October 2, 2023 at 12:30 pm #422650
It may not be a big deal but I am starting to think my coworker is in love with another coworker. Before you say it’s none of my business just hear me out because it is.
The three of us: a guy, he’s 44, a woman, 28 and me, we hang out at work or call each other. I can say we are coworkers/friends. Not very close but we meet sometimes. We live far away from each other so it’s not very often that we meet at the office. Mostly we call and talk. She, let’s call her Adrianne, sometimes is angry with (let’s call him..) Jack. For small stuff, really. Stupid reasons. He said something, he did not respond etc. She is angry but how to say this.. in a cute way, like in a relationship. Encouraging him to apologize. She gives him silent treatments for silly reasons.
He is married with two kids. At first he had a lot of time to meet once in a while but recently he doesn’t. When she comes to visit it’s usually that I meet with her and he just comes to say hi for 15 minutes or doesn’t come at all. I understand that, he is married and his wife was recently pregnant. Probably doesn’t like the fact that he hangs out with two female coworkers.
I used to visit her in her hometown but only once, since she invited him too but he said there’s no way he’s coming. Since then she only comes here, always. Of course I do want to meet her, I like her but I … never invite her. She wants to come here. And it’s always me and her now. Last time he did come to meet us was… that we went to children’s playground.. because he was there and he did not have time to come so we went… and met his wife. It was awkward, far more than coworkers should do, in my opinion. But when I realized it’s his wife there it was too late, we were already there saying hi.
When he said he was leaving our team she was desperate. She said he was the best, no one would replace him, she said she missed him etc. I like him too but I never, NEVER had similar thoughts about him.
She buys him gifts, this one time I also gave her money to buy something for him and his kids but now it doesn’t seem like something I would do, not anymore.
We had not talked in a while, the three of us. A month maybe. We were planning a call and were happy to finally talk. But once he asked what’s up etc she became sad and… grumpy. Like.. in a relationship. I feel like she resents him and she never resents me. She knows I have my own life, I am in a relationship and she respects those boundaries. Meaning: she knows her place and is not interested in being more than coworkers-friends – as it should be. That’s why it is so weird how she approaches him.
Maybe I omitted some details but that’s the general story.
Am I in the middle of something weird?October 2, 2023 at 2:04 pm #422661
“Before you say it’s none of my business just hear me out because it is“- I read your original post, but I am not clear about what concerns you most and what, if anything, you are planning to do about the situation (if the situation is indeed that she is in-love with this married man (help her..? warn him?)
anitaOctober 2, 2023 at 11:05 pm #422662
I read your original post, but I am not clear about what concerns you most and what, if anything, you are planning to do about the situation (if the situation is indeed that she is in-love with this married man (help her..? warn him?)
None of those things. I have nothing to warn him about, and I don’t care to.
I am worried about her and those meetings. I just think she comes here every time to meet with him. Every time turns out he can’t meet and it’s just me and her, and she is.. sad I think, disappointed. We choose place to eat, talk etc but something’s off. I don’t even know if she still wants to be there if he’s not with us.October 3, 2023 at 12:28 am #422663
I asked if you want to “help her..? Warn him?”, and you said “none of these things”, so you don’t want to help her although you are “worried about her”?
Reads like you are concerned for her emotional well being. Why not bring up your concern to her in a way that is gentle, as gentle as can be and see how she responds?
(I will be back to the computer in about 7 hours).
anitaOctober 3, 2023 at 6:03 am #422664
Correct, I do not want to take any action. I do not want to get involved. It just concerns me, that she comes here, goes really great lengths to see him, very often. She gets up very early, pays money to come here.We live in different cities. I know she likes me and likes to see me too, but it’s not about me. It’s about him. And then we sit together and we have some topics to discuss so it’s nice but it’s also weird sometimes. Like I know she came here for him and all she get is me lol. I know how this sounds but I get this feeling sometimes that this is the case. That’s why I wrote it is MY business also.October 3, 2023 at 7:24 am #422667
Adrianne, a single woman (28), Jack, a married man with 2 kids (44), and Caroline, (single, in a relationship) are three coworkers who at one time were on the same work team. The three live far away from each other, but sometimes travel to talk and socialize as “coworkers/ friends“. Adrianne is sometimes angry with Jack, but angry “in a cute way“. When he was leaving the work team, Adrianne said that he was “the best, no one would replace him“, that “she missed him etc.” She buys him gifts. She seems grumpy when he doesn’t show up to the meetings outside work, “grumpy. Like.. in a relationship“. It seems like she is interested in “being more than coworkers-friends“. It looks like she goes through the trouble of travelling and meeting you not so to enjoy your company, but his company
“She gets up very early, pays money to come here. We live in different cities. I know she likes me and likes to see me too, but it’s not about me. It’s about him. And then we sit together and we have some topics to discuss so it’s nice but it’s also weird sometimes. Like I know she came here for him and all she get is me lol. I know how this sounds but I get this feeling sometimes that this is the case. That’s why I wrote it is MY business also.“-
– Oh, now I understand why it is indeed your business also: no one likes to be 2nd best, I don’t. I see no other solution than you bringing this up to her, just what you shared here. Not in a big-deal kind of way, so not to create conflict or drama, but in a straight forward, emotionally neutral kind of way, best you can.. and in an empathetic way, empathetic to her because it must be difficult for a single woman to be infatuated with a married man, lots of pain in being.. 2nd, or 3rd best.. or X best to him (his wife, his kids, etc., taking precedence in his life). What do you think?
anitaOctober 3, 2023 at 8:59 am #422674
Hey Anita, Yes you got it right. I did not want to sound bitter or as if she was using me to meet with him. I know she doesn’t, but in a way.. she does. We like each other and we talk a lot outside work but I KNOW she wouldn’t go to such great lengths to see me.. And I wouldn’t for her. It’s a long trip and we work, it costs money so.. it’s not easy you know. And it’s okay. But she still does it, for him.
I did not want to ever ask her: “Are you in love with him?” We are pretty close and talk private topics but I think she would have told me if she wanted to. Maybe she’s embarrassed. So yesterday I asked her: Are you sorry that things turned out the way they did? (meaning he does not have time to meet anymore etc, ignores her – I said it clear that I do not care myself, I am not asking about how he ignores US both, I am asking about her and him because I can see she is sad). She said she knows he “has changed” but she thinks it’s because he is different department and is more busy with work than we are. I don’t think she understands that it may be the fact that he is married and realized it’s not right that he hangs out that much with female coworkers. She once proposed we go to mountains together and sleepover. The three of us. (His wife was pregnant at the time). He did not say no. But I knew he wouldn’t go. I would be surprised if his wife would be happy to stay at home pregnant and with a small child while he would be on a getaway with us in the mountains. I think that may be the reason he does not have time anymore. Maybe he did or say something that was too much.
I figured I would ask her, in a funny way perhaps, or say something like “I know it will be only two of us” (because 100% sure He won’t make it this time either) “but I hope you don’t mind and I would be enough company for you” – something like that to provoke an answer from her, and to make her feel like she needs to explain it but not in a serious way. Because I really don’t want to be nosy. But in a way I feel like I could. This is so hard lol. Thank you Anita for “listening” to this story, I hope it doesn’t seem too silly.October 3, 2023 at 9:38 am #422676
You are welcome, and no, it doesn’t seem silly, not since I understood what it’s about: it is not silly to feel hurt for being someone’s 2nd best, it’s a kind of hurt that I can very much relate to.
Having just read that she suggested that the three of you, a married man with a pregnant wife at home, and two women he is not related to (Ex., daughters, mother, aunts) will be going on a sleepover in the mountains.. this is making me think.. What? I mean, it seems bizarre to suggest this.. unless she is clueless or she is/ has been so overcome with feelings of infatuations that she lost her reasoning abilities.
“I did not want to ever ask her: ‘Are you in love with him?'”- instead of asking her this Yes/ No Question, a question that confines her, you could ask, if you wanted to, an open-ended question that allows her wiggle room: what are you feeling about him?
“Yesterday I asked her: Are you sorry that things turned out the way they did? (meaning he does not have time to meet anymore.. ). She said she knows he ‘has changed’ but she thinks it’s because he is different department and is more busy with work than we are. I don’t think she understands that it may be the fact that he is married”- seems like she prefers to not think about him being married with kids. She may be in denial about it, as in putting this “little” information aside, as it is an inconvenient truth: truth that doesn’t fit her feelings. There is a term for such lack or rational reasoning, it’s called Emotional Reasoning.
“I think that may be the reason he does not have time anymore”- good for him, he chose wisely.
“I figured I would ask her, in a funny way perhaps, or say something like ‘I know it will be only two of us’ (because 100% sure He won’t make it this time either) ‘but I hope you don’t mind and I would be enough company for you'”- I wouldn’t say that. Instead, I would do is ask her an open ended question, or a couple of open ended questions.
anitaOctober 3, 2023 at 10:07 am #422677
it doesn’t seem silly, not since I understood what it’s about: it is not silly to feel hurt for being someone’s 2nd best, it’s a kind of hurt that I can very much relate to.
Thank you Anita. I do not want to sound self absorbed or anything but.. I must admit I felt a bit hurt once I realized that. I felt fooled. I realized that the first time when she had said she will come here (without our invitation). In the past we always used to like invite her or invited us, it was never like “I will arrive on this and this day”. It was always with invitation. So I knew she really really wants and NEEDS to be here.
And as I said it’s okay if none of us (me and her) would come here to visit each other. I would say this honestly that I do not want to spend money, wake up at 5 am at the weekend and come home late at night just to spend couple of hours together. Although I did one time and it was nice. But I think we both would agree that we just live too far away for this to be regular. And she comes here once a month. Or maybe more than a month sometimes. But it’s still very often.
will be going on a sleepover in the mountains.. this is making me think.. What? I mean, it seems bizarre to suggest this
I know, right? It made think so too.. I thought immediately that there is no way I am going to go there, so I never said yes. (I am in a relationship and no way I would explain this trip and a SLEEPOVER) I just did not say anything. I never agreed to this. But he… never said no. And I think this is all… delusional. From both sides, her and him.
an open-ended question that allows her wiggle room: what are you feeling about him?
okay.. this sounds quite okay. I may try this tonight, maybe. I’ll see how the texting goes, we usually text at the evening.
“but I hope you don’t mind and I would be enough company for you’”- I wouldn’t say that. Instead, I would do is ask her an open ended question, or a couple of open ended questions.
Why not the one I proposed? I thought she might take it as a joke but also understand that it comes from somewhere..that I assume things. But your idea is good and I might use itOctober 3, 2023 at 10:31 am #422678
You are welcome. You don’t sound self-absorbed to me. You just don’t want to be used (“spend money, wake up at 5 am“, etc.) as a means to an end, the end being her getting together with him.
“he.. never said no. And I think this is all… delusional. From both sides, her and him“- he didn’t say no, maybe because he doesn’t like confrontations, preferring to not say anything over saying NO.
“‘…but I hope you don’t mind and I would be enough company for you’… Why not the one I proposed? I thought she might take it as a joke“- I didn’t like what you proposed because it is simple and straightforward, it’s complicated and indirect, in my mind at least. It’s hard for me to process indirect language. This is why I spend a lot of time on posts, having time to read, re-read and re-arrange information on the screen and in my own mind. In-person, I get lost unless I am presented with information that is simple and direct.
In addition to what I just stated, saying what you proposed saying is a bit manipulative or guilt tripping.. reads to me.
anitaOctober 3, 2023 at 10:33 am #422679
*correction: it is not simple and not straightforward.October 3, 2023 at 10:38 am #422680
Okay I understand what you explained. It was supposed to be indirect in case I am wrong about her feelings towards him.. and to turn it into a joke. But yes it is maybe a bit manipulative and.. evil. Thanks for clarification, I will think about more times when I used phrase like this thinking I am just innocently suggesting something. I understand that instead of asking about him directly, it looks like I ask about myself when in fact I don’t.
I know it’s better to be direct.October 3, 2023 at 10:38 am #422681
*correction: it is not simple and not straightforward.
Yes, I figured. Thanks AnitaOctober 3, 2023 at 10:46 am #422682
“it is maybe a bit manipulative and.. evil“- no, no, no, not evil, not even close. Being indirect in this case comes from fear, fear of being “wrong about her feelings towards him“, as well as perhaps not taking your own feelings seriously, so you wanted “to turn it into a joke“.
From what you shared, particularly the sleepover suggestion on her part, doesn’t leave much space for you being wrong about her being infatuated with him. I was thinking earlier that I definitely don’t know- and neither do you know- if something did happen between him and her.
Anyway, you are welcome and please do post again, anytime you feel like it. And.. you are NOT evil. You are a good person, Caroline, I am sure of it
anitaOctober 3, 2023 at 10:51 am #422683
is a bit manipulative or guilt tripping.. reads to me.
I am not arguing that I should use my phrase, just discussing. guilt – tripping, yes, but.. shouldn’t I be? She would never meet with him alone, but three coworkers is a different story. Shouldn’t she feel guilty? EVEN if she likes me and wants to see me anyway?