February 20, 2013

Reality Check

Matters of the Heart and Loins

I work in a restaurant. There is a girl I work with whom I really like. We have been pretty good friends for a while, since we both started working there around the same time. She has a boyfriend, but she flirts with me a lot. I think she actually likes me a little, and I know I like her. We go out together after work at least once a week. We both go to school and help each other with class stuff. 

So, the thing is, I have never met the boyfriend. She talks about him a lot, she says she loves him, they live together and have been together for a year or so, etc. She never says his name, and, to be honest, I never asked because I don’t care. I have asked her why he never visits her at work or why I have never seen him, and she just says he’s busy and he isn’t very social. All of which I took at face value and never really thought about. Out of sight, out of mind, right? I was just hoping that the guy would screw up, and I could ask her out myself. 

But then, a week or so ago, one of my co-workers finally clued me in. My friend, this girl whom I really like, is dating our boss. Holy shit. The guy is like 10 years older than her, and it is totally against company policy, which is why they keep it a secret and she never says his name. My co-worker said that pretty much everybody knows and nobody cares, and she thought I knew but then when she realized I had a crush on the girl, she thought she should tell me so I didn’t get hurt. The whole thing is a total shock for me, because I never saw it coming and I don’t get why she would date a guy that old or why he would risk his job and be so… I don’t know. It just seems creepy. 

So, part of me is pissed because I feel like she has been lying to me all along. Part of me is freaked out because I know what they are doing is wrong and now I know that my boss knows I hang out with his secret girlfriend. One, I do not want to lose my job, and two, I don’t want to lose her as a friend, but I don’t know how I can possibly pretend like I don’t know. Should I just tell her I know? Should I tell somebody higher up and make it stop? Or should I just keep my mouth shut, even though I have no idea how I can do that?

Not Clueless Now


You can do any of the things you mentioned, NCN, but think about the consequences of each. Coming clean to your friend is fine. You can keep your job, your friendship, and mostly things will be the same, except maybe she’ll use his name in conversation. You can tell somebody higher up, which will likely result in both your friend and her boyfriend getting fired, and possibly you as well. That doesn’t seem practical. Or, you can keep your mouth shut. If you do, probably nothing will change, but it might drive you crazy, and since everybody else knows there is no reason why you shouldn’t just say something. If you are really her friend, NCN, and not just some guy waiting to get in her pants, then don’t try to ruin this for her.

My wife got a new job. She had been unemployed for a long time, and it was really hard on her. She lost her last job because of downsizing, and even though it wasn’t her fault, I think it was a big blow to her ego. Then it took some time for her to find something else. She couldn’t get a job in her field and she couldn’t find anything where she would make the same kind of money she was making last year. We can work it out. I have a good, secure job, and we have enough money to pay the mortgage and get by, even if she didn’t work. 

So, she took a job that pays less because she hated just sitting around, and everybody says it’s easier to get hired if you already have a job, even though that seems ridiculous. Great. She actually likes her new job, which is wonderful, and she is getting along very well with her new coworkers. This is where the problem comes in. One of them is a guy, and they have hit it off right away. And I know this is crazy, but I find myself feeling kind of jealous. 

The guy is a lot younger than her and not her type, even if I thought she was in any way prone to cheating, which she is not. I am completely aware that this is ridiculous. I totally trust her, I know she is not attracted to him, and he probably isn’t attracted to her, either, and, even if he was, he has been nothing but nice to me and doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who would sleep with somebody else’s wife. 

In short, he is great, and she is doing nothing wrong, and I feel like an idiot. But I am a little jealous of their friendship. Maybe it’s just because I’m missing her a little, because our hours are different and I don’t see her as much. I am very happy that she is happy and feels better about herself. But there is a twinge of stupid jealousy whenever they go out for a beer after work or whenever she tells me a funny story about something he said. I feel like such a jerk. Help!



Hey, Embarrassed, at least you know you are being ridiculous. There are plenty of people who would make a total mess of a situation like this, causing drama, resentment and possibly divorce. I think you should be happy that you not only have the capacity to be jealous, but the wisdom to know that it is completely unfounded. Maybe you got used to having your wife all to yourself when she was home all the time, and now not having her around as much is difficult. Having to make an effort to find time together is not necessarily a bad thing. Maybe you can channel this jealousy into some creative love, affection and appreciation during the little time you do get together. Give yourself a break, E. This is a big adjustment, and it is going to take time. And get to know the guy a little better. I’m sure this feeling will fade.