Dear Mary: My friend's first girlfriend is having sex with his boss too
QI am in a difficult situation at work at the moment. I'm female, work for a small company and am the most senior member of staff, so I work very closely with the boss, with whom I am quite friendly. We have lived and worked together for over two years now -- we're in the hospitality business and he and some of the staff share a house . This includes another colleague who is about five years younger than me and nearly 10 years younger than my boss. They are great friends and my younger colleague really looks up to our boss.
Recently, my younger colleague began a relationship with a girl who I believe is his first girlfriend, and he is very happy. However I have just discovered that my boss has also been having sex with her -- even going so far as to sleep with her in the house we all share while my younger friend is unaware of what is really going on.
The whole situation is incredibly seedy.
My boss is at least 10 years older than the girl and seems unconcerned with hurting our friend (and his staff!) or the moral implication of what he is doing.
I tried to confront him about it privately but he made some disgusting jokes and seemed unfazed by what I had to say. I am now at a loss as to what to do next.
The girl is around our house all the time and other staff members have witnessed inappropriate behaviour between my boss and the girl. I don't want to hurt my younger friend but I'm afraid I am also hurting him by not telling him the truth.
Also, as selfish as it sounds, I am concerned about what rocking the boat will do to my job.
AAS this is your young colleague's first big love it is very special for him and yet he is going to get very hurt. He also is going to experience a huge loss of face when and if he finds out that she has been two-timing him. Because that is what she is doing and so she is every bit as culpable as the boss in the deception. The house where you live holds a secret but everybody knows about the secret apart from your young staff member. That is what is the most unfair aspect of all this -- his innocence as to what is really going on.
As your boss lives in the house, I can assume that he is single and therefore entitled to have sex with whoever he chooses, providing they are willing, which she obviously is.
We don't know what her reasons are for having sex with them both, perhaps she gets an adrenalin rush from living on the edge.
Some women find status is a big aphrodisiac, so perhaps she finds the power that the boss wields is a turn-on or she may feel that she has power over both men. We can only guess at what is going on in her head. You have tried to have it out with the boss and this wasn't successful, so I think the way forward is to speak with the girl.
Let her know that you are all aware of what she is doing, and rather than passing any judgment on her simply tell her that as you are very fond of your colleague you want to ensure that he isn't hurt, and ask if she can see any way around the inevitable hurt that he is going to endure.
You should also mention that he seems to think they are in an exclusive relationship which they obviously are not. In a subtle way you are then passing the responsibility for sorting things out onto her.
She will have to decide what she will do next. If she stays with your friend and stops having sex with his boss then you and the other housemates will have to discuss how you are going to deal with continuing to keep the secret.
If she decides to continue having sex with the boss (it certainly doesn't sound like a relationship that she is having with him) she will have to finish with the boyfriend because I would imagine knowing that you all know will ultimately make her feel far too uncomfortable. If, however, she ignores your intervention and continues having sex with them both, then you have no option but to tell your younger colleague the truth, and be there for him when his trust in both of them disintegrates.
I just hope they are all using condoms.
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