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Am I being paranoid or should I be worried?

(97 Posts)
floops Wed 05-Mar-08 21:38:10

I need your opinion on a situation that I feel is developing but may be totally wrong and misjudging unreasonably.
My husband works in an environment where a lot of affairs seem to have evolved amongst staff. Some of which have led to marriage break ups others are still ongoing and have been for many years despite both parties having spouses and children. My husband appointed a new assistant 1 1/2 years ago. They obviously work closely together. From time to time the whole team goes abroad on conferences together. Last October they all returned from one such trip. Since then I have found my husband blowing his assistant's trumpet to many of our friends who are in the same field as he is. Saying how good she is at her work, the extra courses she has taken how she needs to develop further etc. Until one day I finally gave him a look across the room when I realised he was at it again and thought hang on a minute you are surely not talking about her again. On his return from the october trip he wanted to partake in a certain sexual activity that he has not ever really liked or wanted to do before. I know there may not be any connection. At xmas he asked her what she wanted for a present. She said she did not mind. He told her to put a list together and she did. It was quite a long list of personal items such as perfume, face products, make up etc. None of which are cheap. I felt a bit funny about this because if one of my bosses said make a list I certainly would not be putting items that cost £80 on it. But maybe that is just me. Anyway he bought her the whole list and had it all gift wrapped at John Lewis. He told me he had bought the whole list but I had not seen the list at this point. It totalled £239 he later told me that he could not get everything on the list. So it would have cost more. He does not know that I know how much he spent but he does know I saw the list after xmas. I must add that my husband is a lovely bloke who is both generous and kind and generally looks after everyone and takes them under his wing etc. He spent the same amount of money on another assistant but she put it towards her scooter she was buying. This did not perturb me at all. On xmas morning I was given a box of perfume that I don't really wear anymore. I used to wear it as few years ago. He did say that he wasn't going to get me anything but just as he was leaving John Lewis saw this perfume and got it for me. It cost £60. I should add that we have a good marriage, just had child no. 4 last may and have a good sex life.

Since xmas this assistant texts him even at weekends about personal stuff. She is currently divorcing her husband and out every weekend with her friend looking for a new man. My husband has told me about a few she has sent. I have even checked his phone since. I would never do anything like this so my behaviour has been affected by this worrying. She texted him once when he was working away from home at 11.34pm on a friday night to say she had had a bad night. I was on the phone talking to my husband at that time. He then said I better go and get some sleep we said goodnight. When he came home the next night he said he had not managed to go tos leep until 2am. When I asked why he said because of his cold. I have wondered if he got off the phone from me and phoned her back. This I will never know.

Anyway I personally feel that their relationship is not very professional in terms of they talk a lot together about personal stuff, she texts him about personal stuff. I'm worried that she sees more in it than there is. He knows I think she texts him too much and that I'm worried. He obviously states I never have to worry about anything like that. But I feel that they are almost having an emotional affair without the sex! Does that make sense? Do you think she is being innappropriate? I don't think my husband sees anything inappropriate in their relationship with one another.

Am I being selfish and should just be grateful for having such a loving husband and four lovely children etc?

ara Wed 05-Mar-08 22:17:55

just bumping this for you - i would be quite worried about this as it sounds to me like she has your dh in her sites.

warthog Wed 05-Mar-08 22:21:13

bottom line is this relationship is making you uncomfortable. i think it's time to talk to your dh and ask him to cut it back.

FAWKEOFF Wed 05-Mar-08 22:21:45

i think you should be worried....she sounds like a man eater and it needs to be nipped in the bud.....if she is telling him personal things about her, what personal info is he feeding back to her?????

beaniesteve Wed 05-Mar-08 22:23:24

The present thing would worry me. It seems odd that he would spend that much on a work mate compared to what he spent on you.

bluejelly Wed 05-Mar-08 22:31:16

Sorry it sounds rather suspicious to me. I would hit the roof if my partner spent that much on an assistant.
I very occasionally have to text my boss, or ring about a work thing, but it is once in a blue moon and I always keep it short and business like.
I do fancy him but wouldn't get involved in a million years (he is my boss and married).
I would never give him a christmas list!

floops Wed 05-Mar-08 22:33:09

I have had a chat with him and said he needs to be careful incase she takes his friendship the wrong way. He says nothing like that would ever happen. But I have explained to him that it is from his perspective. I have said that when a woman wants a man she will try damn hard to get him.

He never used to talk to anyone about personal stuff but I suspect he maybe.

Thank you for your replies. I no longer feel paranoid and will continue to monitor.

My husband has not always been good at buying me presents. He likes to look after everyone but I suppose takes the attitude that we have each other and shouldn't have to buy each other things. He bought his assistants things to say thank you for working so hard. But I still think she may have misconstrued the whole thing. I don't trust her. Unfortunately because I have expressed my concerns to my husband he now does not tell me as much stuff about her which means I can not keep such a close eye on the developments because I don't get all the snippetts. He thinks I am being paranoid about her.

vInTaGeVioLeT Wed 05-Mar-08 22:38:10

i don't think you are being paranoid
i think you know this is not right
i think it's time you talked to your husband about it

sometimes men are very dense and can't see what's going on

floops Wed 05-Mar-08 22:40:03

The other thing i meant to say was i will be seeing her at a social works do in a few weeks and almost want to let her know that I know what kind of a relationship she has with my husband so she is not smuggly going around thinking it is all behind my back. Does that make sense? I'm just not sure how to do that subtly but firmly.

bluejelly Wed 05-Mar-08 22:41:52

It does make sense! not sure how to do it though. am sure a wiser mumsnetter knows...

vInTaGeVioLeT Wed 05-Mar-08 22:43:30

yes i think that it would be a very good idea to warn her off - you can do it in a very friendly but firm manner wink

floops Wed 05-Mar-08 22:48:25

That's what I thought. Let her know that I know. Maybe she has not realised that he has told me things about her texts etc. Maybe if she did then she would not view their relationship as more than it is. I don't know. I would really love to say you don't know who you are messing with love! But obviously I wouldn't.

ginnedup Wed 05-Mar-08 22:50:27

It sounds to me like she is misreading his genuine kindness, and is flattered by it and may be pushing the boss/assistant relationship to test the water.
Men are very naive when it comes to women so he may well not be aware of how innappropriate this is.
I would definitely keep one eye open but don't accuse him or he'll hide things to protect himself.
When you meet her, make sure you look a million dollars, be very very friendly and nice to her and show your dh lots of affection in front of her, just in case he's given her the old "my wife doesn't understand me" line (basically mark out your territory lol) ... you remember the saying "keep your friends close, but your enemies closer!"
From the sounds of it your dh is not knowingly encouraging her, but is just a nice guy who may be being manipulated by a lonely woman.

madamez Wed 05-Mar-08 22:55:57

Handle this carefully. From everything you have said about your DH he sounds like a nice, friendly, caring and (what is very important) trustworthy, monogamously-inclined man. Ie you are his wife and he has chosen to be with you. If you start nagging him about his colleague or laying down the law about what contact you will 'permit' him to have with her, he will reassure you at first but if you persist he will start to resent the nagging and be hurt that you don't trust him. Concentrate on doing nice things with your DH, stuff that you both enjoy, having fun together rather than policing his behaviour.

floops Wed 05-Mar-08 22:56:21

I think you are probably right ginnedup. And I will be keeping her close! I'm inviting a few work people around to the house. She can see my husband at home with his gorgeous wife!!! and four kids and realise how happy we all are!

ginnedup Wed 05-Mar-08 23:13:39

That's a brilliant idea Floops ... and I completely agree with Madamez. Now's the time for you to remind him why he married you and why he loves you so much smile.
I wish I'd had this heads up when my ex p was being seduced by his OW. Unfortunately I didn't know a thing about it until it was too late.
Good luck.

b1uesky Wed 05-Mar-08 23:13:44

I was in a similar situation 10 years ago, I think you really do need to have a serious talk with him and let him know how you feel. I just hope he respects you enough to change his behaviour towards her.

It’s often too easy to blame the other woman, but she’s not your friend and she doesn’t owe you any loyalty but he does!!!
I think any loving wife or gf would be worried in your situation, your reaction is totally normal so don't let him make you feel you're the one being unreasonable.

kickassangel Wed 05-Mar-08 23:19:20

Actually, I've kind of been there, though not to this extent. After a while DH wanted me onside to protect him against the onslught! Try the 'I'm so sorry to hear what a tough time you're having' line, along with 'me & DH are always willing to help out friends, we always talk these things through & if he's busy working, feel free to chat to me, after all, I can give you a woman's perspective' line.
Will be interesting to see how she reacts to that.
It could just be that she's horribly lonely & just clinging on too tightly to a friendship, although the hunting for men scenario makes it sound unlikely.

Joolyjoolyjoo Wed 05-Mar-08 23:23:15

I don't think you are overreacting. Men can be a bit unobservant when it comes to women (ever seen the Billy Connolly sketch- "which one"??)
I agree the best thing to do is be friendly to her and chat about stuff that your DH has told you about her. By being open and friendly you are affirming that you are in no way threatened by her and yes, your DH tells you everything! That should tell her everything she needs to know about your relationship, and hopefully will make her realise she is barking up the wrong tree. Good luck!

vInTaGeVioLeT Wed 05-Mar-08 23:23:54

please say "you don't know who you're fucking messin' with,biatch" grin

obviously not really but it would be fantastic if you could!!!

floops Thu 06-Mar-08 09:10:09

Thank you kickassangel I think you are right. DH has just left for work and said we have all been invited to a friends house for sunday lunch. Well a colleague at work. She will be there. Can't wait now I have this confidence to take this forward in the right way.

floops Thu 06-Mar-08 09:11:46

I mean thankyou to all of you. What a difference things make when you can talk on mumsnet.

Twinkie1 Thu 06-Mar-08 09:21:02

Think a little chat with her along the lines of DH told me you are having an awful time with the divorce etc and he is a bit stressed at how much you are leaning on him, its really not his responsibility as your boss to get you through this you know. Do you not have friends that can help you?

I.e. - I know about all your little texts and DH has been moaning to me about you being a sad litle cow and you are also a sad loner go and talk to your friends (if you have any) and not my husband!

I do agree though that DH is probably a bit naive about what she is playing at as at a recent wedding a young friend of my neices went a bit far with the flirting with DH, buying him shots and leaning over him and DH was oblivious! I wasn't, I was going to go and slap the sad little tart who was wearing too much orange foundation, was a little too chubby making the gold lame halterneck look a little like gold lame sausage casing - gggrrrr - anyway men are stupid really - give him some leaway but warn the scheming cow off!

HappyWoman Thu 06-Mar-08 09:26:59

I have been there too and i would say be very wary of this - we are now getting over the affair my h had with such a collegue. It did break up her marriage and the fallout is still huge.

Tell him how you feel - but dont expect him to understand.

Why is she divorcing by the way?

Having done a lot of research on affairs some develop and actually make the marriage better - this is more true for men - they have an outlet for their emotions without the strings. It sounds as if he has someone to 'talk' to with her and although that is not bad it could so easily lead to something more.

She will know what she is doing - and i do think if she had any respect for you she would be re-assureing you ifswim.

I have a friend who has a very flirtatous h (he would never do more) but i always make a joke of it with my friend to show her that i am on her side always (especially with what i have gone through).

Have a talk with him and show him this if it helps.

HuwEdwards Thu 06-Mar-08 09:35:42

I agree with Jooly and Kickass, be nothing but lovely to her. Do not scare her off your husband (he may well be very pissed off with you if he found out), be beautifully confident in your relationship!

This will do 3 things

1) Make her reconsider (if indeed she is thinking along the amorous lines of your dh) that maybe his attention isn't what she perceived.

2) Help her realise that you two are solid and that her attentions and energy might be best directed elsewhere

3) As you are so nice, it may make her feel quite guilty...

Good luck, you sound like a very level-headed woman.

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