My Husband Had A Flirty Relationship With An Employee

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My husband runs an incredibly busy medium-sized company and handles a lot of moving parts. One surprise part to both of us (since he is not HR) is employee’s personal issues. Sometimes he refers them to HR or even connects with them on a one-to-one basis to show the employee he is human, but then sends them to therapy help, as was the case with one woman, 20 years his junior. He let me know he was helping this woman, as she just lost her sister and mother, months apart. I had great empathy for her. Several months and a pandemic later, I see his texting stream with her.

It was clear she took on a slight flirty relationship with my husband (cleavage vacation pictures), sexy Bitmojis…but my husband took on more of a “” am here for you to talk”…”you are so good at your job” … “here’s a picture of me on vaca in South Dakota.”

While their communication was not overtly sexual at all, it made me feel extremely uncomfortable, insecure, and enraged. It does not technically fall into the emotional affair category and he claims they were just friends, and he has expressed sincere remorse for not cutting off the manner in which they wrote to one another. He has promised to just keep things business from here on out. So, if he has apologized, why do I still feel so very angry and resentful?

– Still Angry


Apologies don’t erase feelings. He said he was sorry, but that doesn’t erase the selfies, (sexy?) Bitmojis, and cleavage pictures from your brain. I’m sure, on occasion, you want to scream something like … “What were you thinking????”  There’s a difference between being a supportive boss and close friend/partner. He wanted to help, but didn’t know how or where to draw that line. It was his job to figure that out.

It sounds like he’s aware of that now. But you’re on your own schedule and can take your time with your feelings. Let him know it’s not your desire to punish him forever, but that this hurt a lot. It made you question how much you can trust his boundaries. You want to accept his apology and move on, but it’s not an instantaneous thing. It’ll be easier to do when there’s more distance between the two of you and this incident.

A lot of people had a tough time this year (understatement). I’m sure many managers went out of their way to be good to employees who had new concerns and felt overwhelmed by work. But … this particular way of helping wasn’t OK – for your husband, for you, even for this younger woman. It’s understandable your feelings linger. Again, give yourself time to reset and see how you feel after you’ve had more time to see how your husband sets new boundaries.

– Meredith

Readers? Why is the LW still mad?

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