Harmless fun or a workplace romance?

Today Aunt and Uncle Agony look at the workplace and the issue of what to do when your partner is friends with a younger co-worker of the opposite sex.

Keep your problems coming to theagonys@stuff.co.nz Those who followed James' predicament last week over his ex and whether to try and rekindle the romance will be glad to know he followed popular opinion and has bowed out.

"Thanks to the people who gave sound advice. When you're in a messy situation, it consumes you...," James @60 wrote.

"It's over and I realise I just need to take a different perspective on the situation - see it as an opportunity to meet new people - have new experiences, rather than just dwelling on the past."

Back to today's dilemma:

My husband and I have been together for close to ten years. He works in a small company with two other guys and a female who is much younger than them. 

Like most people who would read this blog, he looks at his Facebook page at work when there's slow periods. However, because everyone in his workplace can use the same computer, he is regularly getting his facebook hacked by the woman at his work.

He forgets to logout, so every time she goes onto the website it automatically goes to his page and she "frapes" or facebook rapes him. She writes things like "[her name] is soo cool" on my husband's facebook. It happens about once or twice a week. It started as a joke between them because my husband did it once to her, but now she won't stop even though my husband hasn't done it anymore.

I have asked him about it and he just says she's just being stupid, or silly or immature.  But I don't think he's ever told her outright to stop it. I haven't really had a good chance to talk to her because she's only been at the workplace for a few months. 

Now I'm starting to notice other things (but maybe cos I'm getting paranoid). If I go to have lunch with my husband at work some days, she will regularly be in his office or she will have shouted him lunch already. 

He's described her as "just one of the boys" but now I'm getting paranoid. I can't help thinking she's got a thing for him. I don't know what to do - I don't want to cause a fuss and make a big deal out of something that might just be a normal thing for their workplace.  

Any help would be great!


Aunt Agony replies:

Dear Confused, Firstly you're not alone in this. Many husbands/wives worry about what their beloved gets up to with their colleagues at work all day long - particularly if a co-worker is young, attractive and single.

Workplace flirtation is also common - it helps pass many hours trapped with one another - and this could be what your husband is indulging in when he allows his co-worker to "frape" him, (I've never heard of this term before - am I the only one?), but I question whether it's necessary for him to do this.

It's obvious you're feeling unhappy with the situation. Have you told your husband that his office interactions are making you feel uncomfortable? If not I suggest you do. It's your husband's issue and most certainly not his younger female colleague's problem, as your marriage and commitment is to one another - not her.

If he tries to brush you off, question why he is disregarding your concerns so quickly. If he listens and then spends time reassuring you it's just a workplace friendship and you feel okay about this, then back off - quickly. Misplaced jealously is destructive and can destroy relationships if it's unfounded. Good luck.

Uncle Agony replies:

I don't know who I'm most annoyed with: Aunty Agony or the skanky office trollop she's defending.

She's on his facebook, she's buying him lunch ... she's not "just one of the boys" love, she's on the prowl 1) for a man, and 2) probably for a promotion.

Unfortunately, there's no solution to this quandary; either your husband's going to succumb to the lure of her efforts and screw the crew, or he's going to see her for the horny little home-wrecking ratbag that she is. But, as I say, it's pretty much just a wait and see game.

You're soon going to find out your hubby is one of the good guys or you're going to find out he's not. My bet (based on your intuition and the hard-to-resist call of a loose woman to a red-blooded male) is he's probably not.

Uncle's advice: Get your house in order, prepare for the inevitable and start secreting money away in a personal account. 

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