Husband’s Coworker Won’t Leave Him Alone

Question:

How do I get the point across to my husband’s female coworker to stop emailing him when she has been asked twice already. Now she tried getting his attention to chat with him online.

I want to have the best words to use to tell her to back off. Within the last two years she has caused enough problems to tear my heart out and has our marriage rocking, all because of one person. She can go elsewhere and find another shoulder to lean on and not my husband’s. She does not get it and it isn’t sinking in to her brain to leave our marriage alone. Please help me find the right words.

Signed,

At A Loss For Words


Answer:

DearĀ At A Loss For Words:

Although we’re not a general counseling site, your question brings up an issue that relates to your husband’s workplace, so perhaps I can provide some thoughts for you to consider.

First and foremost, this is not a problem you can solve. Your opinion doesn’t matter to the woman who is bothering your husband, only his opinion matters to her. So, the person you need to communicate very clearly with is your husband. You don’t have the legal standing to make a harassment complaint against her–your husband does. You don’t work with her so you can’t complain that she is having an effect on your ability to work–but your husband could make that complaint. He is the one who should be most concerned since both his work and his marriage–and maybe even his safety–is in jeopardy.

When you talk to your husband and insist that he refuse any and all contact with his coworker, outside of work, these are some points you might want to make:

1. A person, who is so obsessive that she won’t leave your husband alone even when she knows her attentions are unwelcome, is capable of violent actions either to him or to you or your family. It’s very unwise to allow this to continue or to try to handle it without bringing it to the attention of her employer. Your husband could also consider making a harassment complaint with the police, according to the total circumstances. Or, he could contact the district attorney’s office in your county to find out how to get a restraining order against her.

2. Every workplace I’ve ever known would consider the things you describe to be a problem for work, even if they take place away from work. So, it would be appropriate for your husband to make a complaint to his manager or to the Human Resources section at his work. He should tell them approximately how many times she has tried to contact him after he has made it clear to her that such contacts are unwanted. He should also point out the irrational nature of her actions, since those could cause problems at work.

3. Of course, the most important thing is for your husband to not respond to the coworker’s attempts to communicate with him and to change his private email address so she can’t send him a message–or block all of her email.

If your husband really doesn’t want her to bother him, he can stop it from happening. But both of you need to be very careful about doing anything illegal involving her. No threats, no harrassing or hang-up phone calls, nothing that can result in one or both of you getting in trouble.

Best wishes to you as your husband takes action about this matter. If you have the time and wish to do so, let us know what happens.

Tina Lewis Rowe