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Best friend's DH dating a colleague, do I tell her?

(125 Posts)
KristinaBee Sat 10-Aug-19 15:11:52

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 shock

AMAM8916 Sat 10-Aug-19 17:08:33

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

GrimDamnFanjo Sat 10-Aug-19 17:17:22

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?

SwordofGryffindor Sun 11-Aug-19 13:09:39

Jaysus why didnt he date someone outside the company that's so off

MrsEricBana Sun 11-Aug-19 13:14:21

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.

edgeofheaven Sun 11-Aug-19 13:20:33

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.

ScreamingValenta Sun 11-Aug-19 13:23:10

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.

Inarightpickleandpreserve Sun 11-Aug-19 13:24:23

I agree with ScreamingValenta
It’s hearsay

sunnybeachtime Sun 11-Aug-19 13:42:46

Off topic, but how revolting that her DH has gone straight for a woman 10 years younger.


growlingbear Sun 11-Aug-19 13:46:12

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.

Lweji Sun 11-Aug-19 13:49:17

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?

truthisarevolutionaryact Sun 11-Aug-19 13:53:02

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.

VenusTiger Sun 11-Aug-19 14:20:46

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!

VenusTiger Sun 11-Aug-19 14:24:23

@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.

Bertieandernie Sun 11-Aug-19 14:24:58

Ain’t really your businsss

KUGA Sun 11-Aug-19 14:25:49

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.

Bertieandernie Sun 11-Aug-19 14:25:58

Just pretend you no nothing and stay out of it

ScreamingValenta Sun 11-Aug-19 14:32:14

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.

VenusTiger Sun 11-Aug-19 14:43:43

Lol, no, IMO the colleague will tell everyone else!
OP needs to protect her best friend here

NoCauseRebel Sun 11-Aug-19 14:58:29

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.

HoneyBeeHappy Sun 11-Aug-19 15:14:40

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.

Frith2013 Sun 11-Aug-19 15:16:25


If they weren’t separated, I definitely would.

TeiTetua Sun 11-Aug-19 16:24:51

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.

TSSDNCOP Sun 11-Aug-19 16:32:30

I’d tell him to tell her.

NoCauseRebel Sun 11-Aug-19 16:51:41

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.

Treacletoots Sun 11-Aug-19 17:43:59

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.

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