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QUESTION: My husband slept with a co-worker and now I am under fire at work: Advice?
“My husband and I have been together 5 years and married for 3. We met at and work for the same company. Before getting married he told me he’d been intimately involved with a few women, and I was okay with that because it was before me. He told me, everyone at work, that he’d been with. Since I’m a supervisor, I’d have to oversee them and always remain professional, which I have. I can’t be upset over girls he dated before me. Last week, as I was talking to a co-worker, she told me that one of my subordinates whom I had written up was going to grieve the discipline due to me only disciplining her because she slept with my husband before we were married.
I was completely shocked and taken back because my husband never told me about her. I honestly had no idea he’d been with her. Now they are planning to question my motive for the discipline due to her alleging I’m only picking on her. I was so angry with my husband. I haven’t spoken to him in a few days because I’m so upset that he didn’t tell me about her. She and I had had issues for a long time, even before I started seeing him, and he would hear me talk about her and never once told me he’d been with her. When I asked him, he admitted it and said he didn’t have to tell me because it was before me. I still can’t help feeling hurt, sad, and a little disgusted. What are your thoughts?? Am I overreacting???”
The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.
“Definitely a red flag when he told you about the others. There is a reason she was left out. In general I don’t think it should have mattered that you knew or not since it was prior but the fact that he omitted it intentionally is an issue for sure. Don’t worry about the discipline part. If it’s a legit write up they will figure it out. I would look for another job though just for peace of mind for your self.”
“What was the situation involving the write up? Did you document all the issues leading up to the write up? Did you follow the proper procedures before, during, and after? If not, do it now as much as you can currently remember. Her previous exploits in the office have absolutely nothing to do with her current problems, other than she’s trying to get out of discipline the easy most convenient excuse. Rather than take responsibility for her actions and own up, she is choosing to blame another employee, in this case, you. Anything she says to you, document it immediately and anything she does in the meantime. The more detailed, the better. If anyone higher up asks, you didn’t know about her and your husband, but even now, it has absolutely no effect on how you manage and discipline employees under you. They all get treated the same. Stay calm, stay focused. I would just say we are here to work, the issues are x,y,z, if upper management asks, tell the truth and you’ll be fine. She’s trying to start issues that aren’t there to deflect from herself.”
“I would find a new job and a new husband how embarrassing. I am so sorry that you have to go through that. But looking for a new job would definitely be something in the works if it were me. He is a hot mess and I bet he is still hiding things.”
“Tell the truth. You didn’t know and there’s no need to discuss these things, but this is why you don’t get involved with people you work with. She’s just trying not to be in trouble and using the ammunition she has. If she truly did something to be written up for then she deserves it. This will lead to her and any other woman claiming she slept with him to defy your authority. And you shouldn’t be mad at him. She’s the one trying to get out of a punishment. I would be looking for another job since these people aren’t going to respect you.”
“Just based on you being their supervisor I’d switch jobs like asap. For one you don’t know who else he’s slept with & is keeping to himself. Also the risk that every time you do your job and have to discipline one of them they’ll probably think your targeting them as well. No job is worth that much unnecessary drama.”
“That would definitely bug me that he hadn’t said anything about her just because it puts you in the position you’re in. Be calm, professional, and stick to the facts of why she was actually being disciplined. You could go to your HR and be frank with them on what you’ve heard through gossip and start getting things cleared up now, maybe offer to go to another location or supervise a different group. The reality is the company could make you step down if there’s a conflict of interest.”
“When they talk to you, tell the truth. You had no idea about their romance, which was before you and he only admitted to it afterwards, and what happened between them has nothing to do with your ability to do your job.”
“If you had no ulterior motive, then I wouldn’t worry to much about it. In regards to your hubby, ouch, no wonder she didn’t like you before. You were her competition!”
“Women before you don’t really matter but yes if ya’ll all still work together, he shouldn’t have omitted that piece of information. He should’ve known it was bound to come out one day. Like that’s not cool.”
“We are all going to tell you the same thing about workplace romances but that’s not a solution to your problem. I think you should take advice from a labor’s lawyer or consultant.”
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