Her Husband Is Obsessed with a Coworker

husband obsessed with coworker

Her husband is obsessed with his coworker, but swears he isn’t cheating. He just wanted the Other Woman to “like and appreciate” him. 

***

Dear Chump Lady,

My story is long but I want to summarize as best I can.

I discovered my husband of 35 years (he was 65 years old at the time) had an almost 3-year “relationship” or crush or infatuation or whatever with an employee of his (29 years younger than he). This consisted of dozens and dozens of really sappy, intimate, over the top text messages and Facebook messages.

He is a photographer as a hobby and had taken dozens and dozens of photos or her, her and him (standing close in public), some “covert” pictures of her in their office (she was at her desk and he snapped photos of her not looking — just working at her desk), he saved all these little mementos of her, recorded voice memos of these little encounters (stories she told him), bought her a few gifts and greeting cards and just stuff like that.

I went into FULL detective mode.

I found all of this info on his home computer (which I have access to), his work computer –which I gained access to and his phone which I had full access to. (She posted a FB photo and tagged him and the minute I saw the photo I just felt something was “off” and started my investigation.)

I can find no evidence that it went any further than what I found, (which was plenty bad) and I am pretty sure it was never physical. His only explanation when confronted was that he and she worked on a project at work together and after it was over, he missed their closeness achieved during that time and started to try to get her to engage with him. “I wanted her to like me and appreciate me”.

She almost never responded to any of his messages.

When she did it was a simple “thanks”. I have asked him a million times why he behaved this way and he consistently says he doesn’t know. I might add that he is her boss and if she had ever decided to report to HR, his career would have been over.

Of all the stories I have read about husbands cheating, I have never seen a description like this. I just wondered if you had any insight?

Thanks!

Dumbfounded

***

Dear Dumbfounded,

Here’s a description:

Your husband is a creep.

We could go down a rabbit hole of emotional vs. physical affair, or if this poor woman is the victim of his unwanted attention, but the fact remains that your husband abused his position of power.

You kind of paint him like a lovesick, inappropriate puppy. I see a guy on a power trip. Who spent three years completely cognizant of his highly inappropriate workplace behavior and didn’t give a shit. Because he’s the boss.

Unless he has a head injury, your husband is also aware that he’s married. So, spending three years pursuing the attention/affection of another woman means he’s checked out of his relationship with you.

“I wanted her to like me and appreciate me”.

Do you want a husband who is obsessed with his coworker?

What about you? Did you get sappy, intimate, over the top messages? Gifts? Photos together? Does he care if YOU like him? Or are you a non-voting member here?

He is a photographer as a hobby and had taken dozens and dozens of photos or her, her and him (standing close in public), some “covert” pictures of her in their office (she was at her desk and he snapped photos of her not looking — just working at her desk)

So being menacing is his “hobby”?

At Chump Nation, we know what it’s like to live the pick-me dance. To constantly feel off-balance because our partner’s affections are directed elsewhere. So it’s natural to see things through that lens — he’s obsessed with her.

Stand back and see this through another lens. He is criminally creepy and intrusive. Your husband is doing what stalkers do. It’s all kinds of fucked up.

he saved all these little mementos of her,

Serial killers do this. Just saying.

recorded voice memos of these little encounters (stories she told him), bought her a few gifts and greeting cards and just stuff like that.

We’re fully into Netflix true crime territory now.

You have no evidence that any of this attention was welcome.

When she did it was a simple “thanks”.

I see two women here muffling their alarm sirens, and bowing to the sinister predation of a creep. Because she didn’t go to Human Resources, you might think she enjoyed this attention or got special favors because of his attention. It’s far more likely she did what millions of women in the workforce do every day. She played it off. She did the mental calculus of reporting versus keeping her job, and she decided to keep her job. Because she needs her job.

Back to those alarm sirens. We’re socialized to play nice. To say “thank you” when we want to say BACK THE FUCK OFF. She tagged him in a Facebook photo. Maybe she stupidly thought they were friends. Or maybe she played along.

How many of us have played along? I did. When a producer asked if I wore that outfit just for him. When the boss put his hand on my thigh the first day of work and called me “Doll Baby.” Or when the old man at the job interview said my social media experience made me “a Kardashian!”

A younger me might’ve said thank you. A weary older me just shut up and carried on. I see a woman who is not reciprocating her boss’s interest, but politely trying to decline it. And a man continuing for THREE YEARS to push that boundary.

What are your alarm sirens telling you?

You went into “full detective mode.” That tells me you’ve been feeling off-balance and devalued for a while. Does your husband have a history of this kind of inappropriate behavior? Do you suspect early onset dementia? Or has he always been someone that subtly or not so subtly goads you into humiliating contests with phantom rivals?

Dumbfounded, you don’t have to have evidence of cheating to know if this relationship is or isn’t acceptable to you. You have evidence of his shitty character, and that’s enough.

I have asked him a million times why he behaved this way and he consistently says he doesn’t know.

That’s pretty much a guarantee he’ll keep behaving this way. Gosh! He has no idea why he does it! A fit could come over him at any time!

Not a rousing defense to keep him.

But I think he knows. He enjoys his abuses of power. Whether it’s degrading his wife or menacing a work subordinate. His knows-not-what-he-does sad sausage act is bullshit.

Time for consequences. I’d talk to a lawyer before she does.

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Stepbystep
Stepbystep
24 days ago

Dumbfounded – As you speak with a lawyer, please recognize that he has likely disparaged you and your marriage in front of his co-worker(s).

He has already disengaged from the shared future you thought you had. He may have spent marital assets in anticipation of a divorce he would have welcomed had his co-worker reciprocated his interest.

Protect your future first.

Cam
Cam
23 days ago
Reply to  Stepbystep

Yes, talk to a lawyer ASAP and ask them about getting your share upfront. No alimony or anything that presumes he’ll keep his job!

Falling Forward
Falling Forward
24 days ago
Reply to  Stepbystep

This was my experience. My ex, also business partner was using cashapp to “help a girl out”, personal credit cards and work credit cards to pay for hotel rooms, and petty cash from work for a little “walkin’ around money”. But what hurt more was what Stepbystep mentioned here; he had already disengaged from the shared future I thought we had, AND had made plans with someone else to destroy said future, AND somehow trying to make me the bad guy. This is real head-spinning mindf*ck sh*t. Two years out, I’m mostly better, happier, more peaceful, etc; however, some days (like today) I wake up with a general feeling of anxiety that haunts me for a day or two or ten. So I just keep falling forward.

RedKD
RedKD
24 days ago
Reply to  Stepbystep

Yes, mine had spent over $100,000 taken from our retirement to fund his illicit lifestyle with both this employee and also other women, some of them escorts. The legal Discovery was very painful and eye-opening. Like when you look under a rock and see all the maggots and roaches scatter.

LookingForwardsToTuesday
LookingForwardsToTuesday
24 days ago

DF,

It really looks as if your husband was looking to “monkeybranch” across from you to his unfortunate colleague, and that the only thing stopping him was the fact that she wasn’t receptive to his solicitations.

In your shoes I really would consult a lawyer; beyond the fact that his behaviour towards you was unacceptable, his behaviour towards his colleague has “HR want to have a chat with you right now” written all over it.

Better to ensure that any career consequences for him don’t impact any settlement that you might receive if/when you divorce him.

LFTT

Orlando
Orlando
24 days ago

I’m picking up mom vibes here dealing with her errant little boy. Women got to stop momming grown men.

Attie
Attie
24 days ago

I worked in HR for over 20 years and believe me this creep is far from being a lone wolf! One day the head of HR and my boss came into my office and asked me if I had to accuse just one man of being a sexual predator who would I choose. Just one, out of about 800 staff! And I named dear old Georges!!! Got it in one (not that he was the only one, of course), and then I had the pleasure of typing up a tape that a beautiful young Brazilian girl had made accusing him of the most disgusting things (like trying to get a blow job out of her in order to have her contract renewed) and getting him to admit it!!! For once HR got it right. He was called into my boss’s office and told he would retire immediately or he would be fired immediately – his choice! He came out of there stuttering and retired that day (he was a waste of space and salary anyway)! Sadly these creeps get away with so much crap, particularly with young girls. I hope HR is informed of his behaviour, though I doubt it. OP please please see a lawyer immediately to find out where you stand! Good luck!

Mehitable
Mehitable
24 days ago
Reply to  Attie

I was a manager at a very large, prominent college and my boss was a total and absolute perv, always talking in a sexual manner about his exploits and harassing the staff. One day one of my interns came to me crying and in hysterics because he had literally grabbed her boobs in the elevator. A literal physical assault. I was enraged, which will surprise all of you who have seen my calm, collected posts. I went right down to HR and raised hell over this and….THEY DID ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. NOT A GODDAM THING. NOTHING. And this was a female administrator. I ended up quitting as it was a shitty job and I hated this fucking guy anyway. He ended up being sued by our one gay guy he was constantly harassing and he made a nice settlement and I think the asshole was finally….transferred elsewhere. Because that’s what frequently happens to these abusers….they get transferred elsewhere, even to another company. Especially doctors. Not the first time I’ve seen doctors involved in sexual harassment events and suits.

Attie
Attie
24 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Believe me, these assholes usually get away with it. What usually happened was that the girl was transferred somewhere else. It made me want to scream. But what can you do? By the time I was old enough and well versed enough in the rules and regs I was done!

Mehitable
Mehitable
24 days ago
Reply to  Attie

Wow, you’re right, the girl usually IS transferred. This was a college student – at the school, so they had to keep her. I actually left before she did. This was kind of like the Last Hurrah for me, I was SOOOOO mad with this guy. He was really obnoxious and always pushing sex on the rest of us in some way or another. Like….did I tell you about the time I lost my virginity? Yeah….it was last week, wasn’t it? over and over again. So glad our co-worker took the college to the cleaners.

Velvet Hammer
Velvet Hammer
24 days ago

As long as there was no sex, nothing physical, no one touched anybody, someone’s behavior should be tolerated?

Disagree.

Velvet Hammer
Velvet Hammer
24 days ago
Reply to  Velvet Hammer

I’m not bothered by a partner being attracted to someone. If it’s acted on is where my concern is.

After DDay and reading here for a while, I decided my marriage was over whenever it was he was deliberating about acting on his attractions. I never wondered if I should or shouldn’t. It’s clear to me that it’s wrong and I don’t deliberate on taking action if I know the actions are wrong. I felt attracted to others over the course of twenty seven years, which is normal and human, but I never wondered if I should or shouldn’t act on it. I stayed away from that person and found that if you don’t water the grass, it dies, just as my therapist said.

Jamie Fraser from Outlander still makes me feel faint, but there’s also no chance of getting together IRL with an actual eighteenth century Highlander in a Sam Heughan body.

😍

Mehitable
Mehitable
24 days ago
Reply to  Velvet Hammer

We’re always attracted to other people, that’s part of being human, but you know when those little fires start up, you put them out and put some distance between yourself and Jamie Fraser, LOLOL!!! Sensible people who value their relationships know when to back away….the ones who pursue it WANT to pursue and probably were already looking for someone. I don’t believe you just happened to fall in love with the neighbor lady we’ve known for 20 years.

SortofOverIt
SortofOverIt
24 days ago
Reply to  Velvet Hammer

Bingo! As others have said, in this case it seems the only reason nothing physical happened was because she apparently wasn’t interested. That tells us all we need to know about his character. He will cheat in a physical way as soon as he finds someone interested in creepy older men. If he never does he is still a disloyal dog.

I get it though. There is something about a lot of us Chumps where we need to know every terrible detail before we can accept that we need to leave. Obviously if one is in a Fault State, knowing for sure how far things went is important. But most of us live in no fault states, so I’d go as far as to say, “as soon as you start feeling like you need to be a detective, you might as well leave because there is a reason you feel that way. And signing on to a life as a part time detective is not a wise choice”. I understand that it is easier said than done.

It’s probably hopium or grief-bargaining that causes that feeling of needing to be completely sure that your spouse is a full on lying cheat. In my case, FW claims they never had sex. They were long distance and definitely didn’t have a lot of opportunities, but I’m sure they found SOME. There is no way he was blowing up his life for someone he never had ANY sex with. It’s just not possible. But I have no proof. And he denies it. Doesn’t make the marriage any more tolerable for me. The guy said he found his soul mate and was discarding me. A sex tape isn’t going to make that any clearer than it already was.

I also had something else going for me, I had NO idea he was cheating. I didn’t suspect it at all. He came right out and told me one day of his own free will. I think that is a factor that matters in how we respond as Chumps. Some chumps suspect, and find some minor piece of proof, and then FW denies it and the Chump WANTS to believe them because no one WANTS to upend their life. I can see how that makes it harder. (Obviously my FWE is still a FW, he admitted it but there was still lots of trickle truth and denial, but if they say “I’m leaving you for someone else” you can’t help but believe them.

Daughterofachump
Daughterofachump
24 days ago
Reply to  SortofOverIt

Huh. I hope you got tested for STIs. Cause I think your W is a Lying McLiarface!

2xchump
2xchump
24 days ago
Reply to  Velvet Hammer

You have zero proof they don’t have sex workers and massage people. this is what happened to me.

Velvet Hammer
Velvet Hammer
24 days ago
Reply to  2xchump

Exactly. It’s notable to me that chumps are willing to tolerate so much unacceptable behavior as long as nobody touched anybody.

Traitor Ex was into massage parlors and sex workers. So much so that he and the Craigslist cockroach opened their own illicit massage parlor last year. It’s reasonable to assume that’s where they met….

An army of law enforcement is in their case as of this post.

🧨🧨🧨🧨🧨🧨🧨🧨

Last edited 24 days ago by Velvet Hammer
Cam
Cam
23 days ago
Reply to  Velvet Hammer

I remember your story. Does Traitor Ex have any idea he’s under the microscope? What happens when the po-po pulls the trigger?

kokichi
kokichi
24 days ago

As someone who studied photography, admittedly over 20 years ago, part of being ethical is having the permission of the person before taking their image. Obviously in a pubic crowd or a group image, everyone knows that they are essentially giving consent. But for this creep to be taking photos of this young woman as she works is a violation of her privacy. As the creep does not own the work office, it is not his right to be able to snap photos of his employees without their permission. This behavior will only escalate and HR will eventually have to be involved. (And we all know what he is doing with those images after hours.)

Daughterofachump
Daughterofachump
24 days ago
Reply to  kokichi

Yeah, I think he’s going to escalate to touching her, with or without consent.

Mehitable
Mehitable
24 days ago
Reply to  kokichi

Frankly, he sounds like the kind of guy who might have hidden cameras in the bathroom.

JeffWashington
JeffWashington
24 days ago
Reply to  kokichi

This!

At “boundary skewing pictures together”, I was like “ok, the OW is complicit here”, THEN immediately got squciked out(as the kids would say) at the “candids.” That sort of thing is a pretty instant transfer/termination where I work.

I like to think of these incidents as like when somebody gets a ticket for not wearing the seatbelt-“this isn’t all of the behavior-this is just the time we caught them and what we know about.”

Nancy
Nancy
24 days ago

He is living in a fantasy world – disconnected from reality. Is that ok with you?

Leedy
Leedy
24 days ago
Reply to  Nancy

Yes–this is the part that sticks out for me. He’s a harasser, AND he has a whole fantasy world going on in his head where there’s no reality-testing. Why stay married to this person?

Waitedfartoolong
Waitedfartoolong
24 days ago

When my fuckwit wife and I were trying to start a family, and unbeknownst to us, a medication I was taking for a chronic autoimmune conditions was lowering my sperm count we turned to a fertility clinic for help. Somehow my fw’s boss, her supervisor in the ER where she, an RN worked made the suggestion to her that he could maybe help her/us with his wandering, magical, fertile dick and thus began a 16 month long affair, a pregnancy, my fw successfully passed off as my progeny, and 52 years later a DNA Ancestry kit exposure, a broken marriage, a divorce and devastated adult children. And to top it all off, fw is inconsolable, can’t understand why I am divorcing her in her old age, ( we are both very close to 80) but I cannot continue living with somebody who lied disrespected and, cheated and sole a half century of my life.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
23 days ago

I’m so sorry– that’s devastating. I agree with Mehitable that this event is not an old trauma but a fresh one since you just found out.

Daughterofachump
Daughterofachump
24 days ago

Wow. Just wow. I’m sorry this happened to you.

Mehitable
Mehitable
24 days ago

Also, even though an event happened 50 years (or more) ago….it really happens when YOU FIND OUT ABOUT IT. So if you just found out about it recently….it’s new to you. And even worse because she maintained a fundamental lie about who your child is and what his origin was, for 50 years. That is an absolutely horrible thing to do and you are totally justified in your feelings and actions. Don’t let anyone try to tell you…oh, it was so long ago. It’s not….it’s yesterday to you, and for your child and his children….this is his permanent genetic lineage and YES that DOES matter.

Last edited 24 days ago by Mehitable
Mehitable
Mehitable
24 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

It also occurs to me to add, this probably wasn’t the only time she cheated on you. Someone who would do something like this – a 16 month affair resulting in a child she lied to you about, probably cheated other times too. I feel particularly strongly about false paternity because I’ve seen in a couple of times in my own family on different sides, and I know the terrible thing it actually is, much more than people try to make it out to be. So many people try to overlook this so everyone – except dad and the kid in question – can be “comfortable” and just pretend that it doesn’t matter. BUT IT DOES. It matters because of the lie and deception no matter how long it continues, and it matters because every human has a right to know his or her genetic lineage if they can. IT DOES MATTER. I can see not only who I look like in my own family, but I can see actual traits that I share with members of the family I never met because far more things are genetically based than we are willing to admit in our shallow society that things we can “fix” everything. Some things are set at birth. What your wife did is truly horrible, I personally could not forgive this. If you can, that is totally up to you, don’t let anyone try to force or badger you into it. This is one of the absolute worst things you can do to anyone and time doesn’t matter. If you found out that your spouse stole everything you had 50 years ago and was somehow able to cover it up, or that they were involved in some other evil activity, it’s not something you have to forgive just because of the passage of time, especially if you just found out about it recently. You are under no obligation to forgive anything from anyone for any reason, as the injured party. Forgiveness is a gift, if you feel you want to and believe in that at some point, that is up to you, but you don’t have to. As one wise poster said here….Jesus may have forgiven Judas but he didn’t have to sit across from him at the breakfast table every day. That makes a big difference. Follow what you believe in your heart.

Daughterofachump
Daughterofachump
24 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

DNA testing has shown a lot of this.

Mehitable
Mehitable
23 days ago

Yes, especially Ancestry. It’s amazing how many times I’ve read this in different places. A lot of people will buy Ancestry for a birthday or Christmas gift or kids’ school project….and then what comes up is….not everyone is related. SO MANY cases of a kid not being the dad’s have come up because of Ancestry. Paternity fraud is one of those things that enrage me, like abandonment on the male side (of wife and kids). I think these things should be punished by jail sentences. This shit needs to end.

Mehitable
Mehitable
24 days ago

I’m so sorry you’ve experienced what I consider the very worst case scenario and I think you’ve done the right thing, for what it’s worth. As an elderly person myself I fully support your decision. Just because you’re old doesn’t mean you have to live with someone who would do such a horrible deception to you and her family and keep it up for decades. Once she did this, she lied to you EVERY SINGLE DAY OF HER LIFE. Having an affair and passing off someone else’s kid as yours is, to me, the worst thing someone can do. It robs you not only of the present, but of the future as for some people, that might be their only child and it’s not their biological link to the future. That may not matter to some people, but it does matter to me and to many others. It’s not a one time lie, what she did she turned into a way of life and something you, and that child, and the rest of the family will always have to live with. She also condemned her child to have the genetic lineage of man who was an absolute piece of crap and I personally would not want that for my father. Stay strong and good luck!

OHFFS
OHFFS
24 days ago

She can’t understand. Hoo boy. The malignant entitlement makes them clueless about other human beings. So sorry you are going through this.

I remember my FW asking me; “But why can’t I still be your husband?” 🙄

Mehitable
Mehitable
23 days ago
Reply to  OHFFS

I think part of this thinking is that to her, she did this so long ago, 50 years ago, that she’s made peace with it in her own mind, if she ever really gave a shit at all, that is, so she’s put her reasons together for herself in her own mind, she didn’t think anyone would ever find out, she’s lied so long to her husband she didn’t think HE would ever find out – to her it was a done deal from long ago. Even though one of her kids lives with this evil doing through his genetics and will pass that along to every kid he has. THIS IS A PERMANENT THING. Time doesn’t change the genetics or the lying. And husband just recently found out about it so to him….this is as fresh as if it just happened last week. Our poster here has to do whatever it takes to get himself and his kids through this even if it meant divorcing this woman and never speaking to her again, which is what I personally would do. Other people might find other solutions. But this is not something that is going to be resolved quickly and easily if at all, and I hope other people see situations like this and learn NEVER TO CHEAT LIKE THIS IN THEIR OWN LIVES. Don’t cheat, period but certainly don’t pass off an affair child as your husband’s. That is just evil to me.

Mehitable
Mehitable
24 days ago
Reply to  OHFFS

I always thought the answer to that kind of question would be: Why would I WANT to be your wife (husband)?

OHFFS
OHFFS
24 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

My answer was; “Because you’re a douche.” That ended the discussion. I’m so mean. No wonder he just HAD to cheat. 😉

RedKD
RedKD
24 days ago

Oh wow. That’s awful! I’m so sorry.

Attie
Attie
24 days ago

Oh I am so so sorry!!!! But good for you for divorcing that pathetic excuse for a human being!

Involuntary Georgian
Involuntary Georgian
24 days ago

I call this “aspirational adultery”. OP’s husband is willing to cheat but not able to pull it off.

Realistically, the only real barrier to infidelity is being unwilling to do it. As many stories here will attest, most people (even some pretty unlikely ones, IMO) are eventually able to find someone to cheat with.

It sounds like OP’s husband has surmounted the biggest obstacle and it’s just a question of time and persistence until he reaches his goal. Perhaps (or even probably) not with this particular woman, but there are literally billions of alternatives out there.

Mehitable
Mehitable
24 days ago

When you think about it, that’s usually what all the dating things and chat stuff is online – looking for a willing partner. They may have 100 misses but they only need one Yes.

Mehitable
Mehitable
24 days ago

This is so true, and I’ve run into this in offices – guys who want to cheat but keep running into that big ole NO. This is another big reason why so many APs are downgrades….because people who are willing to cheat are usually inferior kinds of people. Quality people with options don’t generally cheat, why should they.

One last time
One last time
24 days ago

I’ve never really thought about aspirational adultery before. It makes sense. I know my ex was ready and willing for a while. I think it just took her a while to finally pull the trigger.

SortofOverIt
SortofOverIt
24 days ago
Reply to  One last time

“Aspirational Adultery” is the perfect explanation for this. And it’s something that I have thought about with my FW. I am unaware of how many APs there were. I am aware of just the one that he got very serious with. The one he was going to leave me for before she dumped him.

But lets be super generous/naive and say she really was the ONLY one. In order for them to ever have even gotten together he had to be OPEN to that. Possibly for quite some time. He had to be emotionally available to her. Or just available in general. So even if she was the only one, I imagine he was already “aspirationally adulterizing” before he actually “hooked her”. Their affair was years long before he told me, but he may have been LOOKING to be unfaithful long before that even.

One last time
One last time
24 days ago

DF,
You are in the right place. For years I excused red flag after red flag. My ex texted a friend about meeting up with a guy they worked with and inviting him out for drinks. I pretzeled myself into believing this was normal behavior. I ignored, ignored, ignored. Excused, excused, excused. Then I found evidence of her betrayal. Then I found Chump Nation.
It is an overwhelming amount to process. Read the articles. Read the posts. See how similar they are to what you are going through. We think we have a unicorn, that they are different, that out love is enough to pull us through. We don’t want to face the reality that our “soulmate” is a FW, and has used, abused, disrespected, devalued, and just been a shitty person to us.

Chumpty Dumpty
Chumpty Dumpty
23 days ago
Reply to  One last time

… some days Chump Nation is a warm bath, some days Chump Nation is a cold shower!

2xchump
2xchump
24 days ago

My friend works for a guy like this creep and has done so for 15 years. She sees his wife come into the office acting a wifey while this boss man has my friend schedule hotels, business trips, OW connections for him..telling wife he is working (not working.) She tells me he has always been sweet on her and makes made improper advances year after year. But saying No has kept him after her and now in his 60s he’s never stopped
She likes her job otherwise the perks, when her husband died he was kind, generous and gave her off as long as she needed. Like that. She quit once but didn’t like what was out there and came back. These creeps are not worried, they coolly get away with it..Fearful wife, Fearful employee and whistleblowers lose everything, now or later. HR?There are crazy abusing men/ people there too. You don’t get entitled and arrogant overnight. It is a process of creeps doing their trial and error and they do win. My XHcheater had me at home mommying him
.WHY DO YOU DO.THIS? I AM.OF VALUE. But you are not of value, you are of use. Where I live 55plus apartments I see the creeps at 70 and 80. Yes some have creepy dementia but my guess is they have been gross and entitled all along. Dementia just makes it profoundly worse. I’m so so thankful I filed and got out before I had to live with my cheater who was 61 when he got papers. He absolutely
Would have/ Actually was a creep delux. I had participated in allowing him to abuse me with EAs and OW too long..so much was in the basement I had no idea about. ..so a bug win for him..getting away with cakrlebfor years. DF cut your losses 📉 if you can and go now!! It WILL NOT GET BETTER WITH AGE.

Daughterofachump
Daughterofachump
24 days ago
Reply to  2xchump

You reminded me of a story I heard on the grapevine close to 40 years ago at a large consumer goods (household name) company I worked at. The (married) director of recruiting, who was under HR, was sexually harassing a female recruiter who worked for him. She filed a complaint. He actually ended up getting fired. Apparently it was a particularly egregious situation which involved him getting drunk and trying to force his way into her hotel room when they were on recruiting trips.

Mehitable
Mehitable
24 days ago
Reply to  2xchump

My God, what do they think they have to offer at 70 and 80? I’m nearly 70 and I don’t want anyone to see what’s under my chemise, LOLOLOL!!!!

2xchump
2xchump
24 days ago
Reply to  2xchump

Correction above..a BIG WIN AND me giving out unknowing cake for years

2xchump
2xchump
24 days ago
Reply to  2xchump

One more thing…these creeps lead with how awful their wives are. It’s a come-on for OW. So they almost always devalue you and what you are to them. ..nothing.

Mehitable
Mehitable
24 days ago

Your husband is a creep.
I love you, Chump Lady!!!!!! That’s it in a nutshell. Hubby is a creep. And I also do wonder if it might be early onset dementia too. That can start in the 60s. However, it’s more likely someone who’s looking for an affair, to me, but doesn’t know how to get it started. I was a young girl in offices too and I didn’t see anything THIS extreme – all the intense focus and picture taking is extremely creepy, but I was literally chased around offices by married men a few times. It is quite a dance to tell an older married boss that it’s…NO and keep your job. We didn’t really have HR then, just some personnel droid with a quill pen.

To me, the energy that someone is expending on someone else, not YOU, even if it doesn’t culminate in an affair, is still energy they’re not spending on YOU. And outright adultery is not the only reason to leave a marriage or to make drastic changes to it. If your spouse treats you with disrespect by fawning over younger women, especially obsessively like this, you might consider if you want to stay married to this guy. And if there IS something wrong with him mentally. We all want to be attractive to the opposite sex even as we age, me too, but I don’t fawn on young guys at the gym because…….creepy. Creepy, inappropriate, kind of thing that gets you kicked out….and just embarrassing because it’s so inappropriate. This is the kind of situation that the expression “old fool” was made for. Maybe you should be thinking about whether you actually WANT to be married to this guy, if it’s worth it for you a this point, vs the convenience and history. Also, I WOULD keep an eye on his mental stats, I’m looking at someone close to me with some small suspicion at this point. It does happen, unfortunately.

Last edited 24 days ago by Mehitable
Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
24 days ago

I second everyone’s advice to quickly file, separate finances and get a settlement before this predator does something that gets family assets wiped out by a series of harassment lawsuits and/or he gets blacklisted and unemployable.

As far as doddering old dudes being taken for “harmless” or their fixations being “cute,” please. I’ve always been a schmuck magnet and one of the disconcerting things I discovered through all my near misses since I was a kid is that even a frail “little old man” can still be strong enough to easily overpower most women, even fit ones. So there’s literally no age at which an old guy becomes reliably “cute and harmless” and less of a threat unless he’s quadriplegic and bedridden.

But even the above won’t protect you from someone who socially or economically out-strips you. I had two careers completely destroyed by harassment. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t fight back so I ended up fighting back just to send myself the message that my life mattered if nothing else. Also it returned a sense of meaning to otherwise meaningless trauma if the perp could be even slightly “dissuaded” by consequences. Which brings the discussion back to what the OP in this situation needs to look out for regardless of the fact that only a fraction of these harassment lawsuits ever prevail in court. One day the freak she’s married to might mess with the wrong target and encounter someone (like me) who says damn the torpedoes and successfully sues because they can’t take it anymore and furthermore knows their professional reputation will be wrecked either way.

Cam
Cam
23 days ago

> I second everyone’s advice to quickly file, separate finances and get a settlement before this predator does something that gets family assets wiped out by a series of harassment lawsuits and/or he gets blacklisted and unemployable.

I’d go so far as to ask your lawyer how to get your fair share upfront. No alimony or any other payments over time. Get it all now.

A predator this extreme and delusional is not a guy who can be expected to keep his job, his professional licensure, or his shirt at the rate he’s going. Act accordingly.

Nemo
Nemo
24 days ago

Two careers destroyed? I thought it was just one, and one is plenty bad enough. Oh, HoaC. I am so sorry. That sucks. You and Chump Lady are doing the Lord’s work. You’re my favorite commenter. Please keep educating us, even if it feels like you’re bawling fruitlessly into the ether.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
24 days ago
Reply to  Nemo

Bless your soul for your kind words. Does two very different jobs in the same industry count? I took a more “behind the scenes” design role during my first and second pregnancy but, rather than being lower stress as hoped, I ended up working for a serial rapist who made my life a living hell and blackened my name– at least until multiple former victims stepped up, the story hit the headlines and I was semi-exonerated. But by then I was long out of the work force because the child born from that stressful second pregnancy ended up with a chronic medical condition and disability.

It makes me sound like a martyr and this makes me extra conscious of the need to have agency and own any bad choices I might have made along the way. I can definitely think of some “bad moves” I made to trust the wrong people here and there, possibly out of insecurity or lack of self reliance. But I think the main “bad choice” was my desire from a young age to work in media. I should have listened to my parents that it was a hopelessly creepy, rapey industry.

BastilleDDay
BastilleDDay
24 days ago

As a child of the 70s watching women collapse around me due to fuckwits, I vowed (as an 8 yr old) not to let that happen to me. As a result, I’ve only had 2 serious relationships, and the minute fuckwit wanted to keep me as an “option”, I bailed. Stay strong CN.

2xchump
2xchump
24 days ago

OK so.this nugget just came into my mind…and I must share it. One of my dearest girlriends husband was DYING. We were all gathering to say our good byes…me, being a nurse and wanting to help my friend who was exhausted… assisted this almost 90 year old guy to the commode right by his death bed. As I used good body mechanics and he could still stand, I pivoted him up and towards the commode face to face. As I lowered him to the commode..HE GRABBED MY BOOB and stayed there while i moved him!!! I was so shocked I said out loud, HE JUST GRABBED ME!!?? Oh my goodness!! That was the day that friendship started to drift and now it is over.This man died days later..Which is why I had to leave my cheater #2. He had no where to go but down. He probably would have had sex with anyone, even my hospice nurse if that time came to me first. No it was impossible to stay, and old geezer cheaters we stay with have no filters left. No not me!!!! I’m so thankful he was so awful it left me with zero choice…never again.

Mehitable
Mehitable
24 days ago

Unfortunately this is true, HoaC. My FIL was in his 80s and VERY demented…I mean talking to children and relatives and people who weren’t there demented. But when he got really ramped up, this 5’4″ 140 lb little old man took FIVE ORDERLIES to hold him down. FIVE. So you can never underestimate someone’s strength, even crazy old men. Sometimes the crazier someone is, the more physical strength they have, which is bizarre to me. It kind of speaks to how people may have abilities they’re unaware of consciously that get freed up under certain conditions.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
24 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

We all have hidden abilities. I always say that anger isn’t so much an emotion as a fuel pack. Rage is, physiologically speaking, both a numbing agent that dulls pain and fear on top of being massively adrenalizing. You’ve heard of the stories of mothers able to lift cars off their children with their bare hands following an accident. Crazy people (and abusers) might have the same rage on tap.

The last time I was assaulted was by a 90 year old antique book seller a few years ago. I had been collecting old cartoon anthologies while my kids were studying animation and this tiny, skinny old man had been a wealth of animation history. I was completely enchanted by that store because it had been in the family for generations and even had a cash register from 1910. Shortly before he died, the bookseller suddenly reached across the counter and tried to stick his tongue down my throat. Granted I was in shock and of course kind of restrained in my physical response because the guy was ancient and I perceived him as very fragile and too easily kill-able. I may be on the skinny side but I’m 5’9″ and was an athlete most of my life (no one can beat me at Roman knuckles). But holy shit that fucker was rangy and strong as hell. He gripped my shoulders and managed to almost drag me across a display counter.

He died before the shock passed and I even thought about pressing charges. I was relieved when his great-great grandson took over the store. The great-great grand seems gormless and harmless enough but, remembering how “harmless” the previous owner appeared, I never send my kids into the shop alone.

OHFFS
OHFFS
24 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Most of the time people don’t use all their strength because we instinctively know that could result in an injury to self. In a psychotic and/or highly enraged state that instinct can be bypassed. So that explains the effect you are talking about.

We all have untapped reserves of strength. Women have been socialized not to tap into them and to freeze rather than fight.
When I was younger I always used to beat the FW, who had six inches and 60 pounds on me, at arm wrestling. I was lifting heavy weights as well as doing martial arts. I’m confident I could have beaten the crap out of a lot of men then, and still could put up a decent fight now at 61. The weights I can lift are lighter and I’m not nearly so fast and agile, but the advantage I still have is the way I can bypass the fear of self injury. You can learn to do that with fight training. If you train your mind to accept that any fight is to the death, injury seems like a small thing to worry about. If your opponent doesn’t have that ability, you have an advantage.

Last edited 24 days ago by OHFFS
Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
24 days ago
Reply to  OHFFS

Oops, I responded to the comment before reading yours. You said everything I wanted to say.

thumper
thumper
24 days ago
Reply to  OHFFS

Yes, but. Sometimes the way to survive an assault is to cooperate and be passive. You will only figure out whether the best strategy is to fight or be passive in the moment.

OHFFS
OHFFS
24 days ago
Reply to  thumper

Yes it is sometimes the best survival strategy. The problem is you might not know in the moment which strategy is going to have the best outcome. For me, I would just rather go down fighting. I don’t have much fear of death. Living with that trauma feels like a worse outcome for me. That’s just a personal idiosyncracy. I wasn’t giving a recommendation for how to handle an assault. A lot of people freeze when they are terrified and can’t fight anyway. Training will usually help with that, but even then, some people just can’t do it. I suspect some people are either born with (and socialized to develop) aggression and the killer instinct and some are not. Women usually have it drilled out of them by socialization. I don’t mean killer instinct in the sense of some psychopathic type wanting to kill, but just the willingness to do that in defense of self or others. If you don’t have that willingness then in won’t even matter if you have an Uzi in your hand. You’ll hesitate, and that will be all the predator needs to overwhelm you and take it away. That’s why the simplistic solution of carrying a gun or other weapon misses the mark.

Mehitable
Mehitable
24 days ago
Reply to  OHFFS

Great post, OHFFS! I guess we are restrained most of the time and never think about it but when you go bonkers….look out! I grew up in a fairly violent atmosphere – not only my family but where I grew up was what they’d call the hood now. You had to fight or you’d just get beat up, so I think I’m less hesitant than most women. One thing I’ve always thought in a fight though….is fight dirty if you have to. I would like to see self defense classes in all schools frankly – I think it would help teach both competence and restraint. People, especially girls, should know at least some basic self defense. I’m a very strong believer in that. I’ve seen a lot of abuse, especially of women, from my childhood, and I’ve stepped in personally. It helps to be mentally prepared. I remember the time my mother and I fought off a purse snatcher who attacked us. He ran like hell. Good times, LOLOL!

OHFFS
OHFFS
24 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Oh, 100%. Fight dirty! Do whatever it takes to survive. It’s unfortunate that you have to develop that ruthlessness, but it’s necessary. You’re right about self defense in schools. In addition to girls, it’s important for LGBT and kids who are just considered “weird” who get bullied.

I wonder if the purse snatcher learned his lesson from that. I tend to doubt it. Great story.

Mehitable
Mehitable
23 days ago
Reply to  OHFFS

That’s why I think self defense should be routinely taught in schools because all kids can benefit from it but particularly those who would be bullied for various reasons. They need the confidence and the strength to be able to fight back. Even if you don’t always win, it still means a lot to know you’re not helpless – and you can join with and inspire others.

MollyWobbles
MollyWobbles
24 days ago

Ooooooh, this one is super triggering for me. My exFW was very much like this. When he came clean about all of his bullshit one of the things that disturbed me the most was his unrequited crushes. He had a folder on his computer of women that he fancied. Pictures stolen from their FB pages etc. I shudder to think that he was, in actuality, a stalker. Neighbors, women who worked at restaurants he frequented, women he saw on public transit. They were all fodder for his spank bank folder and the unwilling recipients of his unwelcome advances. It makes me sick.

2xchump
2xchump
24 days ago
Reply to  MollyWobbles

Mine too only I put buckets of plaster -Spackle on top of all that. I read in some magazine that woman should not worry about EAs and flirting because that means YOUR MAN/ mate is attractive to others. It Should give you joy to know how much woman desire him. My XHCheater flirted everywhere and talked about woman who thought he was cute. I should take that as a compliment…so many Spackle words even from my trusted therapist who told me the same and many other things to up my game…she was always on my husband’s side. Something very wrong here..I think after she met my husband she was smoking the hopium pipe of his sad sausage life story. Couples counseling was a disaster …Who can you trust?

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
24 days ago
Reply to  2xchump

Lol. My takeaway from my short-but-intense RIC experience is that a lot of people who personally suffer from so-called sex addiction end up as CSAT therapists.

Apparently my husband bore a close resemblance to a particular soap opera actor that women with no taste and a lot of extra time on their hands to watch daytime TV seemed to lust over. Never mind the fact that I found that particular soap actor completely gross, one of the “RIC” therapists we visited after D-day immediately said to FW “Oh you look just like X!” This 60-something year old woman who looked like a sexually-repressed Victorian schoolmarm (she even had her glasses on a beaded chain) spent the next 45 minutes squirming in her chair in her great excitement to be in the presence of such a hot number!

2xchump
2xchump
24 days ago

If they got us they can snag others. It’s pretty easy to be an actor in your own play

RedKD
RedKD
24 days ago

I had one of these! One of the many reasons I became suspicious of him was because I would look through our shared iCloud Photos and wonder, “Why are there so many photos of her?” They were mostly work photos at events, but why always her? Why not any of anyone else he worked with? He knew her for years when she worked under him (ha ha, see what I did there?) and I considered her and her husband family friends, so it wasn’t THAT weird, but still….it made me wonder as I realized one day how many there were.

As it turned out, they’d been having an affair for years (and as a creeper, he also slept with a lot of other women besides her) and I have NO idea how he managed to stay employed. The bank he works at apparently doesn’t know or doesn’t care.

But yes, he’s totally sleeping with her. Ick. My ex-FW is in his mid-fifties and she is about ten years younger, but he currently has a girlfriend twenty years younger than him. They seem to get creepier with age. Hire a good attorney and run.

Mehitable
Mehitable
24 days ago
Reply to  RedKD

The 20 years younger GF – is that about money she gets from him? Or Daddy issues? I just don’t get that. So many hot young available guys – why go after someone in his 50s? It only empowers this idea that they can get these women because….I guess they can.

Daughterofachump
Daughterofachump
24 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Almost certainly money unless he’s the rare man who remains very attractive into late middle age.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
24 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Note the almost mathematical algorithm regarding the diminishing basic physical health and attractiveness of “younger women” who sleep with older and older (and drunker and more disordered, not to mention married) men.

RedKD
RedKD
24 days ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Good question—I have no idea. My grown daughters and I have discussed it with this latest girlfriend, who is 20 years his junior and also attractive, etc.. And he’s also really mean to her, according to my grown daughters, who find it difficult to watch. I can only think that it must be money (which he doesn’t have much of, really, seeing as how I “took it all” in the divorce, lol), or the appearance of money, or wanting to be taken care of? Or serious emotional/Daddy issues? He’s not totally ugly, but he’s also in his fifties. I guess they can. I will say, they keep breaking up and getting back together because it’s not easy for him to get kibble anymore.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
24 days ago
Reply to  RedKD

There was a very interesting study a while back about how people with life-shortening health conditions or who live in very dangerous communities or families tend to (even if they’re not intellectually aware of these hyealth conditions or life-shortening circumstances) engage in desperate, short-sighted and aggressive “mating strategies” such as “mate poaching.” The idea in the study is that those who subconsciously sense they won’t live very long tend to take a “fast life strategy” of “die young and leave a mess of spawn.”

Maybe on some subconscious level the AP in your situation has some almost uncanny awareness that she’s at risk to die young from whatever cause and that drove her to opt for a less-than-stellar choice in partner.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
24 days ago

Sorry for typos. I hate my phone.

RedKD
RedKD
24 days ago
Reply to  RedKD

Adding to my own comments. I am not convinced she’s not necessarily engaged with him. She may be a victim of unwanted attention, but also, much of the information you have is coming from him. She probably knows FB is a fairly public venue and she wouldn’t have acted flirty if she knew others could see. I only mention it because I excused her (my ex FW employee) at first because “she wouldn’t do that to me” and “there’s no way she would be into him, he’s so creepy,” but I was wrong. And even if she isn’t into him, if he is doing this, he must have done it before. He may have done this all along, your entire lives together (I discovered mine had). It’s always so much worse than you think and you’ll be so much better off away from him.

I Count
I Count
24 days ago

My ex did this at work with a much younger woman. He was forever texting her and asking her out for drinks, offering to bring her food, and she was always trying to bring friends with her and would not let him come bring her anything at home. He thought as a 60 year old he had a chance with a 27-year-old woman. She was busy swatting him away like a fly but at work talked to him and flattered him to get better IT support. I left him for many other cheating incidents but this one ALWAYS stood out as the chringyest of the bunch. So gross.Get a lawyer and get going.

JeffWashington
JeffWashington
24 days ago

So Dumbfounded, I have a To-Do list for you:
1) Call a Lawyer
2) Back-up the photos
2a) Call the damned police

Like holy shit with the trophy-gathering behaviors(anybody else here watch Quiet on the Set on MAX yet? Very worth your time).

The part that resonated with me the most was “were YOU getting the same treatment?”(with the over the top flirtiness, pictures with him, etc.) Regardless of if there was ever a physical/sexual affair, in my universe that is where the line (or “boundaries”) has been crossed and abuse and disrespect tangibly begin.

This idiot clearly doesn’t respect things like “consent”(a hallmark of fuckwittery). Is this the kind of thing you are ok waking up next to?

I would be very curious(well, ok, more concerned) if this sort of thing has happened before and this was the first you found out about it.

UpAndOut
UpAndOut
24 days ago

Dear Dumbfounded. As cheaters get older, I think they neglect to be as careful to hide their behavior.

You went full detective mode to find out whether he was unfaithful, because this is what hurts emotionally, at first.
But lasting effects of their inappropriate behavior can harm your finances and your health.

In stealth mode, because he he is not acting as a good partner to you, use your detective skills to gain access to and look through ALL your financial data: bank accounts, credit card statements, 401k plans, investment accounts, and recent credit report. Don’t tell him or ask him, because he would confuse things so you don’t find out any misuse of marital money.

Also, make your GYNE appointment and ask for full STI testing. I was too blindsided to think about this, and yup, when I finally thought about it & did it, the tests came back + for high risk HPV.

You are entitled to protect yourself! He is exhibiting seriously strange behavior & there is likely much more that he is hiding from you.

JeffWashington
JeffWashington
24 days ago
Reply to  UpAndOut

I think simply due to sampling bias, the longer the betrayal goes on the higher the probability of discovery-and yes because they are more likely to get sloppy and lose plausible deniability on the cover-up as time progresses.

OHFFS
OHFFS
24 days ago

Dumbfounded, you can look at it this way; you have been given a gift. That gift is leverage. You have photographic and written evidence of him low key stalking a subordinate. It’s enough to get him fired. Save every bit of it for when you are negotiating a settlement. If he won’t be reasonable, play hardball. You now have the upper hand over a power hungry creep. Use it. CL is right. This man is not relationship material for anyone. I know it hurts, but please cut your losses. It will hurt more if he goes too far and actually loses his job and you have to support his sorry ass. With guys like him, this is a pattern of behaviour. He will do it again.

Tornup
Tornup
24 days ago

My story was similar and worse. Let me tell you that it does not get better. Whether they have flipped a switch, mental break or just have such insecurities and finally in power want that ego boost. IDK, but my now XH apparently was a covert narcissist. I saw small red flags, but never saw multiple EA’s and one 3 year unreciprocated one. It’s creepy and sad and debilitating to us trying to make sense of it all. Protect yourself financially. I was able to get me H to agree to everything without him ever hiring a lawyer. I am sure 3 years later he regrets it. You have a very short window when they will be agreeable to things. I’m so sorry you have to hp through this. Therapy and good friends and time makes it better, but decades of marriage and investment is hard to recover from

Chumpty Dumpty
Chumpty Dumpty
23 days ago

My husband did this with a young woman in Montreal (we were living in New York) in 2010. He used visits to his dying father as a pretext for trips. The entire time he was running after her, he was a complete a$$hole to me. We had two small children. I didn’t know what was going on. Even though he lied and denied every step of the way, I somehow got her name and I called her! She was like, yeah, I kind of wondered why a married man with children was so interested in me. She was GAY! And much younger and attractive, and in a relationship with an older woman. Her personal life seemed dramatic and chaotic, and she had created a kind of glamorous-business-woman persona, so I think she just enjoyed getting the attention from what probably seemed to her a big-shot TV producer. He would call me and give me updates from the hospital: meanwhile he was desperately trying to meet with this woman, who was attracted to his success.

Fast forward a decade and I think of another incident that gains significance in retrospect: Speaking of HR, one of the managers at his national network television news company engaged in such egregious sexual harassment that he was terminated, all done quietly without the media gettinng hold of it (oh, the irony!). As the commenters on here know, it takes a lot — basically major liability exposure — for HR to take action. Well, this manager, let’s call him Miguel, used to put a comically large PADLOCK on his office door whenever he went on vacation! He was an unhinged, unfiltered bully and harasser. I cringe to think what he was hiding in his office that made him so paranoid about anyone going into it. Anyway, the thing is, guess who he would give the key to — my husband!! I thought at the time it was a bit weird. Now I understand that Miguel knew my husband understood what it meant to have secrets that had to be kept under lock and key. He recognized a fellow abuser.

Adelante
Adelante
23 days ago

Oh, boy, I wish I’d seen this yesterday, because my ex is also one of these creepers. He also fastened on both students and younger colleagues at work (both of us were professors in the same department), and saw himself as “mentoring” them–one of them while she was a probationary junior faculty member and he was department chair.

My ex didn’t take photos, but he definitely found ways to “work with” these younger women on committees. Of course I heard all about them. He even began mirroring them. With the one in our department, he once told me, after we’d been to a student “welcome back” gathering at her house (and yes, she was married, with a young child), that we should turn the air conditioning in our house off because she didn’t have it on at hers (she did, in fact, because I’d stood over a register and felt it). With my ex, who is an autogynephile (he is sexually excited by the thought of himself as a woman and attracted to himself as a woman when dressed in women’s lingerie), the creep factor was magnified, as he both wanted to fuck her and be her.

Rarity
Rarity
23 days ago

Dumbfounded, if you’re still reading — you are not alone. This exact thing pretty much happened to me.

Long story short, my husband of ~10 years became obsessed with a new co-worker. He was giving her rides to and from work (3 hours per day, hundreds a month on gas and tolls), partying with her and their other friends until 6 AM on weekends, and constantly texting her and talking about her, inserting her into conversations that had nothing to do with her. I was pregnant with our second and he kept rushing off to give her hours of rides, all while telling me he didn’t have 15 minutes a day to do some dishes for his nauseous, exhausted, pregnant wife.

I eventually told him, enough is enough, the rides need to end. I told him to tell her this is the last week for the rides so she needs to line up alternative work transportation.

A couple of days later, he informed me that he had prayed about it and God had told him to keep giving her the rides, so I didn’t get any say in the matter. He also said he was their designated sober driver for the weekend partying, so partying with them was “what Jesus would do.”

I felt like I was going insane. How do you even begin to parse something like that? Something that isn’t quite infidelity but is inappropriate and completed f’ed up?

I finally contacted her, and I was glad I did. She said she’d always been uncomfortable with his “generosity” to her re: the rides, and had been concerned that he was a married man with a pregnant wife, but he’d absolutely sworn up and down that I had signed off on the rides and their extensive “friendship.” Their friend group had also been uncomfortable with the married dude with a disabled kid and pregnant wife at home coming along to party with them, but again, he had sworn up and down and reassured all of them that I was okay with it. (He later confirmed to me that he had indeed lied extensively to her and to their friend group, because “what was going on between us was none of their business!” he sneered. Um, it IS if they specifically ask about it, genius! Some people want no part in breaking up a marriage!)

I honest-to-God believe they were never physical or overtly romantic. I think he tried to make it romantic, but she shot him down. But I’ve always had a hard time explaining what happened because emotional affairs are not well understood.

He later had a different physical affair, and after the divorce I found out there had been a physical affair very early in the marriage. However, if I had to pick just one thing that shattered our marriage, it was his unrequited pursuit of this female co-worker’s “friendship.”

I’ve been divorced almost 10 years now, re-married to a better man almost 6, and I couldn’t be happier. I hope you get away. This man doesn’t deserve you.

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
22 days ago
Reply to  Rarity

Ugh. I’m so sorry that happened to you. Especially while pregnant, how cruel! I would bet this happens more often than we think. FWs have no respect for the boundaries of others, after all. In fact, I would bet many FWs have a trail of failed attempts with uncomfortable victims before they find their schmoopie.

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
23 days ago

The fact that Dumbfounded’s husband is clearly a FW carrying on an emotional affair is bad enough (DIVORCE HIM FOR THAT ALONE), but can I also point out that some of his behavior is borderline stalkerish? Like Chump Lady said – serial killer behavior. It, at least, shows a disturbing lack of boundaries. Constantly pestering her, taking candid photos… even if she allowed him to take photos of her posing, there’s no telling if she consented to the candid photos. Her distant, periodic “thanks” sounds like what I did when someone I didn’t really want to talk to was being overbearing, but I was afraid they’d fall apart or lash out at me if I told them I didn’t want to talk to them or they made me uncomfortable. I don’t know, I feel like there’s enough red flags to sew together a million Santa costumes.

Please, Dumbfounded, speak to a lawyer. Leave this creep behind. He doesn’t respect you, your marriage, or other women. And, honestly, he may be dangerous. Please protect yourself.

Cal
Cal
21 days ago

Yeaaaaah this guy is a predator. He knows it and enjoys it.

Dumbfounded, if that’s not terrifying to you, then your fear meter is broken – probably by years of trying to crush it and ok your icky feelings about him. Try reading The Gift of Fear, and lean into it. It’ll be scary, but it’s better to be scared than be a victim.

A predator is not a safe person to be around. If you decide to leave (and you should), you need to do so without letting him know anything is up. Plenty of folk here (CL included) have managed to line their ducks up, gtfo when the fuckwit is at work or something, and leave no forwarding address – all comms go through a lawyer and nobody you’re not 500% certain of knows how to get in touch with you or where you are.

Don’t be the woman trying to defend the predator when his creepy stalker hobby goes too far, or finally gets reported. And gtfo while he still has a job to pay you alimony with.

But more than anything else, just find a way out. As hard as it looks to do that now, it will be harder to stay if he realises he has permission to keep doing what he’s doing, or worse.

Stay safe Dumbfounded 💜