Mumsnet Logo
Please
or
to access all these features

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Relationships

Colleague hitting on my husband

127 replies

DiggingMeAHole · 25/01/2023 09:52

My husband works in quite a high stress environment, where they have projects that they work on in teams for a set time. When they're in the midst of a project they spend a lot of time together as that team. Once the project is complete, they re-arrange the teams/ work patterns change. And then they start all over again - not necessarily in the same team.

There was a woman in his team last year who he got on well with. They worked quite closely together for their project, and became quite friendly. I met her several times and we got on well. He said she was a bit needy, and kept coming to him for support/asking questions. He was very open about this. Someone else on the team commented that they seemed "very close" and was their work friendship becoming something more?. He told me about the comment, which didn't bother me - I trust him. She was apparently quite upset by the comment, and suggested that they should stop speaking to each other at work. She was very surprised that my husband had told me. (I should have been suspicious at that point).

They haven't had to work together very closely over the last few months, but she has continued to message him quite a lot, asking advice not just about work but also life stuff. ( I have full access to his phone - I don't snoop but he has sometimes showed me her messages as he rolls his eyes over it). I said that it seemed she fancied him. He got quite cross and told me I was ridiculous, and she was just very needy. He said that they were colleagues and that's it.

Last week she messaged him telling him that he is the only person in the world who makes her happy, and that he is the only person she ever wants to spend any time with. (she is married with kids) She said that she thinks about him as soon as she wakes up in the morning, and only ever wants advice from him about anything. She acknowledges that its completely one-sided, but she wanted him to know. He showed me the message straight away.

I am furious. My husband can't understand why I am upset, and says that he has no interest in her at all, and wishes she would just leave him alone. I totally trust him, but I can't help thinking that its quite a boost to his ego. And then I wonder whether he has actually encouraged her. And I can't help thinking about what I will say if I see her. They are no longer working closely together - she is not in his team, and is unlikely to be for some time. She had no reason to tell him how obsessed she is. I think it she was fishing - in the hope he'd respond in the same way. He sent a polite but fairly formal response back, and has not had any contact with her since.
How do I stop being paranoid that this will lead to an affair?

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

Beercrispsandnuts · 25/01/2023 09:56

Not sure why you think he will have an affair and you trust him. That seems quite contradictory

im also not sure why you’re furious. I couldn’t give a shit who hits on my husband, I trust him, end of.

Please
or
to access all these features

Highfivemum · 25/01/2023 09:56

Take it as a compliment. If you trust your DH and it sounds like you do then do nothing. Don’t let it build up issues between you. I had a similar time with my DH who was so totally naive about it all, so I understand your concerns. tell him how you feel but don’t let it come between you

Please
or
to access all these features

IncompleteSenten · 25/01/2023 09:56

I think you are right he is getting an ego boost from this.

As for how to stop feeling like this could lead to an affair I think your husband could have helped there by telling her that her messages are inappropriate, unwanted and to please stop.

Please
or
to access all these features

Neveragain85 · 25/01/2023 09:58

Has he blocked her number to reassure you?

Please
or
to access all these features

Januarydayss · 25/01/2023 09:59

.

Please
or
to access all these features

Beercrispsandnuts · 25/01/2023 09:59

IncompleteSenten · 25/01/2023 09:56

I think you are right he is getting an ego boost from this.

As for how to stop feeling like this could lead to an affair I think your husband could have helped there by telling her that her messages are inappropriate, unwanted and to please stop.

How do you think he’s getting an ego boost. I assume you know him? Or if not are you trying to fuck with the op and feed her insecurities ? Because it has to be one or the other.

we habe all been hit on by someone we aren’t interested in. It is seldom an ego boost and normally just bloody awkward.

Please
or
to access all these features

Beercrispsandnuts · 25/01/2023 10:00

Neveragain85 · 25/01/2023 09:58

Has he blocked her number to reassure you?

I doubt he can block a colleague.

he can however speak to his manager if he wants to go that far and lodge there is an issue.

Please
or
to access all these features

Thereisnolight · 25/01/2023 10:01

He could be more blunt in his responses.

Rather than getting angry with him, try a bit of flattery. Tell him you can understand why this woman might fancy him because he is very fanciable and it’s making you feel insecure. I don’t think that’s being needy - it’s being truthful and clear but not blaming him or putting yourself down, and if by any chance he’s looking for an ego boost, well, no need for him to look outside of home.

Please
or
to access all these features

JengaCupboard · 25/01/2023 10:01

I agree I wouldn't be very happy at all, but angry at the blatant disrespect for your marriage from the female colleague rather than angry at your husband.

However his anger towards you would concern me slightly more, although he may just be frustrated that his wife is now giving him a hard time over something he has no control over.

He seems fairly transparent from what you've said, but all of us like a little ego boost if we're honest - not to the detriment of more important things but there may be a small percentage of him secretly enjoying it a bit... human nature and all that.

Equally he has every right to go to HR - if a man was 'harassing' a female colleague in this way it would likely be more dimly viewed.

Keep communication open with your husband though, and try to be as diplomatic as possible - if you're very angry he may elect not to tell you further things, which as we all know will likely make things worse in the long run.

Please
or
to access all these features

eyope · 25/01/2023 10:05

I think your DH has handled this very well! He's shut her down, introduced you to her and shows you all her messages to him.

She obv is lonely and crushing on him, and yes, she was likely fishing. But that's her problem. If DH was interested in her, something would have happened when they were away together, or he'd be hiding their comms.

In fact if I were him, I'd tread cautiously and wide avoid her and never meet one on one. Because if she's vindictive, she could try to get him in trouble. Work place crushes and rejection can go horribly wrong. Maybe press that point home to him.

I don't think there's anything to worry about personally. And you should feel reassured your DH is honest and open with you.

Please
or
to access all these features

DiggingMeAHole · 25/01/2023 10:08

Thanks everyone,

"I agree I wouldn't be very happy at all, but angry at the blatant disrespect for your marriage from the female colleague rather than angry at your husband."


I'm angry with her - and feel that she shouldn't have told him about her feelings.

"However his anger towards you would concern me slightly more, although he may just be frustrated that his wife is now giving him a hard time over something he has no control over."

I'm frustrated with him that he has been naïve, and yes - I think you have hit the nail on the head. He is frustrated that I am angry and upset, over something which he had no control over, and has not welcomed.

He can't block her as they might have to work closely together again in the future (hence my explanation of the teams thing at the start). He says he is basically avoiding her as much as possible.

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

DiggingMeAHole · 25/01/2023 10:09

Thank you @eyope thats helpful - I had not thought of her trying to cause trouble like that.

And yes - very happy that he has been so open.

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

RebelliousStarrChild · 25/01/2023 10:10

What did he actually say in reply to her message?

Please
or
to access all these features

MrsMikeDrop · 25/01/2023 10:15

I think your DH has done all the right things and you need to give him a break. If there was something sinister then he wouldn't have shown you. Next steps from him are probably to actively shut the conversation down and to tell her not to message him and/or block her. He might be better to do this from a professional perspective of he is her senior (and maybe tell his manager if he things that is appropriate), if he thinks she might be a bunny boiler.

Please
or
to access all these features

DestinysGrandchild · 25/01/2023 10:19

What is he actually saying when he replies to her? He probably needs to be more blunt about it and tell her she should only be messaging him if it's to do with work.

He's probably getting a bit annoyed because he's telling you everything so you know that it's only her acting like that. If you trust your husband then I'd put it down to nothing more than her having a crush. If he's showing you messages, he's probably telling the truth about it all too. A lot of people would do anything to hide messages etc if there was something going on.

She was being a bit of a dick for saying that in the first place knowing he has a family at home tho.

Please
or
to access all these features

Justalittlebitduckling · 25/01/2023 10:19

Since he lets you read his phone, take it and reply to the woman thus:

Hi, it’s [name] my husband and I are very close and open with each other so we read each other’s phone messages often. This is a completely inappropriate message to send to a married man. Fuck the fuck off and stay away from my husband you pathetic bitch.

Please
or
to access all these features

Babdoc · 25/01/2023 10:22

If I were your DH I would copy her message to HR and ask them to have a word with her about inappropriate communications to colleagues.
That way, if she IS a bunny boiler and later makes allegations against him out of anger at being spurned, he has a paper trail to protect himself.
I have a happily married medical consultant colleague who turned down a nurse propositioning him. She in revenge managed to get him suspended for three months, before her allegations were shown to be unfounded and malicious. So do warn your DH to be careful.

Please
or
to access all these features

Rainbowqueeen · 25/01/2023 10:23

I’m also interested in what he said in his message.

Moving forward I think every interaction he has with her should be on the basis that it may be assessed by HR to determine if it was appropriate or not.

I’m also wondering if it’s worth raising with HR. I find it really strange that she would message out of the blue like this. I’m not saying that this points to any behaviour by your DH but more that it points to some mental health or stress issues with this woman. Maybe someone with HR experience would be able to comment

Please
or
to access all these features

BlueBooh · 25/01/2023 10:25

Babdoc · 25/01/2023 10:22

If I were your DH I would copy her message to HR and ask them to have a word with her about inappropriate communications to colleagues.
That way, if she IS a bunny boiler and later makes allegations against him out of anger at being spurned, he has a paper trail to protect himself.
I have a happily married medical consultant colleague who turned down a nurse propositioning him. She in revenge managed to get him suspended for three months, before her allegations were shown to be unfounded and malicious. So do warn your DH to be careful.

I would 100% ask your husband to let HR know.

Is he senior to her?

He needs to cover his ass. A woman scorned ....

Please
or
to access all these features

DiggingMeAHole · 25/01/2023 10:26

@Justalittlebitduckling I have been restraining myself from doing that!

@Rainbowqueeen I think she finds the job quite stressful - when they were in the same team I think she struggled with the workload, and he was trying to help her.

In terms of paper trail - I think he needs to make sure he keeps copies of all her messages.


He basically messaged back that he wasn't interested, and thought she should focus on her work.

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

SpiceAndCoffee · 25/01/2023 10:27

Something doesn’t sit right with me with this.

Either she is mentally unstable or he is saying something for her to think it’s an appropriate message to send?

Would any normal person randomly send a text like that, out of the blue, to someone who is married and showed 0 interest in them? That’s random and weird.

My cynical side would think he’s acting a certain way with her in work to make her believe it could possibly be reciprocated. Then outside of work acting bewildered she’s texting him and showing you the messages to make him look like an innocent bystander.

Please
or
to access all these features

AHelpfulHand · 25/01/2023 10:32

Why is he replying to her if its not work related?

She’s getting a response from him and thats what makes her text more.

If he stopped replying, she wouldn't carry on texting.

Please
or
to access all these features

Cutlerydraw · 25/01/2023 10:33

@DiggingMeAHole I’ve seen this situation at work, but it was the male who declared his feelings. The female was married and so was he, the female acted like she had played no part in it but everyone saw how flirty she was with him and people used to comment she was showing him a lot of interest, some of which was inappropriate for 2 married people. He eventually developed a crush on her and told her his feelings and she acted like it was out the blue. Whereas everyone else could see it coming a mile off. Only you know your husband and whether it’s naivety on his part, but it’s pretty unusual someone would send such a message on the understanding that person was happily married and completely not interested.

Please
or
to access all these features

Deerlander · 25/01/2023 10:37

Yes hiding in plain sight.

She's either deluded or someone is telling porkies.

Re send her message to her husband, I'm sure he'd like to know, seeing as she likes being honest and upfront.

Your h can poo poo her husband off just like he's doing with you.

Please
or
to access all these features

Beercrispsandnuts · 25/01/2023 10:39

SpiceAndCoffee · 25/01/2023 10:27

Something doesn’t sit right with me with this.

Either she is mentally unstable or he is saying something for her to think it’s an appropriate message to send?

Would any normal person randomly send a text like that, out of the blue, to someone who is married and showed 0 interest in them? That’s random and weird.

My cynical side would think he’s acting a certain way with her in work to make her believe it could possibly be reciprocated. Then outside of work acting bewildered she’s texting him and showing you the messages to make him look like an innocent bystander.

The op said the message said she knew it was one sided. But,,,

I do wonder if something went on before though. I’d agree irs a very unusual message to send if nothing had ever happened. I also don’t like the whole oh she’s needy thing that went before. It’s such a bloke thing to say.

for me, I think something happened at some stage between them, it is over now, but I think something has led to this

I’ve a friend who had an affair , both married, he ended it and this was the sort of stuff she sent him after. She’d been head over heels and was unhappy in her marriage so she’d say I know you don’t feel the same but I just want to be with you type of crap.

id guess there was something before, that’s over now.

Please
or
to access all these features
Similar threads
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?