Should My Husband’s Boss Know About His Affair?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a husband’s affair with an employee: She doesn’t seem to care that she is a home-wrecker. I feel his store manager should know what is going on.

My husband, who is a dept manager at Wal-Mart, has decided to have an affair with an employee who likes to break up marriages. We have two children, and I feel like his employer should know of what this woman is capable. She doesn’t seem to care that she is a home-wrecker. I feel his store manager should know what is going on.

Signed, Should Know

Dear Should Know:

You should know that we aren’t marriage counselors; however, yours in not the first question that has come on this topic. The workplace is designed to do work, but because people are inevitably brought together in their assigned jobs and because they are not machines, sexual attraction can mess up those who allow it to distract them from what they are hired to do. It’s understandable that you feel your husband’s boss should know about this woman with whom your husband “has decided to have an affair”.

You are hurt and angry at her and probably also at your husband. There are many things you should consider before acting on your want to tell his store manager:

· How making this affair known to his store manager might affect your husband’s job. · How you “tell” in one way or another would affect your marriage.

· What would be the most effective way should you decide to “tell”?

Let’s think about those topics in reverse order: What would be the most effective way should you decide to “tell”? Since you are hurt and resent this home-wrecker, there are dramatic ways to make your point. Enter Wal-Mart with your two children and approach her while on duty. Then roll out a banner with those words in bold 78 size font, and at the same time with teeth clenched say, “Marilyn, (or whatever is her name) keep your claws off my husband. We are a family and he has a wife and two children that he will have to support with alimony if he divorces!”

That should make your point. This woman will not want a man with that kind of baggage. Moreover, undoubtedly her coworkers and boss would then know about the affair and her job would be at risk. You’ll have to decide if public display to “get your hands off my man” is a reasonable option. Of course, things of the heart are more emotional than reasonable Might such an approach be the most effective way?

You’ll have to decide if that is best or if there are other ways to obtain the desired effect, such as an anonymous written note to Human Resources and/or his boss, a phone call to his boss, a more well-mannered invitation to Marilyn for lunch with you and a warning to her that unless she gets lost you will inform her boss. These are several options and you might think of others.

How you “tell” in one way or another would affect your marriage. Whether telling will affect your marriage hinges on if and how you inform his store manager. Common sense suggests your husband will be angry if you elect to inform his boss whether you make a scene or do so quietly. This is to point up the fact that apparently your marriage is in trouble now. Hopefully, you and your husband can find a civil way to talk through what has or is happening to re-assure you that it is salvageable or that you had best plan for separation and divorce.

Informing his boss and getting him fired will not be good which ever you two choose. You also should know that sometimes when management learns an employee has had an affair and it determines to discipline one or the other, that sexual harassment can be charged. Consequently, the whole matter becomes more than breaking up a marriage; it can entail firing one or both. It can also become a suit against the one charged with harassment and the company, if it had known of the harassment and failed to do what was necessary to stop it.

If you think through these two items, you will not need to have an answer the first consideration posed above: How making this affair known to his store manager might affect your husband’s job. The odds are that telling would negatively affect his job. Marriages don’t always last and therefore it behooves both you and your husband to not become obsessed with hurting the other, because doing so will put both of your happiness and your children’s future at risk, emotionally and financially. Times are tough enough to support a family in these times even when all is love at home. You might share these remarks with your husband and hopefully doing so will open the channels of communication.

You can then talk about if my signature sentence can apply to a family as well as to one’s workplace: Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS.

Follow Up: Thanks for your reply- as I may have forgot to mention that my husband has picked his mistress over the kids and me. He is up for a promotion and it kills me to know he will share the glory with his new-found woman. I am not one to make a scene so that is why I feel trying his boss is by best choice. He’s been leaving me and the kids to work overnight and split shifts, which I now know, is a lie. I hate to see him get a reward (new position) for breaking up his family

Follow Up Reply: Would my advice have been different if you had told the whole story–that he is in fact leading a double life and about to split from you and not that he just had “decided to have an affair”? Perhaps. I’ll not revise the alternatives I proposed; they are still available to you. Yet, you must weigh vengeance against what might happen if you informed his store manager. Would you be any worse off than you are now if your husband after divorce must support two households, having him not rewarded with a new position or worse still of being fired for making out with a coworker at Wal-Mart? Do feel free to keep us posted and during all this I hope you will not become soured on marriage and love. Having his support for the children will require straight talk, patience, and probably persistence. Keep your chin up as much as possible, even if it’s playing “Let’s pretend”.

William Gorden