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What do I do now? I am leaving my relationship due to HW Sex Harrassment

(7 Posts)
newnamie Sun 15-Oct-17 19:51:42

I have namechanged.

The HW saga is something I have been following closely and only tonight I have realised why.

It has triggered sexual harassment I encountered at my first graduate role, many years ago.

I realise that at time I blamed myself, my overseas boss had been grooming me for well over a year. I managed to avoid and get out of many situations for example once I found he had crept in my bed when I was travelling on business and I got him out of the room (don't think I ever told anyone that).
I seldom would drink and would throw away alcohol when it was served.

Anyhow I did engineer to leave and got another role but before I actually left I got drunk at a drinks thing and he ended up kissing me.

Filled with revolt I went home and told my partner.

I also told a relative of a friend of my partner , his friend"s sister who I worked with at the new role I had got but she gossiped about to the circle of friends that my partner and I had.

I partly got this new role from a headhunter because of my good work reputation so I got it fair and square. At the new job I had 5 fantastic male bosses who really championed me and no doubt heard the rumours about me but I never knew it and they were great.

Anyhow the women I told gossiped and that had consequences for me.

My partner and I broke up for a while, this was after the kissing incident and before I started my new role. I had to move out and get a new flat etc but we eventually got back together.

One or two of his university friends called me a slut and would ring me and leave abusive message for me. Often late at night.

The most stupid thing is I actually felt bad like I had somehow been complicit somehow. I actually felt like a crap girlfriend about my behaviour in terms of the kiss.

I actually explained the situation to some as though I kissed my boss to some people I think because I didn't want to held out to be in such a shit situation with a rubbish power imbalance and my career was so important to me.

I felt I needed a reference but I warned every women at the overseas office about the harasser and then found some of them had been harassed too. I still feel guilty for not lodging a formal complaint.

Now I can see just how many times I avoided harassment or got out of a situation and did stick up for myself. But I let that one night cloud me.

I married my partner.

I have brought all this up to him tonight saying HW events have cast my first boss in a different light. How awful some of his friends were and although he never joined in with them he never really kept a distance from them like I did.

We did move overseas so he has drifted apart from his stupid friends and he had some lovely friends too.

Also when we have had pressure points in our marriage he has accused me of having an affair (linking back to that kiss with the ex-boss) which I have not done.

Anyhow I have tonight questioned his reaction when his friends called me and how I know he blamed me and reframed the experience as sexual harassment of my past boss. How I was held to a high standard yet his friends could have lots of different girlfriends. I have said how I was called a slut was horrible and that I understand why people don't come forward.

His response was that I could not compare my experience to the women who were assaulted. I said he has minimised my experience and asked if he was a feminist.

He replied I always pick a fight on a Sunday night.

I replied that he showed me who he was back then and I regret marrying him and thinking he was different and trusting him.

I am not currently working as am a sahp but I have not been out of work that long and have until recently had a good career.

I can not wait to get a new job.

I feel my OH and I are over.

I feel sorry for my children but I am now just determined to get a job and be myself.

I related to Jane Fonda on hard talk when she said she didn't need a man.

Just wanted to share this.

QueenieBae123 Sun 15-Oct-17 20:05:58

You have said yourself that you sometimes referred to the incident as "I kissed my boss" and yet deep down you know what happened. ...your experience was and still is very personal... it appears you have wanted it to go away until now.

Why blame your dh for something he obviously would rather forget as it may have caused him a lot of embarrassment from his friends and peers and yet he stood by you.
You are still angry and have not dealt with this issue properly. It might help to try deal with it with help before you crucify your dh for men's sins.

Sleep on it tonight and hope you feel better soon. ⚘💐

SmartiesHaveTheAnswer Sun 15-Oct-17 20:47:04

Why blame your dh for something he obviously would rather forget as it may have caused him a lot of embarrassment from his friends and peers and yet he stood by you.

This isn't about how he feels. OP this is about how you feel. The realisation that you were the victim of sexual harassment (at the very least) and then victim blamed by his friends must be horribly sobering. He did nothing. He said nothing. His silence made him complicit and equally as guilty.

SmartiesHaveTheAnswer Sun 15-Oct-17 20:51:56

...and as for the women who gossiped about you? They threw you under the bus.

Is he still in contact with the men that called you a slut? If it were me, I'd consider raising hell and delivering it straight to them. Despicable victim blaming.

flowers to you OP.

newnamie Sun 15-Oct-17 21:39:30

No not in contact with the men who called me a slut either is my husband now. He did leave them to it after we got back together.

Yes they used to ring me after their night out or from a pub or nightclub and call me a slut because of the woman that made out I had been dishonest with my husband (then partner).

It was really awful so I could be called at say 2 am in the morning.

And yes thinking back to how wonderful the five bosses were at work I now think the gossip had definitely been fed to them but obviously had my back and were not aresholes. The main woman who gossiped left and didn't have a great career. So now I wonder if one of the bosses made it clear she wasn't going to make it in part because of her utter underhand behaviour and bitchiness about me.

newnamie Sun 15-Oct-17 21:45:11

I think I victim blamed myself and maybe that is why I could never tell anyone about how the horrible ex boss would try it on all the time and also someone got into my room on business ( it was a large house that the business so I couldn't lock my door like in a hotel). Also only one person (my sister) saw the incident for what it was.

It is my reaction now from my husband that has really upset me.

The way he minimised what happened tonight.

He has said that he thinks HW will go to jail and it is disgusting.

But ... when I mentioned again (within the last hour) how his friends used to call me a slut ( I know he didn't encourage this) but he didn't really offer any empathy. He just said that we are not raising our children to objectify women or be abusive.

But I have really rattled him I know that.

newnamie Sun 15-Oct-17 22:15:38

How I feel?

Well I feel really so so lucky I wasn't seriously assaulted by the ex-boss.

I got ex-boss out of my bed that I was sleeping in without any assault.

When ex-boss kissed me no slobbered over me I blamed myself as I was drunk and had alcohol with him around. I think I was very happy the hours before it happened as I felt I had escaped from a predator and felt I had won in that I had a new job to go to and I had survived the grooming. There was a group of work mates out and I had let my guard down but then I was somehow alone with ex-boss. Strangely I can not remember the ex bosses surname it is totally blocked out.

I suppose I was also proud of getting a role that involved some travel to different countries so I did not want an unhappy end to my role.

I didn't even consider complaining about the ex-boss.

I think I went home that night and blamed myself and allowed that crappy power imbalance that I had with ex-boss to somehow creep into my relationship with my partner. I somehow accepted that I was to blame.

I felt stupid for being betrayed by confiding in someone who then shamed me to their brother which then resulted in me being branded a slut and isolated by a group of wankers.

I did not even think to complain to anyone about being called a slut as I did not want to be branded a slut. So I put up with it, unhappily but I did so. I found new friends.

My husband is the only real long term relationship I have had.

I now see him as entitled.

In the few people I confided in it is only my sister who did not judge me and warned me about my low confidence at the time and supported me. It really was also the leadership of the five bosses who probably let me just get on with it at he new workplace so they did damage limitation and probably nipped the gossip in the bud at the new workplace.

Funny how the HW stuff has triggered it.

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