Friday, March 24, 2023
HomeRelationship AdviceMy (32M) coworker's (40F) husband (42M) accused her of having an affair...

My (32M) coworker’s (40F) husband (42M) accused her of having an affair with me.

Last week a coworker I supervise pulled me aside and informed me that her husband accused her of sleeping with me after he read a post here that he thought she may have written. It was by a woman who admitted to sleeping with her boss and a few details like her age matched. It got deleted before I had a chance to read it myself. I was shocked by this as I have never even seen her outside of work and never thought I would be in this situation. She admits she has been distant recently due to a bout of depression, but that’s something he should understand about her by now. He knows she and I spend a lot of time discussing interesting stories we read here to pass the time at work, and we’ll occasionally text each other if we find something good worth discussing. He has since calmed down and apologized to her, but not before showing up at our job unannounced. She told him I wasn’t even there (That was true, I had the day off). He said he wasn’t looking for me and made an excuse that he needed something he could have gotten closer to his own job. Obviously, I have a hard time believing that.

Normally I don’t like to get too involved in other people’s relationship problems due to bad experiences with people getting involved in mine (another story I may post here, some day) but I feel like I’m involved now whether I like it or not. By accusing his wife of sleeping with me, he accused me of sleeping with his wife. I don’t screw around with women I know are in a committed relationship, or ones I work with. I know what it feels like to find out someone you love is unfaithful and I couldn’t live with myself if I caused someone else that kind of pain. To be fair he doesn’t know me that well, but I’m still mad he made an accusation like that without some evidence to back it up other than a random post.

I haven’t seen him since this started, and I’m not sure what to say when I do. Part of me wants to pull him aside and bluntly say “I didn’t fuck your wife” or find a gentler approach, but I also feel like it shouldn’t be my responsibility to even deny something so baseless and maybe I shouldn’t speak to him at all. I don’t know him that well either and don’t know if he would believe me anyway. Not speaking runs the risk of him questioning if I’m avoiding him because I have something to hide though. I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place here, so any advice from strangers on the internet would be greatly appreciated.

ETA: Up until recently she and I were equals but she had to take a demotion for various reasons and ended up where she is. It’s not like I hired her or asked that I end up supervising someone I had known for a while. By “Occasionally” I mean maybe once or twice a month. We’re not texting back and forth every day. Also, a lot of you seem to think married people aren’t allowed to have platonic relationships with members of the opposite sex. I would understand your points if she or I had been pushing the other to hang out outside of work without the other’s SO present, but that has not and will not happen.

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  1. If you have an HR department, you might want to clue them in on what’s going on.

    Innocent or no, it’s better that you get on top of this…before they do

  2. The more you try to convince him the more he will be convinced that you’re gaslighting him. Completely distance yourself from her. Tell her bluntly it won’t be good for her marriage if you’re friendly with her. Its an issue between them, they need to resolve it themselves.

  3. All that sounds like you would just create more drama. For the sake of your job her marriage and less uproar, I would just leave it alone. You seem like you’re trying to start something and I’m not exactly sure why you would even think to do that. You admitted he doesn’t know you. Leave it alone.

  4. That’s very insulting. I see why you’re so upset. If he’s really cooled down then there’s nothing else to do. But if he shows up or this picks up again, it might actually be a kindness to be very blunt and set him straight. When people are jealous they’re detaching from reality, so making it very clear that you’re not the guy in his fantasies could bring him back to earth. Just pick your words first and don’t engage in his weird tangents or indulge an interrogation. Like, if he asks for proof or asks leading questions, just repeat the core of the story that you know is true.

  5. I don’t think you have the full story from her. If I were you I would stop all contact with her. I have a hard time believing this all started just from a random reddit post. I think she has been talking about you a little too much at home and that’s what put the idea in his head. To him it probably sounds like at least an emotional affair between you two.

  6. Stay out of it. This is not your fight. With that said, you may want to distance yourself from her a bit as well. It’s extremely unusual for you, as her boss, to be texting her off hours with any regularity.

    Being friendly is nice and all, but then you get into situations like this.

    Your employees are not your friends and you need to maintain a professional distance moving forward.

  7. but I feel like I’m involved now whether I like it or not.

    In what way are you involved? He shared this with his wife not with you. He has suspicions which are wrong, why can’t she deal with it privately? It’s really not your responsibility to resolve this and I’m not sure what she gains by telling you.

  8. First off, I’d he believes you two are cheating, you confronting him will do nothing but confirm his suspicions.

    You don’t need to avoid him, but you also do not want to escalate the situation. There could be more going on than you know. She could be having an affair, the husband just might have identified the wrong target.

  9. It’s tough, but don’t say anything to him. There is no need to open this can of worms any further with him. If he brings it up, so be it, don’t avoid it, but avoid any more drama or conflict around it.

    That said, you should go to HR to cover your ass. This isn’t to get her in trouble (she shouldn’t be in any trouble for it), but if he is doing things like showing up at your workplace, you’ll want to be on record with HR before an incident happens, not after. Even if you don’t think he will, who knows what other factors might change between them (god forbid if he sees another reddit post he thinks is about his wife) and he’ll pull up out front.

    And also to cover your ass, it’s time to slowly distance yourself from her. Not as punishment, but just to respectfully and carefully not give anyone any reason to think anything else. No texts unless they are 100% work needed. Don’t be cold, but stop reaching out for chit-chat on the job with her.

    I absolutely believe that people can have platonic relationships with the opposite sex, especially given workplace interactions. But this isn’t worth continuing once her husband went off the deep end.

  10. I can’t tell you how many times husbands have gotten suspicious & jealous of their wives & acted like, insinuated, or even suggested that I want to sleep with them or that they want to sleep with me.

    From strangers, to friends & even blood relatives, I’ve been mistreated & had my reputation ruined. Thing is tho, in almost every case, **the wives actually were flirting with me & trying to get me to sleep with them.**

    It’s insane; even at religious functions, married women would corner me & tell be what they’d do to me if they were single, then try to get be alone with them anyway. In most cases, I was simply naive & the husband was convinced I was in on it.

    I’m not close with my relatives, have almost no friends, & the one family I’m close to, the wife has been trying to hook up with me & I keep ignoring her attempts, but I’m certain her husband, my friend, knows. He’s been cool with me tho, so maybe he realizes it’s just a *”her”* problem.

    In your case, this is the first time this has happened. Honestly, I’d ignore him completely. That’s what I did in most cases, & eventually the husband would notice my behavior, that I’m ignoring them both, & he may come around.

    Even if he doesn’t, acknowledging it only makes it seem credible to him. Honestly, she shouldn’t have told you in the first place, since it’s so ludicrous.

    Just ignore him unless he tries to spread lies about you, or interferes with your life, then you get the law involved, as this could obviously impact your job, u/Large-Headed-Friend.

  11. Stay out of it. Any interference by you could just reinforce his belief that the two of you are involved. Also keep any communication strictly professional. No more texting about Reddit stories.

  12. Couple of things. I would send yourself an email from a non-business account documenting anything for a while.

    You have to keep co-worker at arms length and no texts/calls/communication after hours. Everything must be professional. No memes. No reddit stories. Especially, anything could be taken as inappropriate. Things like the barbie joke on contagiouslaughter from yesterday are completely off limits.

  13. My first instinct reading this is that the husband is right, she did write the post (and deleted it when discovered) but she created the story for her own fantasy type of scenario. How sure are you this woman has ZERO romantic feeling for you? Could her husband be picking up on things she is creating in her mind due to an attraction to you?

  14. You need to go to HR and tell them what your coworker said. You are the supervisor. Even if this is in her husband’s mind, you have to go and put it on record. He could call HR and tell them you are having an affair, and then you have to be like “it’s not true, I already knew about it”… that’s not going to come out ok.

  15. Report the accusation to HR and distance yourself from her as far as possible. There is nothing you can do if her husband is convinced you have an affair with his wife, to convince him otherwise. That is their problem not yours.

  16. You are having a relationship with a married woman.

    You may think it’s innocent, but you are coming between a man and a wife. And those signals are being confused as a full-on affair.

    And you are getting something emotional out of her. It’s why you text her off hours.

    You have to admit this to yourself and learn that this is unacceptable and grow up. Make friends of the opposite gender who are not married.

  17. Well I’m going to have to disagree with a lot of these responses I feel like you are partly to blame you just said it in your post you text all the time y’all spending all this time together that woman is only telling you what she’s telling you from her side of it fence and by her giving you all her little time she may be neglecting her husband. So what is he supposed to think if every time he looks up you too over that texting and laughing and sharing shit one common to say it best you brought this on yourself. What people need to learn to understand is you can’t call a husband crazy because he has ideas that are formulated because of actions that’s how people get hurt people die people get hurt because they didn’t catch the clues that they need to back up and let well enough alone. You turn around and say something to that man that man might take that as y’all are hiding something you’re a threat now if that man turns around and does something to you you can’t be mad at nobody but yourself leave that man alone leave his wife alone. That man might be crazy but that’s even more reason to leave her alone. And I say this again you do not know how she is treating him at home she might be neglecting and ignoring him to chat with you what do you think that says?

  18. I would let them work it out themselves..
    I have been in a similar situation, I worked with a person for years. My spouse knew all about him.
    My coworker and I did share intimate details about our relationships but it was just venting or looking for advice.
    They were a very good friend of mine and even advised me stay with my spouse and work on our issues.
    Their spouse had no issue with me until
    They met me in person and realized I’m slightly attractive.. my fault for dressing up to a Christmas party..

    it ultimately ruined our friendship because the spouse can not get over me looking generally good looking and having an impact on her spouses life.. if you work with someone everyday you are bound to talk about them..
    You just have to live and let live, they have their lives, you have yours.

    If he has such a problem, they can do a lie detector with the wifely and see how foolish he looks. His insecurities are not your problem

  19. If he shows up again and you have security guards, politely have him escorted out of the building and off the property because personal relationships and professional relationships must remain separate. Personal reasons for entering a public building that has to do with employees like that are not reasons to be on property.

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