advertisement
Question
Posted by: Tania | 2010-09-13

Broke up but still have to work together

My boyfriend and I broke up after 3 years. The problem is we still have to work together. I am in an expat in the Middle East so jumping to a new job is not all that easy. The relationship had issues from the start 1) I am 39, he is 27 years old 2) I am Christian, he is Muslim 3) I am divorced with a teenage daughter, he has never been in another serious relationship 4) I have introduced im to all my family and friends, he has only introduced me to one of his friends that lived with him (so no choice) and I am sure his family (they live in Lebanon) doesnt know I exist. We started dating 3 years ago when he started flirting with me to teach him aspects of my job as he started as a fresh graduate. Eventually he filled my position when I was promoted. I am now his manager. I went on leave to SA one month ago and the evening I left he started sending me sms''s that I dont care about him and when I replied why he is saying that, he replied - f*ck you bitch, leave me alone and dont sms me again. I never heard from him for the entire duration of my vacation. I started work again this week, He has not offered any explanation and instead he is aggressive and rude to me (cuts me off when I speak in meetings etc). The problem is that nobody at work knows that we have been in a relationship for the past 3 years so we always had to pretend. I can also now not speak to my boss about his attitude as it will mean I will have to explain the entire situation. I feel he only used me to climb the corporate ladder and now that he is his new position (which I fought for and helped him to get) he is kicking me to the curb. My mind tells me he wasnt good to me (and hasnt been for a while) but emotionally I feel hurt and rejected. I know we probably only lasted this long because we stayed together out of habit and for the sake of not having drama at work. How to I seperate emotionally from him? I love my job but at the moment I feel sick going to the office every day but I have to put on a happy face although me heart is broken (or maybe it just the fact that I dont like change, I dont know). Please help

Not what you were looking for? Try searching again, or ask your own question
Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Boy, your story so well illustrates both the fairly inevitable problems of starting a relationship mwith so many factors against it ( do you really think his family would approve ? ) and the even more inevitable problems of an office romance, especially between a senior and more junior worker. It does indeed sound as though he used you, fairly cynically.
Counselling would be wise for you, though I don't know how available it would be where you work.
Consider this as a change for the better, and assume you will be able to get used to it as you have adjusted to other changes in your life.
Qwerty makes excellent sense - do seriously consider taking some pre-emptive action, such as talking this over off the record with your boss, not to allow the little squirt to become more malicious and try to unseat you. It would be so easy for him to play the innocent and represent you as the predator.
And yes, you can ignore him out of work, and should talk quietly wit him at work insisting that he treat you with the normal respect, as you will treat him. You can't allow him to dominate you at work or in meetings.
In dealing with your sense of loss, try not to focus on the loss of what you THOUGHT you had ( which actually you never did ) but on the reality that you have discovered a louse for what he is, and have lost much, much less than it feels like.



The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

6
Our users say:
Posted by: Anon | 2010-09-14

I don''t think you should be scared your boss will lose faith in you - just explain to him that you genuinely felt your ex was the ideal candidate for the position (as I assume you did at the time). Explain to him that, eys, you were perhaps a little biased because you cared about this man, but you still felt he would be good at this job. Let''s face it, when we are in love, we do tend to see the best in people.
But I totally agree with qwerty - you should tell your boss asap before htings really get out of hand, as your ex sounds pretty vindictive &  poisonous.

Reply to Anon
Posted by: Tania | 2010-09-14

Hi there. Thanks for listening. Good thing that my boss is an expat aswell. I will try and get through this best I can but if it becomes unbearable, I will probably have to speak to my boss. The only thing stopping me is the fact that I am afraid my boss will lose trust in me as I really pushed for this a*shole to get promoted. I dont want him to question my motives. The other bit of good news is that my ex is now in a position that he is not really capable of handling (without my help anyway). So all I can hope is that if he has enough rope, he will hang himself. Still hurts like hell to see him in the office everyday. Dont know if the day will come when I can walk in here and not feel that sharp pain in my chest.

Reply to Tania
Posted by: two-stone | 2010-09-14

I lived in the Middle east for 3 years and what has happened to you, happens to 99% of ex-pat (non Muslim) women who are in relationships with Muslim men in the M-E. My daughter went the same way when she came to live with us -met a really nice Arabic guy and he was charming, loving, generous, attentive etc etc, but NEVER introduced her to his family, only certain of his friends. Then, one day, all over as it was time to get married and settle down and it " had to be a Muslim" woman. She was devastated and left the country. This kind of thing happened to friends of ours too (one woman was married and lost her family after her affair with a local came out when he gave her the boot). The perception locals have of " Western"  women in the Middle East is often formulated by what they see in the movies - easy, casual, " low" moral values, sexually available etc etc. I can give countless examples, but too little space here! I am not stereotyping either as I asked LOTS of questions around this issue when living there and this is what I learnt. Is your Boss an Ex-pat? If yes, tell him - if not, you have a big problem, honestly. Good luck.

Reply to two-stone
Posted by: G | 2010-09-14

As his Manager (which I guess you still are) you''ll have to cut him down to size in the office situation.

Reply to G
Posted by: qwerty | 2010-09-14

This is a really tough situation... Maybe you SHOULD go to your boss with the full story? If your ex is really as vindictive as what he sounds, he might come up with a different version of the story and make it sound like any action you take against him profesionally is coming from you as the spurned lover, not you as his manager....

I think you need to be firm and professional toward him at work, and treat him like you would any other employee. Do not enage with him on any personal level, but do not put up with his bad attitude at work, either! No matter what happened after hours, at work you can still be civil to each other.

Good luck!

Reply to qwerty
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010-09-14

Boy, your story so well illustrates both the fairly inevitable problems of starting a relationship mwith so many factors against it ( do you really think his family would approve ? ) and the even more inevitable problems of an office romance, especially between a senior and more junior worker. It does indeed sound as though he used you, fairly cynically.
Counselling would be wise for you, though I don't know how available it would be where you work.
Consider this as a change for the better, and assume you will be able to get used to it as you have adjusted to other changes in your life.
Qwerty makes excellent sense - do seriously consider taking some pre-emptive action, such as talking this over off the record with your boss, not to allow the little squirt to become more malicious and try to unseat you. It would be so easy for him to play the innocent and represent you as the predator.
And yes, you can ignore him out of work, and should talk quietly wit him at work insisting that he treat you with the normal respect, as you will treat him. You can't allow him to dominate you at work or in meetings.
In dealing with your sense of loss, try not to focus on the loss of what you THOUGHT you had ( which actually you never did ) but on the reality that you have discovered a louse for what he is, and have lost much, much less than it feels like.



Reply to cybershrink

Have your say

Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
advertisement