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Inappropriate Behavior in the Workplace

Discussion in 'Married Couples' started by rogueeBear, Dec 13, 2018.

  1. rogueeBear

    rogueeBear New Member

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    I’m concerned about what really occurred with my wife’s former employer and boss (a doctor). She says she hated working there and that her boss was always inappropriate—supposedly she couldn’t wait to get out of there. I believed her however I recently found at least 10 emails of him expressing his love for her. Some of them I could see where she only gave short responses but nothing I considered inappropriate. I was never made aware of them at the time but only found them several years later. Several things really concern me. The fact that she never tried to tell him to stop but continued the dialogue which leads to me believe she wanted the attention. There is a clear sense of dialogue in the emails from him, so I think she could have just deleted her replies. The fact that she never told me about the emails. One of the things she told me was that he physically assaulted her (grabbing her between the legs) in the office but never wanted to pursue it. I was extremely angry about the assault and that she did not want to take legal action. I wanted to go to the office to confront him but she wouldn’t allow it because she didn’t want to lose her job. We were younger and still kind of living paycheck to paycheck, so I trusted her when she said she’s dealt with it. It’s always left me feeling angry with myself for never confronting the a-hole.

    On several occasions through our 10-year marriage, she’s made the comment that “you should never put anything into writing that you don’t want someone else to know.” Pretty obvious and harmless advise. Unfortunately, I’m left with this nagging thought that maybe she’s just really great at covering her tracks. I am considering if asking one of her former coworkers if she had any insights. I’d met this coworker on several occasions and she seemed to be aware of the doctors inappropriate behavior and that I had nothing to worry about. The coworker was a single mom in her late 40’s and she was an extremely kind women so I don’t think she would lie.

    I’m really not sure what to do. Looking back I’m not sure if I was rationalizing all of it and putting to much faith in her and our young marriage, or was I just being a complacent fool. I’d really appreciate any advice on what I should do. I wanted to keep my post as short as possible without getting into the weeds, but I have plenty of other details if it helps paints a clearer picture. My wife is a lovely person that is extremely kind to everyone, but by no means does she have an innocent past either.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2018
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  2. DaisyDay

    DaisyDay blind squirrel

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    Have you asked her about the emails?

    Suspicion and jealousy will erode any relationship and it can eat away on you. That you're considering going behind her back to inquire about her says that you don't trust her. You may have good reason not to trust her, which means the relationship is in trouble, or you may not, which means the relationship is in trouble.

    You guys need to talk to each other, imo. Good luck.
     
  3. PloverWing

    PloverWing Episcopalian

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    What was the power dynamic like in the office where she worked? Frequently, women are reluctant to report sexual harassment because they're afraid they'll be fired, or else that their co-workers (including the harasser) will make life even more miserable for them in the workplace.
     
  4. Dave-W

    Dave-W Welcoming grandchild #7, Arturus Waggoner! Supporter

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    Unfortunate but true.

    That is part of why MeToo was so long overdue.
     
  5. Dave-W

    Dave-W Welcoming grandchild #7, Arturus Waggoner! Supporter

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    OR, she was saving up those emails as proof of the harassment in case things went to some point where she deemed it unbearable.
     
  6. rogueeBear

    rogueeBear New Member

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    I’ve been to other forums discussing similar situations of boss-employee relationship and it is certainly a common occurrence. She complains of similar instances of flirtatious men in her new workplace. Nevertheless, it’s difficult to accept that she didn’t want the attention since it occurred over such a long period

    The mind can be creative and bends towards the worst-case scenarios. The old saying “there are two sides to every story” is what keeps pushing me to investigate further. I just wish I knew the truth of it all.
     
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  7. Dave-W

    Dave-W Welcoming grandchild #7, Arturus Waggoner! Supporter

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    Indeed. Keep digging.
     
  8. rogueeBear

    rogueeBear New Member

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    This was precisely her reasoning for not pursuing legal action. Since the doctor owned the small practice she didn’t know who to turn to. Even so, it could just be a convenient excuse. It’s driving me nuts.
     
  9. Gracia Singh

    Gracia Singh Newbie Supporter

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    Talk to her.
     
  10. A_Thinker

    A_Thinker Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Basically, your wife handled it in such a way that nothing happened ... and she could keep her job.

    I agree that the e-mails could have been a part of the managing of her situation ... to keep the old goat in line.
     
  11. Deidre32

    Deidre32 Follow Thy Heart

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    Not to alarm you, but people just don't fall in love with people, without some encouragement. I hate to say it, but sounds like there's more to her story than an everyday sexual harassment situation. It could be, but odd that she would save all those emails. Odd that her boss just randomly fell in love with her. Nah, there is something missing there. Unless he's that delusional, but seems strange. Idk, I'd ask her, and see what she says.
     
  12. DaisyDay

    DaisyDay blind squirrel

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    Yeah, they do, but it's far more likely to be an infatuation, an obsession or a lie to manipulate the other person's feeling.

    Emails are often saved as "proof" if needed. I wouldn't call it random as they worked together in as unequals.


    This is the only part I wholeheartedly agree with.
     
  13. Deidre32

    Deidre32 Follow Thy Heart

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    Maybe. I hope that the OP can sort it out.
     
  14. HannahT

    HannahT Newbie Supporter

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    I'm old at this point, and so I have many miles under the hood - so I'm speaking from that prospective looking back on my life okay?

    Being in the circumstance as a woman is scary. It doesn't matter if you have a husband, boyfriend or father that would step up for you. It's scary. Why is it scary? Because things can become oppressive really quickly, and turn your life into one big nightmare. It's a feeling you get. You know they are the type to stalk, get dangerous at being turned down, etc. It's spooky. It really is. She could very well be doing the best she could under the circumstance. They could go from being upset to downright sadistic. Some men feel that if you turn them down? You deserve the pain they will inflict. Scary part is - it not just YOU they are after. It's everything you touch - including the husband.

    She could very well be trying to stay within the lines without triggering him to a mania.

    Sometimes you feel its better not to tell - doesn't mean that's reality. Yet, its none of the less the feeling you get. YOu try to tow that line - trying very hard not to let this get out of hand in a dangerous way.

    You feel scared and alone, and that doesn't mean she would repeat this pattern now. It just means that's how she felt at the time. Remember in the past women must have done something to DRAW this attention to her. No one really took it that seriously. Everyone had a justification for WHY this was happening to her, and never was it that the man was a pervert. Never.

    I honestly think men have a really hard time wrapping their minds around this. I understand. Yet, you need to try. It was an attitude of the past, and it did make you feel trapped. Thankfully today things are changing, and I pray my daughter will never experience this.

    No doubt it could very well be something she isn't proud of dealing with either. Remember in life? You can't expect people to deal with something if they don't have the proper tools in the toolbox of life to do just that.

    Your using today's tools for yesterday's circumstance. Your placing yourself - and her - in an impossible circumstance. Stop and think. YOur not the same man you were back then either. Don't go there.

    There are circumstances in my past if I had to deal with them today? HOW much differently would I approach them due to life experiences, maturity, and just plain human growth? Tell you tell you - I wouldn't recognize myself! That's how much people can change.

    Do yourself a favor and don't mention anything about you thinking she liked it - encouraged it - or wanted the attention. Keep it yourself. You WILL harm your relationship in ways you may never recover from.

    Will it help when this single mother tells you that he was in fact an animal that tended to do that to every new gal that entered the office? These types tend to have a habitual nature to them.

    It will break any trust your wife has for you if you do go there. Will that help the circumstance?

    One thing you never mentioned was having a discussion since its years in the past, and she might not be so scared to talk about it now. Instead of allowing your mind to race with all kinds of ugly thoughts? Give your relationship a chance by being honest, and leave out the judgemental part. You might be surprised at what you hear from her. It fact - it might knock your socks off.

    How about you both were young, and had a tough circumstance to deal with. She was afraid, and wanted to handle it herself. Why? It upset you, and she felt - you also were going to be helpless to help the circumstance. So, why give you the same burden?

    We don't always deal with stupid circumstances in the best ways. It happens when you get older too. How about you give her benefit of the doubt, and approach her as the lovely extremely kind person you know today.

    I appeal to you to NOT to cause a crack in your relationship that doesn't need to be there. Tread softly. You might find it was a very traumatizing time for her.
     
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  15. PeachieKeen

    PeachieKeen Well-Known Member

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    I understand where your wife is coming from. I can say from experience, when a woman experiences sexual harassment at work, or even gross sexual misconduct, our first mode is fear for our job. You don't want to be dismissed as someone who blows things out of proportion, as a "me too" trend follower, or as a liar. Unfortunately that's usually what happens.

    So you stockpile evidence. Try to make it stop by not showing up to as many events maybe, not making eye contact with that person so you don't risk giving them a reason to treat you that way. You tell yourself if it gets this much worse and you have proof, then you'll stand you for yourself. But you look at your CEO who openly makes disparaging sexual jokes about women during company events and you question, even if they did believe you, would they care or just find it funny?

    You don't want to tell your partner. One, youre ashamed. This is your own fault somehow. You feel as though you cheated. Two, you fear your partner will take action. You aren't ready for that and you don't want to be fired, you don't have the proof, you're not strong enough to take the stand... It would be the worst thing possible if you were forced into action by an angry spouse. So you downplay it.

    I guess all of this is to say, maybe ease off your wife a bit. If you do question her, let her know she's in control and you won't act if she doesn't want to. Love her and help her to not feel guilty. Maybe then she'll get strong enough to do something about it, but maybe not. Patience is key.
     
  16. WolfGate

    WolfGate Senior Member

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    When I read your comments, it sounds to me like your fears and emotions are putting you close to blaming her for the doctor's bad behavior. Fear of that happening is a very possible reason for why she did not disclose the emails.
     
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