Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about jealous wife stalking: Immediately following my boss’ wedding, I was from then on forbidden to speak to my boss, especially if she was visiting the office, making my job nearly impossible. I am so stressed and nervous I can barely get out of bed. I can’t eat and even my hair is falling out. How to I get her off of my back without getting him unwanted attention from higher up?
I have been a secretary for six years to a man who has been a dear friend. We have been through a lot together, including me finding him in an attempt to commit suicide, which has taken a hard toll on me mentally and physically as it is. About six months ago my boss married a woman who I didn’t really know, but I was happy that he was happy. Immediately following the wedding I was from then on forbidden to speak to my boss, especially if she was visiting the office, making my job nearly impossible.
Part of my job entails when my boss is traveling I am to check his emails so I can handle his workload while he is gone. She knows this. He went out of town on a business trip and she began flooding his email with messages about how she believes him and I are sleeping together (He is mid 50’s, I’m early 20’s… EW…) and how I was to blame for their marriage falling apart. She then proceeded to send him detailed notes about when I arrived in the office, what I was wearing, where I was parking, if I had any visitors, how long they stayed, etc., for every day he was gone. This is not an isolated incident. Every time he leaves town she does this routine.
I love my job, I love my boss, but it is to the point where I am so stressed and nervous I can barely get out of bed. I can’t eat and even my hair is falling out. How to I get her off of my back without getting him unwanted attention from higher up?
Signed, Sick With Worry
Dear Sick With Worry:
If you re-read your question, looking at it from the viewpoint of another person and considering the various issues you raise, you will surely see how dysfunctional and frightening–to the point of ridiculous–this situation has been allowed to become.You acknowledge that you are being stalked. That is a criminal offense.
Many people have been killed or injured by angry stalkers who have done much less preliminary activities than this woman has. She sounds mentally unbalanced and also intent upon revenge.You won’t get her to stop stalking you, harassing and threatening you and creating problems for you, as long as you are more worried about your boss’s feelings and reputation than about your life and safety.
That’s your decision–but show some concern about those you may be with when she decides to take more serious action against you. If you really care about your boss, give some thought to what she might do to him if she feels she can’t get to you.You don’t mention ever asking your boss for help. She is his wife and he should know exactly what has been happening so he can protect himself, stop her actions toward you and decide what to do about his marriage.
You do say that you were told after his marriage not to talk to her, so that sounds as though your boss made a choice right then. So much for repaying your help to him!You’re still in your twenties, yet have been dealing with an emotionally fragile boss for six years. You apparently feel responsible for him and for maintaining his happiness and stability.
Now is the time to think of yourself and your safety, the safety of your coworkers, and the safety of anyone with whom you spend time away from work. You place yourself and all of them in jeopardy every day you don’t do something definite to stop the threatening and psychotic sounding behavior of your boss’s wife.I think you have some issues about all of this that you need to deal with through counseling, but I would bet others have told you the same thing over the years:
You can’t rescue everyone; It doesn’t buy you love and acceptance to be a victim out of misguided loyalty; You give a lot, but others who haven’t asked for your help don’t really appreciate it and may even feel smothered by it. (I’m sure you have heard those and other things before.) But never before, I hope, has your safety and well-being been in jeopardy.Your boss is in his 50s, has an executive position and probably is financially much better off than you are.
Let him live his own life while you take care of yours. Put together all of your documentation about this and within the next few days call or visit your District Attorney or City Attorney to ask what they can do to help you. That is a better way to start than calling a local police officer who may not be knowledgeable about the best way to approach it. If you have a local friend who is a strong support, have him or her go with you if that will help.
Then, take the advice of the legal resources you contact and follow through rather than dropping it if things improve a bit. If you were talking to someone who was the victim of domestic violence you would give them similar advice and you would be frustrated if they didn’t follow it. In many ways this is similar to a domestic violence situation. You may find the advice offered on sites about that topic helpful to you. So, those are my thoughts, based on dealing with situations similar to yours, some of which had tragic results. Now it’s up to you to be your own best counselor and do what needs to be done.If you have the time and wish to do so, let us know what happens and how the matter is resolved. You know for sure it can’t keep going on this way. Best wishes to you.
Tina Lewis Rowe