Workplace flirting crossed a line?
On New year's Eve 2017 my wife received a message from a male work colleague. It was a short gif showing a mans hand smacking a sand covered femaless bum.The sand dispersed to reveal the message 'Happy New Year'. We were in the company of her sister and husband at the time and she just happened to be reading some other messages when it came through. I could tell by her sisters reaction that she felt it was odd or inappropriate but I shrugged it off and continued with the night out. And forgot about it for a few months.
One evening as my wife was out walking I spotted her phone on the kitchen worktop and New year's Eve popped into my head. Temptation got the better of me and I checked some of her messages from this colleague. There were a few more jokey memes but nothing sexual as such and some work related messages.( They are sent from his company work phone).
I gave myself a bit of a talking to for not trusting her and let it go.
Until the other day when I spotted her phone again and again temptation got the better of me. There were more of the same as before and mostly work related issues. The messages are sporadic compared to,say ,keeping in touch with a relative but there were a couple of more sexually suggestive memes. A couple of them alluded to oral sex between a man an a woman. My wife had replied with laughing emojis. He was also asking if he could join her book club and if there were any hotties in it apart from herself.
My wife has mentioned him in the past as being quite the flirt tho with another female colleague who is currently off on maternity leave.
My wife's job requires her to travel overseas sometimes as part of a larger work group but this colleague would always be present as well. I don't suspect an affair at this stage but am concerned where this could ultimately lead. I would be curious to know other people's opinions
I realise I shouldn't be snooping at her phone and am not normally the insecure type but maybe I've just let this get to me a bit. Your thoughts please and thanks in advance
Some joking going on, for sure. Sometimes work colleagues get close but leave it at work. If he’s texting during off hours, that’s strange.
Personally, I’d get to know all the people my spouse would be traveling with overseas. How about hosting a party at your home? You will be able to see the dynamics of the relationship then.
Thanks for the reply susiedqq. I think the initial message in New year's Eve is the only out of hours one although I haven't checked every thing to that level of detail. To be fair they don't actually have much actual face to face contact with each other. He's an international salesman and prob spends 90% of his time overseas alone. It's part of my wife's job to conduct market research and organise meetings with customers for him and some of the other salesmen. It was the suggestive content of some of the messages that worried me but after thinking about it more I'm prob being too sensitive about it. The messages could well correspond with the rare occasions he actually spends a day in the office. I've met most of her colleagues and attended some work functions with her so have a fairly good measure of things already. Prob just needed someone to tell me I'm overreacting lol
Feel free to gently express your concern about talking to colleagues in such manner. She can stop it by ignoring or even blocking him.
He may not know the definition of “inappropriate”
Your wife needs to remember that EVERYTHING on the web stays on the web. These messages may come back to haunt her career/ workplsce later.
No, you are not over- reacting. It should be of concern.
Thanks again for the reply Susiedqq. Things have changed somewhat in past couple of days. She seems to be ignoring his messages but has responded to one from her boss. My wife attended a relative's wedding last Friday . I couldn't go as it meant an overnight stay at her mum's and we couldn't organise childminding to cover it. I can see from her messages that early evening while at the reception her boss asks her if she's drunk yet. She replies 'nearly' to which he replies with a meme related to alcohol causing a woman to spread her legs. Again she has laughed at it and says she knows by now what causes those things and he replies saying g much the same thing. I'm assuming he was aware I wasn't attending and this is definitely out of hours tho this is the first one of that type of message she has received from him. Both them attended a meeting overseas a few weeks ago which involved a late flight home and now my mind is in overdrive. Another work event coming up next week more local tis time but still involves staying overnight for two nights and there will be copious amounts of alcohol flowing for the staff and various customers flying in from around the world. I'm gonna have to keep an eye on things and see if there's more to all this. I don't want to jump in too quick without more to show but it's probably her responses that bug me. If nothing has happened at the very least he is beginning a chase and her responses can only give him encouragement. She could just have ignored as you rightly say. Thanks again. Thought I was losing it there for a few days.
WAFFELHOUSE SUSIEDQQ is absolutely right you are not over-reacting. This whole situation with her boss could lead to other things.
Have you talked with her about your concerns?
Not yet Scopes. The dilemma is this...my wife basically has sole responsibility for the successful organisation of the upcoming event. As I said people flying in from all over. She is flat out working when she gets home too and stressed. If I bring it up now it could distract her from whatever bits she still has to attend to which could mess everything It's middle of next week.
Also.. her boss is senior to the other man mentioned earlier tho not much different. I think they may be quite chummy. It has occurred to me that this could be a little game between them tho not sure. They both travel a lot and am sure would keep in touch via WhatsApp etc. I'm sick to the stomach at the moment.
Is the “colleague” you talked about in your first message her Boss?
Geez... any other workplace and her boss’s actions would be considered sexual harassment.
Do you think she tolerates this because he is her boss?
She has the ability to stop all these messages. That’s the easy part. Her responses to him actually encourages him.
She may see him as a child. So she tolerates this behavior, but at a risk. Her marriage is being affected. You MUST let her know.
Say something!! Tell her it bothers you and is inappropriate between workplace colleagues. She can tell her boss that her husband found out about it and it has to stop.
(Are you concerned she would find out you are snooping in her phone? That’s something you have to risk to get this talked about)
How is your relationship? Maybe YOU should be sending her sexy texts. Are you feeling there is not enough excitement in your marriage?
No Susiedqq. Two different men and no I think she admires her boss. Her boss is not THE boss of the firm tho. I thought our relationship was fairly solid. Yeah we got a bit ground down in the mundane realities of life at times. We have young kids which is why I'm terrified of bringing it up but I know I have to. With regard to snooping on her phone imnot too worried about that now. I can use the excuse of being a little suspicious since the New year's Eve message which was opened in front of me and which I said already seemed to disturb her sister a little. Yes we probably could both put more effort in to our relationship. And your absolutely right she had the power to nip this in the bud but I think he or both of them have been encouraged.
Her boss at least knows now that it's probably ok to bring up the subject of sex if they're both drinking. I'll probably bring things to a head tonight.
My wife has never been shy about telling me what she wants. If she thought our relationship was stake she would have said it. She has a great job with good money for our area and it's possible the whole high flying corporate thing has gone to her head. Maybe...
Try to stay focused. Your wife is dirty texting two men she works with.
Put a stop to this.
WAFFLEHOUSE let this next big event at her workplace pass next week. Compose your thoughts have a sit down with her and tell her how you feel about this.
Trust is a very important part of marriage. You can do this.
Thanks for all the advice Susiedqq and scopes. We've had a good long chat about things. One thing I noticed is that her behaviour towards me has never changed in the slightest. She's a bit peeved at my checking the phone but can see exactly how I've perceived things and admits she wouldn't be comfortable if the shoe was on the other foot.
She says the team is more of a matey relationship and they would joke about things regularly and didn't read into the messages in the ways others would (my wife has always been a bit tomboyish).
Has agreed to ignore all messages with sexual content in future and we're both going to put more effort into us. I'm feeling a lot better tonight. Thanks again
Well good on yee WAFFLEHOUSE glad things came to resolve. It always helps to put things into perspective as in the shoe being on the other foot.
Best wishes for you both!