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travelling with opposite sex colleague

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brooke4 posted 12/5/2013 13:20 PM

Is there anyone who considers themselves in R whose spouse has to do this for work? If so, how do you feel about it?

Kelany posted 12/5/2013 13:23 PM

Can you give more details?

My husband had to attend training for work this summer. There was a group of 25 people. He did not fly with anyone in the group, but had to share a rental car with 3 other people, one was female. All had separate hotel rooms. He did not eat meals with any females nor participate in any night time activities with ANYONE (bars).

We communicated frequently. He was away for 4 days.

I was okay with this.

Now, traveling one on one with a female coworker? No. Get a new job.

justdoit posted 12/5/2013 14:01 PM

In my case I am the BW and have regularly traveled with men for work, as it is a predominantly male field. Sometimes by air, sometimes car rides that seem to never end. It is all very above board and professional. In 15 years I have never experienced inappropriate behavior from a coworker.
If your WS had an A with a coworker I would have a big, big problem with it, otherwise not. One of my former coworker's has a wife that didn't approve of him traveling with me - just because I am a woman. It had a negative impact on his career. Fortunately for me, our boss knew her and me and it did not impact me. Women still have a hard time in many business arenas and to add to that isn't fair.
If your WH can't avoid the travel and it is an issue he needs to find a new job (sometimes easier said than done).
My FWH had his A while working long term out of town. His whore was not a coworker, just a gold digging neighbor. It is all about boundaries, and the harsh reality is that you can't set his for him whether traveling or not.

musiclovingmom posted 12/5/2013 14:25 PM

Not sure of the details of your H's travel, but I'll share my story. My H drives an oil field truck for a living. His A's were not with co-workers, but 3/5 happened during work-related travel. For several months early in our R, his helper was a woman. They did not travel out of town together, but spent long hours in his truck together it drove me nuts. Even after I met her. She has since changed jobs due to an injury. Sometimes, my H has a female escort driver. They travel in separate vehicles, by have to stop and stay all the same places. They always have separate hotel rooms and he never rides in the escort truck with a female escort (even if it means he eats pizza every night he is gone). One of his out of town jobs has a truck yard there, so he does not take his work truck to that town. He also no longer drives his personal vehicle there unless the kids and I are accompanying him. He also avoids going out with the guys - including company paid for dinners if they happen during a time when he feels emotionally vulnerable or at a place he feels is inappropriate. Most of these boundaries, he set himself.

brooke4 posted 12/5/2013 14:39 PM

Ok, I'll be as brief as I can (which is usually not very ). We are a long way out from the A and overall things are really good. There has been a lot of IC under the bridge.

My H's career has always involved travel. Sometimes a lot, sometimes not so much. Sometimes it's a short one day hop and sometimes it can be two weeks at a time and essentially across the world. This profession will always require it and I'm not planning on telling him he needs to make a change. He's invested way too much in it for too long. Sometimes the travel is alone, sometimes with a team and sometimes with one colleague. The A was with a co-worker, but not someone he ever travelled with. He left that job after d-day and is with a different company.

He has, I think, worked a lot in the intervening years on boundaries, professional relationships, not seeing women as sex objects, etc. I have also, in the past, travelled with male colleagues and always managed to behave completely appropriately.

Here's the thing- He chooses who he puts on a project with him, and that's usually for the duration of the project, which can be a week or several years. I could tell him not to put women on his teams, but I don't feel right doing that, and I suspect that would eventually come back to haunt him in a bad way as it would be seen as discrimination (and rightly so). These are generally very serious professional women. Their careers shouldn't suffer because my H didn't keep his pants zipped. If I were on that end of that equation, I'd be pissed.

So he's on a trip alone with a female colleague now and I just realized that it doesn't make me feel uneasy. I feel like if he wanted to cheat again, he could do it around the corner from home so there's not much point in putting restrictions on travel. So is that healing? Or me being a naiive head in the sand person? Or am I just nuts?

ILINIA posted 12/5/2013 16:36 PM

Well, we are in R, but only 6 months from dday. I may not be the best person to answer, as it was on a trip with the COW that my WH decided he was attracted to her and started fantasizing about her. They had worked together for a few months, but this was the first time they were traveling with one another. Therefore, he could have started thinking about her at any time, but I think them being eating in a restaurant alone together, sharing a rental car together, and staying in the hotel helped him to separate his "real" life from this jet-setting trip with a young coworker.

He has traveled for 16 years with the opposite sex and I was never worried about it. Obviously, it is an issue now. He has traveled since, but not with someone from the opposite sex. It is still hard as it is a blind spot, as who knows who is communicating with and what he is doing in the hotel room. We have discussed this, but your post reminded me that we need to revisit it. We have agreed he will not to be alone with any females in a hotel, in a car, sitting together at the airport, etc. Also, he tell me much more detail of where, who, and when and texts/calls throughout the day.

Unfortunately, not all the suggestions can be enforced as he has no control who travels with him, what seats they have on the plane, or if they have to share a car. It is through their travel department.

I would like to believe that he has woken up and matured the past six months, but I really have no idea. It would put one issue to rest if he found another job that involved zero travel.

Dance4Me posted 12/5/2013 17:37 PM

All my Hs bad behavior occured while he was away traveling for his job. We are four years out from dday (he left the affair job six months post dday) but he continues to travel due to the nature of his business. He deals with many younger female subordinates when away - and my boundary is that he cannot do work dinners/outings alone with a woman - ever! He proved to me he couldn't handle being coworkers and friends with these women while I trusted him completely - so a fallout of his betrayal is this simple request. Avoid all one on one alone time with females or find a new job! So far, he has been able to managed to have a third coworker present where women are involved - at least that is what he tells me.

I agree with others - if he wants to cheat again - he will certainly find a way to do so. My eyes are just more aware of affair behavior....I would hope I would pick it up but will never blind trust him again. And if he does cheat on me again after what I have been through these last several years (very ill child as well), I will simply walk away without tears - I don't think I could cry for him anymore - sad but true....

[This message edited by Dance4Me at 5:39 PM, December 5th (Thursday)]

KatyDo posted 12/5/2013 21:57 PM

Just responding to the previous post. I can relate about walking away without tears. It's so sad isn't it, it's like all of our deepest dreams have been shattered, and now, no matter what, we won't allow them to hurt us that way again.

My h's profession is a doozy in terms of professional boundaries. They even have whole courses on it. I am glad I reinforced the boundary of no opposite sex one-on-one friends recently. He found a "loophole" because he said the collegial relationship had implicit boundaries. Like they're not people any more...but I digress...Such a frustrating issue when work is implicated in all of this.

brooke4 posted 12/6/2013 03:13 AM

Thank you for the replies. All food for thought.

I don't think the travel played directly into the A in our case except that being gone a lot allowed him to compartmentalize his work/family life very neatly, and that kind of thinking definitely contributed to his ability to have an affair.

I was thinking, reading these replies, that these are the kinds of issues that are hard in R, because they remind you of what was broken. But then I started thinking that in some ways they're exactly the kind of things that should be thought about/discussed in all marriages. Only wish I had known that years ago.

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