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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

Robin2323 Wed 14-Aug-19 10:52:21

Your poor friend
I wonder how ex would feel if your friend started seeing a male colleague?

I think it's rather shot sighted of
Him

Be there for her.

I'm sure you will be able to be professional with the other colleague so there isn't an issue there.

Lweji Tue 13-Aug-19 17:07:41

Whatever her reaction was, you did pass on gossip and the best would have been for him to tell her.
I can't see that coming from you or any other person would have made it better.

KristinaBee Tue 13-Aug-19 10:59:55

Best friend's ex has confirmed to best friend that they are seeing each other, although he hasn't said if they are in a proper relationship or just casually dating.

edgeofheaven Tue 13-Aug-19 10:15:56

Has it even been confirmed what exactly is going on between them though?

Maybe I'm naive but isn't it possible they're just hooking up as opposed to actually dating, and now it's all been made public and blown out of proportion?

TatianaLarina Tue 13-Aug-19 09:37:18

I agree that I didn't handle the situation very well. I was concerned that best friend could find out through some random gossipers and that she would have been even more hurt because I knew and didn't tell her.

Exactly. She may well have heard before you’d had a chance to speak to her about it.

If your friend had taken the news more calmly posters wouldn’t be so quick to tell you you did the wrong thing.

If you couldn’t get to speak to her alone and out of workplace until the weekend or the following weekend and she heard via the gossip grapevine, it would have added insult to injury.

sofato5miles Tue 13-Aug-19 08:27:36

What is done is done. At least your friend knows now and can deal with it. She will calm down and start to come to terms with it.

Moving on is never easy and emotions can run high, but it will ride out.

FWIW, my exDH, had a shocker snogging a mutual friend at his birthday party I threw for him 3 months after we split but we were still sharing the house. There was a DRAMA, but it blew over and soon became yesterday's news.

Kewlwife Tue 13-Aug-19 08:19:45

Maybe he's waiting for 6 months until it's the right time. Better hope his mum doesn't get in there first!

truthisarevolutionaryact Tue 13-Aug-19 08:10:37

That sounds like some useful damage limitation OP.
Good luck with it all.

GotToGoMyOwnWay Tue 13-Aug-19 08:04:03

Quite @cccameron.

I only know of 2 men who left their wives - one because he could no longer cope with the domestic violence & the second as he couldn’t cope after her affair came to light.

I hope it settles down for you OP - I think you were pretty damned either way tbh.

KristinaBee Tue 13-Aug-19 07:54:39

Hi all, I thank you for your helpful messages and opinions.

I agree that I didn't handle the situation very well. I was concerned that best friend could find out through some random gossipers and that she would have been even more hurt because I knew and didn't tell her.

I talked to best friend on the phone yesterday night and she had apologised to her husband for her poor behavior at work. So things have been more or less cleared between them, although she is still hurt he chose to date someone at work whom she and all their mutual work friends know. He sustained he has done nothing wrong.

Best friend thanked me for letting her know and acknowledged how her own reaction could have put me into trouble at work, given that I manage the "girlfriend" (not sure how far the dating has progressed). She resolved to make an effort to handle herself better in the future regarding this situation and won't have personal conversations with her ex or the girlfriend at work.

Hopefully the fallout will stop here and my unwise decisions won't impact on me or anyone else any further.

PhilCornwall1 Tue 13-Aug-19 07:53:14

@cccameron agreed, but it's dangerous for the manager to be involved like this. The only time a manager should become involved is if it's having a "professional" impact at work. Any meeting I then had with the person about it would have HR or my line manager present as a witness to what was said in the meeting.

Collaborate Tue 13-Aug-19 07:44:46

Put your management hat on. She reports to you. Spilling the beans to her boyfriend's separated wife is not the right thing to do and could get you in to trouble. If it's going to come out it will do so without your help.

cccameron Tue 13-Aug-19 07:32:37

could easily accuse you of starting the rumour mill running

If you date a newly separated married man who's wife works with you then surely you will have prepared yourself for the inevitable office gossip. Anyone would be able to predict that the fallout to that would be huge.

PhilCornwall1 Tue 13-Aug-19 07:26:57

So that's 4 very uncomfortable people at work now.

If you were going to tell your friend, surely common sense would have said not to do it during the working day?

It could always have been done after the working day had finished, if you had to do it at all, which I would suggest you didn't.

I'd now be careful of any gossip going around the office, as your team member will be in the middle of it and if she knows you were the one that told your friend, could easily accuse you of starting the rumour mill running.

cccameron Tue 13-Aug-19 07:21:47

I know plenty of men that havent dated until divorce or at least for a while after separation.
Yes when the separation wasn't their choice!

GotToGoMyOwnWays experience is also my own. I don't know of one single man who has left their partner or wife just because they thought it was over. They all without a single exception had someone else to go to. This is something that spans all generations as well. I don't know the circumstances of the OP friends split but if it was led by him then it's likely that he was seeing this woman or at least making plans to move on with her.

truthisarevolutionaryact Tue 13-Aug-19 07:19:04

Perhaps I was a bit harsh ScreamingValenta. But she is a senior member of staff, line managing people - including this woman and now has catapulted herself into the middle of the mess.
I do understand that she was likely 'damned' whatever she did but if she felt she had to speak to her, keeping it outside work would have allowed the initial row / fall out to happen away from the workplace.

ScreamingValenta Tue 13-Aug-19 07:07:44

I was one of the posters who said the OP should keep quiet about it - but, in fairness, the advice the OP received here was 50/50 so she can't really be accused of not heeding the advice on the thread.

truthisarevolutionaryact Tue 13-Aug-19 07:03:55

What a mess - it's a shame that you didn't follow all the advice to keep boundaries clear in the workplace. You have now actively placed yourself right into the middle of this by speaking to her during the working day, despite your professional role in line managing the 'other woman'.
She may now be very reluctant to have you as her line manager and may even make a complaint about you, knowing that you have discussed her actions 'behind her back'. Frankly I wouldn't blame her.
Friendship and work can be hard to negotiate but how are you going to manage a working line manager relationship with this woman now you have displayed your 'bias' so openly at work?

KatherineJaneway Tue 13-Aug-19 06:51:30

You forget there is a woman who has simply gone on some dates in the middle of this. She has more than likely done nothing wrong and it's her job, that you are shit stirring with.

It's likely she knew he had newly split and his ex wife works at the same company. She made the decision to get involved with him and not be discreet about it. If she didn't think there would be fallout, then she was kidding herself.

LL83 Tue 13-Aug-19 06:36:09

You did the right thing. ExH shouldn't be dating someone from work it is embarrassing. And ExH should have told ExW but he didn't.

It's a shame friend lost it, but understandable. Imagine what would have happened if she found out another time in a meeting for example and also had to deal with you knowing and not saying anything.

GotToGoMyOwnWay Tue 13-Aug-19 06:31:39

I made an observation based on my own professional & real life experience.

I’m relieved you’ve had a different experience.

Wishihad Tue 13-Aug-19 06:25:01

GotToGoMyOwnWay get a grip. How is stirring the pot any help at all.

The place is clearly rife with gossip. Chances are it would have come out before, if that was the case. Men and women often cant even talk in offices like this before someone is gossiping.

You forget there is a woman who has simply gone on some dates in the middle of this. She has more than likely done nothing wrong and it's her job, that you are shit stirring with.

You may have had the mis fortune to have met lots men who leave for other women. But in real life it's not like that. I know plenty of men that havent dated until divorce. Of at least for a while after separation. A few dates 6 months after separation isnt unusual for men or women.

Maybe they did. But you have no proof. Like the OP has no proof. Shit stirring is very poor behaviour.

GotToGoMyOwnWay Tue 13-Aug-19 06:00:23

Well he’s a shit isn’t he? I’m pretty certain he was dating her before he split - emotional affair certainly. Most men do not leave their wives unless they have someone else. I’m an ex family solicitor & I can count on one hand the men who didn’t have another woman.

You did the right thing but in the wrong place. cake

Wishihad Tue 13-Aug-19 05:56:53

The husband may not have known they were spotted it could have been a first or second date.

If a woman posted that her stbexh summoned her to his office and shouted at her in her office at work (and everyone could hear) because she had been on a few dates with someone else at work. And his best mate told him at lunchtime and the best mate is the boss if the man she has been on dates with. People would be telling her to go to HR.

Mayne he didnt want to say anything yet.

As a best friend, I totally get why she wanted to tell her friend. But definitely not in work. And given that she is the boss of another person in involved she has other responsibilities.

What she has shown is poor professional judgement. Telling her in work, so she didnt have chance to digest before going back in, is also poor judgement. Op has a husband, the friend had an amicable relationship with the exm they could have arranged to go for a coffee outside work.

While the OP has loyalty to her friend. She also has professional responsibility. When the woman who works for her, finds out its come from her. It could really cause problems.

I totally get that the OP felt in a bad position. I get why she wanted to tell her. I still think it was mistake.

OP, as your husband works there and knows the culture etc, what has he said?

KatherineJaneway Tue 13-Aug-19 05:48:06

Think you you were dammed if you did and dammed if you didn't.

Your friendship couldn't survive you not telling her and later she found out you knew however as you've said not a good idea to tell her at lunchtime. It's done now, all you can do is ensure you treat the new girlfriend with utter professionalism and see what the fallout is.

Friends ex is scummy, choosing to date someone right under his ex's nose and not even being discreet about it.

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