`1.
Also, of you didn`t tell her and she found out you knew she would be devastated.
It isn`t going to easy for you for sure.
Best of luck.
Just pretend you no nothing and stay out of it
it’s not gossip as a colleague has mentioned it to the OP, they’re trying to avoid it becoming gossip
If you see two people together, the only way to avoid it becoming gossip is to keep quiet about it.
By telling the OP, this colleague has made it into gossip. The OP now wants to gossip about it to this man's ex-wife. That's how gossip happens - someone sees something 'juicy' and passes it on to someone else, who passes it on to someone else.
You don't avoid things becoming gossip by gossiping to someone.
Lol, no, IMO the colleague will tell everyone else!
OP needs to protect her best friend here
A, it’s none of your business who your staff date.
B, passing on gossip about your staff to your friends is highly unprofessional and I’d go as far as to say potentially gross misconduct.
C, they’re not actually together any more so even if he is seeing this woman he is free to do that. Wanting to suggest that this could have been going on before they split based on absolutely nothing at all other than wanting to shit-stir.
And what’s with the suggestion from others that it’s disgusting to date someone ten years younger? If they’re adults whose business is it what the age difference is? Also, why has she been referred to as the OW by someone else? He’s free to date, she’s free to date, the end.
OP if you can’t separate your job from your personal life then you should look for a new job.
OP needs to protect her best friend here no, she doesn’t. As a manager she needs to maintain professional conduct by not passing on gossip about her staff.
If they weren’t separated, I definitely would.
I don't think it's a good idea to encourage the (ex) husband to tell the wife. He'd seem to be boasting about a new relationship in front of her.
The point about unprofessional behaviour is valid, but I'd give the friendship more importance. Still, it's better to keep the details to the minimum, and deliberately not know much about it. I might start off saying "I don't like telling you this, but the alternative is meeting you and keeping quiet about it. And you're more likely to forgive me if I tell you, than if you get it from gossip and then ask me if I knew about it."
But having shared the basic fact, I'd hope that the friend would understand that you can't share personal information about people at the office. She shouldn't ask you for more, and you shouldn't tell.
One is unimpressed by a man who dates a significantly younger woman who works for the same firm as himself and his ex, knowing that the ex is likely to hear about it. Surely he has alternatives.
Younger is irrelevant. Many workplaces prohibit relationships but as this is not the case the man is free to date who he wants.
And as the OP has only heard this second hand there is no way of knowing whether it’s even true, and all this talk of how he should tell her is unnecessary. If this was a woman and her ex’s friend came to tell her that she needed to tell her ex she was dating one of the friend’s staff people would be saying that who she dates is none of her ex’s business. And it very much isn’t.
After all, the relationship might be new. It might not last. He could date another ten women before he finds someone else he wants to be with. Should he be obliged to tell his ex about all of them?
And one person seeing two people out together does not a relationship make.
Would you have an issue if the new girlfriend was the same age as you?
I have personally been on the other side of this. I dated someone who had split from his wife and was friends with my boss. She made it her business to tell me to back off, then tried to turn other employees against me.
The fact that the ex wife initiated the split because she had been seeing someone else for a while, ironically her boss... Was irrelevant.
It's about time women stopped seeing other women as the enemy, and seeing this situation for what it is, absolutely none of your business, and incredibly unprofessional of you to even consider it.
BTW, I'm still with him 7 years later and we are still blissfully happy. Other people's relationships are their business.
It is NOT fact. It is hearsay. Unless you have seen them yourself, I would keep quiet.
Do not get embroiled in any of it - it is just a simple matter of time for it to come out anyway.
It really is none of your business (in the nicest possible way).
The messenger always get shot one way or another.
If she is a close friend you should tell her.
Many years ago, when my DP left me for no obvious reason a close friend told me shortly afterwards about his new girlfriend, who a mutual friend of ours had just met. I was very grateful as it made sense of what had happened and killed off any thoughts I had of reconciliation.
Since she is your best friend I would probably mention that I had heard a rumour they were dating but was unsure of any other details. Then she can prepare herself emotionally if she hears the gossip from another source. What an incestuous place your work sounds!
UPDATE: I decided to tell best friend today at lunch and I am really not sure it was a great idea. She burst into tears, she was really shocked and upset by the news which she didn't see coming at all.
Then we went back to the office and she pulled her DH into a meeting room and apparently bit his head off. You could hear they were arguing from the outside, although the content of the conversation wasn't understandable. The woman who is dating him was sitting next to me and I could tell she was panicking as she must have picked up something was wrong.
Then best friend walked out of the meeting room in a visibly upset state, followed by a distressed looking DH. Meanwhile the woman reporting to me was trying to ignore the situation but I could see she was on the edge.
Now best friend is really angry because she thinks her DH has been really disrespectful in openly dating someone who works at our same company so soon after their split. She thinks he is making her look like a fool, which I disagree with, as no one will think that of her.
Gosh what a mess, maybe I should have just shut up
We went out for lunch to a nearby park so it was just me and her. It felt like a good moment as I wasn't sure we were going to have another chance to meet up alone without the kids anytime soon?
Only now I realise that was a mistake
That's a shame. You did the right thing by your friend.
This isn't your fault at all. They made the call to date in her place of work. They would be naive to think it would be plain sailing, must be worth it.
You did the right thing. If that was her reaction when you told her imagine the shock she would have had if the office gossip blurted it out or if she saw them together, doesn't sound like they've been at all discreet! If she had found out via the gossip grapevine and then discovered you already knew I imagine shed be pissed off with you!
OP you should have kept out of it.
It's not so soon after to have a few dates. Maybe he shouldnt have dated someone at work. But given lots of you all seem to in relationships its not really a surprise.
She has acted entirely inappropriately at work. The only person making a fool of her is her.
She could have spoken to him outside work.
Now your direct report has been made very uncomfortable because of a situation that you, him and her have all dealt with very badly.
This could really backfire for all of you.
Who he is dating is really none of her business. If it was him kicking off about who she was dating, no one would have sympathy for him.
I think you did the right thing, bit too close to home if you ask em and could of potentially been something going on beforehand- who can say. Anyway it's done now, better it came from you than someone being vindictive in the staff cafe/coffee lounge! Poor woman 😐
You dod the right thing. He really should’ve told her. Her reaction could / would have been so much worse had she found out via gossip or seen them.
Don’t beat yourself up about it. Send her a message to let her know you are there if she needs & just keep carrying on professionally at work.
You were totally out of line and so was she. Crying and having screaming matches with her ex at work is not on especially given they’re no longer together and he’s free to date whoever he wants. Doesn’t matter whether anyone thinks he’s in the wrong it’s none of anyone else’s business, least of all yours.
And if I worked in a place where my direct manager went gossiping about my private life I would put in a grievence. Let’s hope it was worth it eh?
I think you did the right thing. They need to work through this now.
I can completely understand her feelings re. dating someone she knows, has to see everyday, is superior to, it’s just really really messy.
Why should he have told her? He’s single, she’s single, it’s nobody’s business. It’s not as if they’re getting married and having a baby together, they’ve been on dates is all.
As for the suggestion that it might have been going on before they split, way to stir the pot with information that you don’t even know...
None of your business. They are amicably seperated and what they each do has nothing to do with anyone else.
Some of us tried to warn you. No good comes from meddling in oher peoples private lives. You've not got three more enemies and three less friends plus a lot more office gossip.
He really should’ve told her
Yes he's a total areshole for not giving her the heads up and putting her in a situation where the workplace is gossiping about her before she knew. Yes he can date who he wants but have the decency to show a little respect.
Just to add many workplaces have policies re. dating in the workplace for this very reason. It causes problems!!! Instead of attacking the OP perhaps it would have been better if the best friends ex husband and the new girlfriend had been more discreet. Then no one could have ‘gossiped’.
Well clearly this workplace doesn’t considering the eXH and the friend were married in the first place.
And if this was a woman nobody would be saying she was in the wrong for dating someone her h worked with.
Well perhaps they have policies re. non married individuals dating. OP would know that.
Wow, you told her in the middle of the working day? Bit dramatic. Are you sure you’re friends?
Pretty sure since OP is speculating it was actually and affair, I am sure she would have said if it was breaking policy.
OP, however, could have broken policy
If this kicks off more, she is going to end up looking like a shit stirred, telling her at work. And being the manager of the perosn involved.
Massively unprofessional for her to start a row with her ex at work. If they both reported to me I would be letting them know how piss poor their behaviour had been.
No doubt if she had started a new relationship the ex DH would be told to suck it up and to stop being so controlling if he had a problem with it.
Well from here it already looks as if the OP was shit-stirring. I wonder in fact whether she herself has designs on the ex or whether in fact she dislikes this woman enough to want to cause her upset.
Certainly if someone who professed to be my friend shit-stirred like that I wouldn’t ever speak to them again.
But since the OP did her stirring in the middle of the working day it sounds as if she enjoyed the drama.
@NoCauseRebel I agree.
If my best friend told me dp was cheating on me in the middle of the work day, I would be so angry with her. If me and dp split up and she told me he was with someone else, I would be angry with her.
Of dp worked with us and she told me he was seeing someone on her team and I had to walk back in the office having that dropped on me, I would be livid with her.
I would expect any member of staff to be furious that their manager had done this, in the middle of the work day. Then would be furious that the soon to be exwife had aired the dirty laundry at work. All because their own manager had chosen to got involved.
If you work with friends or family, you must have a defined lines.
Because here you have should poor professional judgment. Because you have been influenced by the fact that you love her. If this ends up being a drama, op, you are right in the middle of it. And one of the people involved work for you. You have shown you will put your friendship above your job, her job and the business.
I think you did the right thing in telling her as you’re her best friend and if she’d have found out through another colleague at some stage and till taken him in the meeting room and bitten his head off.
She would also have given you a mouthful for NOT telling her.
Do think you should have told her after/outside of work though.
Her exH is a selfish wanker dating someone who she works with! It’s like a bloody soap opera.
@Tennesseewhiskey I agree the place was not right, but he isn’t her DP he’s her ex
This is a total mess already.
Who's gonna quit their job first?
I agree the place was not right, but he isn’t her DP he’s her ex
I know that. That's why I went on to describe the situation for ops friends situation where we would have split then been told that.
I was, just, putting myself in the ops friends points of view thinking what's the equivalent worst thing I could here about a relationship in the middle of the day. Iyswim.
I would not thank anyone for dropping any news like that at work.
@venustiger if the friend can not understand why her friend could not tell her, to protect her own job and livelihood, then they arent really best friends.
And if she keeps having a go at people at work she is putting her own job at risk.
If she cant act professionally, that's her issue.
The ex husband sounds like a bit of a thoughtless wanker. I feel sorry for you and I’m sure you meant well, hindsight is a wonderful thing. Hope it doesn’t get too out of hand for any of you!
Only now I realise that was a mistake
What the hell was the thread for?
He can date who he wants and it was a mistake to tell her.
It had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with you .
Or her really.
Watch my word, in two minutes this thread'll be pulled
And what has you being in a senior position in charge of 30 or more people (including the new woman) got to do with anything ?
@Lweji she only told her today, thread started on Saturday
You should not have told her in work.
I think you have put yourself in a really precarious position.
If anyone in work decides to query the drama that happened, it will all come back on you.
I mean it kindly, but you have acted very foolishly.
If I was your boss I would seriously question your judgement.
Keep yourself out of their drama.
You should have found the time, if you needed to tell her, out of the work environment.
You need to back away from this.
Clearly you don't know your friend as well as you think if her reaction is to cause an awful scene in work.
I think you should speak to her out of the work environment and go on record, maybe even via text to warn her to behave with dignity and courtesy around this women in work.
Do not repeat ANY further speculation to her.
She maybe a great friend but you also have a responsibility to your family to not cause strife in your career.
Do not look sideways at the woman who works for you.
Be scrupulously professional in every way and pray to God?! the shit storm you have unleashed doesn't end up taking you with it.
There is nothing worse than finding out something like this, and then realising that everyone else knew before you did. Since you are best friends, I'd definitely tell my friend what I knew.
You were absolutely wrong to share that info at lunchtime. You (and your friend) have demonstrated that you are both incapable of behaving professionally. You need to really hope the new girlfriend doesn't find out it was her boss who was gossiping about her personal relationships.
If you read the thread OP did it at lunch time because she doesn’t know when she might get another chance to talk to her without kids.
The longer OP left it the greater the likelihood BF would hear via office gossip. If BF then found out OP knew but didn’t tell her...
You did the right thing OP. Even if the fall out was more intense than you expected. There is no right time for that kind of news.
I did read the thread. It was still wrong to share it at lunchtime. It shows really poor judgement - if best friend wasn't going to be bothered why tell her at all, and if she was likely to be upset after being told then why tell her when she is about to go in to the office with both of them.
It could also easily look like the OP was trying to stir up trouble which could come back to bite her professionally if the new girlfriend (who has done nothing wrong) finds out it was her boss who shared the gossip.
It was also unkind to the best friend - giving her no time to process the information or deal with her emotions before having to face the ex and new girlfriend. And now she's embarrassed herself at work.
Why bother NC, the info you have given is so specific that anyone who remotely knows you, will know it’s you!
People namechange for threads like this areukiddingme so if they are outed they can't be linked back to all their other threads on their normal username
I don't understand the worrying about gossiping.
Surely two single people are allowed to date?
I don’t think it was a mistake to tell her. Had she learned it from someone else, and learned you knew, she would have been equally upset. She also may have been angry with you for withholding this from her.
The fault here lies with her husband. He should have been the one to tell her.
I would not tell her yourself. Purely because you might be accused of divulging personal information about an immediate report. Can someone else tell her? I agree she should know.
Sorry, just seen your update. You were right to let her know.
That’s one hell of an incestuous work place! I would just stay out of it in your place.
It was a mistake to tell her at work where she could immediately confront her ex in the midst of an emotional reaction. It will make it more obvious to the new GF that you may have been the source and possibly affect your relationship as her manager.
Well good luck to all involved, this sounds like a mess.
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