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wife enforcing boundary w coworker but i have concerns

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gettingintune posted 11/12/2017 13:09 PM

my wife started a new job last Nov (Nov 2016). Baker. She loves it. She is a great cook and a great baker. First time in the restaurant biz for her ever.

She is older than most of the kitchen staff. She is 48.

She said that she realized early on that the topics bantered about in the kitchen can easily cross boundaries, like folks talking about sex, hooking up, or bodily functions in general.

One of the cooks is mid 20 skate kid. Seems nice enough. He'd tell her how he hookedup w a stripper one night , or got dumped the other, or how an ex gf of his is still a f*ckbuddy for him.

i Never worked in a kitchen..never was a skate youth..and mid 20s for me is a long long time ago..so perhaps thats just want kids talk about these days in a kitchen

she said that early on, she realized that she'd think of something to say regarding the topic, but then realize that , that would be crossing a boundary, and so she'd refrain from participating in any such topic.

I was glad to hear that from her..glad to hear that she is aware of what requires a boundary being drawn.

however, a few weeks ago, the skate kid told her how he hookedup w a girl at a bar, and "ate her out next to a dumpster behind the bar" and how he texted the gf late in the night , drunk and told her the girl that her "p*ssy tasted amazing"

When she told me this story, i said, "you need to tell skate kid that this is absolutely not cool, and establish a boundary..and you need to do it immediately.

week or 2 later, she hadnt had that conversation w him, but he asked her "hey, mind if i tell you what happened last night" and she said "spare any graphic details, and i don't want to know if you ate your girlfriend out next to a dumpster or anything else like that"

skate kids reply (according to wife) was "why not?"

now... im amazed that the kid replied "WHY NOT" when his coworker who is old enough to be his mother tells him here is a boundary that i do not want to have broken".... im amazed that the kid actually is so clueless that he asked "why not?"

wife said that she replied to the "Why not?" with the following ; "because i have a checkered past, and i am trying to maintain boundaries and i dont want to hear those type of stories"

now...my concern is... although, it took me a bit of time to tell her , my concern is, "why would you choose to volunteer the info for you having a checkered past to a mid 20 year old hypersexed up skate kid you work with? don't you see how that could have been taken by skate kid as an invite...as a morsel...as an invitation ?

and she said "no. i dont. it wasnt an invitation. i was working on establishing a boundary"

i said "its less what you say, and more how people may interpret what you say, and given the circumstances and environment, i dont understand why you offered up the checkered past bit"

she said "i was establishing a boundary. i wasnt given him an invite, and he wouldnt have interpretted it as an invite"

she was obviously upset at my comment, and later said to me "im trying to work on being a better person, dont make me feel bad for trying to do what i think is right"

i told her "no one makes you feel anything..you are upset ..that is your reaction in response to my comment"

she later said "how do you think i feel when you say things to me like this"

at that point, i was getting angry and said "how do i think YOU feel???? ....that's a little odd for you to say because thru out my enire comment and me voicing my concern, you never , never, never once validated my concern, never said "yes, i can see how that would concern you"...never once tried to see if thru my view...all she did was defend herself.... i said "all you did was be defensive...not once did you even try to understand my viewpoint"

she was really upset...conversation pretty much stopped and before we went to bed, she voiced her feelings and thoughts of the unfairness of my comment and how she is working , and how she enforced a boundary

and i'm thinking to myself "yes, you told him this is a boundary in conversation i do not wish to cross, yet, you still for some reason chose to add in the bit about you having a checkered past and working on boundaries.

im at a loss.
really?

am i nuts?
did i over react?

i dont understand how she cant see that, her choice of words was inappropriate about the checkered past, yet, im glad she opted to try to establish a boundary.... and i guess mid 20 year old skate kids talk about sex to anyone who will listen to them..even someone old enough to be their mother.

thing is...last night, i had no intention of talking about any thing relating to her "checkered past" as she was really upset from a another coworker and upset w her family (parents , and brother and sister in law visiting from out of town). I knew she was upset about other stuff..and i had no intention of talking about the past.... was just going to let her talk about the things that were upsetting her yesterday, but when i heard the "i have a checkered past" comment, i just could not hold back

so...am i just a dick? am i looking for reasons to dismiss what she percieves as her doing "the work"

i dont think so.

I think what she said was wrong. there were a million other things she could have said. I dont understand why , if you want to tell a coworker "hey..quite telling me about your sex life" and then they as "why", you say "cause i have a checked past and need to work on boundaries"

i mean...holy crap... am i crazy???? I am NOT CRAZY

this is a legit concern for me
( the words she chose)

and its even more of a concern that she doesnt see what she said as a problem

and its even more of a concern that she never once tried to validate my concern....until after i pointed this out to her..and then she say "well of course i can see what you would be concerned"

?????

really????? can you????? i dont think you can
i think you are only saying that, because i told you

wtf?

[This message edited by gettingintune at 3:53 PM, November 12th (Sunday)]

itsmeagain posted 11/12/2017 13:32 PM

My take is that regardless of her “checkered past” he still shouldn’t be discussing this if it makes her uncomfortable. It is highly inappropriate. So what would her reasoning have been had she NOT had a checkered past??

I guess I would also question why “cause I don’t want to hear it” couldn’t have been enough. IN my opinion, her checkered past comment only opens the door for further speculation or discussion

sisoon posted 11/12/2017 13:42 PM

I think it's really hard for waywards to learn to set boundaries.

Can she set a boundary of, 'You talk to me about that shit, and I'll file a sexual harassment complaint'?

feelingthenoose posted 11/12/2017 14:05 PM

Is she working with an IC on establishing boundaries? It sounds like she needs an infusion of girl power. She doesn't need to apologize when she asks someone to treat her with decency. She needs to demand that shit.

If this were a 12 year old spouting this nastiness, would she sit there politely and listen to it? I'm guessing not. 20 or not, this is a boy who needs some direction in his life. If he keeps up with it, she should say, "Listen, don't talk in front of me at all if you can't clean it up."

strugglebus posted 11/12/2017 15:38 PM

It sounds like the young man she works with was never taught how to behave in a work place. She could have said, "Because it is not appropriate to talk about graphic sexual details in a work setting."

You aren't wrong in feeling that she handled this in an odd and triggering way. She doesn't KNOW how that clearly confused child would take that. So she needs to drop that assumption.

Also, you should gently approach the fact that while you are glad that she is "trying to do what*she* think(s) is right" she needs a LOT of help in doing what is right, as her thinking on what is right has been WAY off in the past. She didn't clear the bar on this one and she needs to get comfortable with getting constructive criticisms.

You both may benefit from practicing Non-Violent Communication.

Jesusismyanchor posted 11/12/2017 15:44 PM

My IC sometimes has to remind me to look at my WS underlying intent even if he gets it wrong. She did talk to you and tell you about it. That's positive I think. I also agree she didn't handle it the best at all. It's not hard but then again I'm a BS. I have been in a Similar situation. Please do not speak that way around me. I don't appreciate those kinds of jokes, stories or language. They will usually easily respect that especially when you are older. They will have no idea that you have a checkered last. They will most likely assume you don't!

Maybe she should have brought it to you sooner so you could discuss it?

[This message edited by Jesusismyanchor at 3:45 PM, November 12th (Sunday)]

Leamop posted 11/12/2017 16:06 PM

You are totally right, regardless of what she was trying to accomplish. My *guess* is that she didn't want to break the rapport she has with this kid, for some reason, and maybe feels included and perhaps a little youthful, with him being so open about these things with her. The huge problem, of course, is that it can be a slippery slope, and her 'checkered past' comment, though likely well-intentioned by her, most possibly was interpreted differently by him. It could have sounded like 'don't tempt me' to his ears.

I think your wife should approach this kid before the next conversation, and say to him "look, I appreciate that you feel comfortable enough with me to talk about your personal life, but it's absolutely inappropriate and unwelcome. I was trying to minimize embarrassing you, so said that the reason was my past, but truthfully, I just don't want to hear about your activities with girlfriends. We work together, lets keep appropriate boundaries."

gettingintune posted 11/12/2017 16:08 PM

She's been there a year. She had said early on that the staff is pretty loose around one another, and she was proud that she would refrain from saying anything as she drew a boundary

the kid story ( the one w details), she told me the day or two after it happened

the "checkered past" story , she told me the day after.

nothing to hide. she brought both up.

no, we arent in MC. havent been since last Sept 2016
she works w an IC but less talk CBT therapy and more EMDR type stuff

Can she set a boundary of, 'You talk to me about that shit, and I'll file a sexual harassment complaint'?

honestly, i never even thought of it from that angle. geez. color me dufus. that certainlt would leave no room for any middleground.


She doesn't KNOW how that clearly confused child would take that.

right. i agree. that is my concern. i dont believe she was actually given the kid a sign. i believe her intent was to shut down that behavior, but my concern is the words she choose, and her defensiveness of those words when i call her on it

My IC sometimes has to remind me to look at my WS underlying intent even if he gets it wrong.

I did tell her that i was relieved that she knew a boundary needed to be drawn and communicated, yet, again, her chose of words.... very confusing to me...and i'd have to think ..the the kid

waitedwaytoolong posted 11/12/2017 18:27 PM

I hate to say this, but this woman has total control over you.

Lets get one thing straight, It is not normal behavior, for some 20 year old to be telling a 48 year old woman, or any other woman for that matter that he ate out a pussy and it tasted amazing. I don't care where they work.

My wife tried at one point to tell me that the AP kissed her first. I replied that an electrician had to have some super strong signals that it was ok for him to do this. In my case he had. They fucked that day.

In this case, this kid had to be getting a vibe from her that she would be receptive to this. As fucked up as my wife is, she sends out strong signals that it is not ok for men to talk inappropriately to her. She could be on the docks of New York and my bet is she wouldn't have anyone say anything like that to her. In her case the AP slowly groomed her by telling her how great she was in design, before moving onto priming her for sex. But if he would have come out of the box with something like that, he would have had his head taken off.

Your wife has you convinced that she had nothing to do with it. Lets give her the benefit of the doubt and say this guy is some sort of social deviant, the second he started down that path she should have told him she didn't want to hear it, to shut the fuck up, and if he says one more word she was going to management.

He then does it again and she basically ups the ante by telling him she has a checkered past. This kid now has to be really excited to relay these stories. It was not a boundary, it was a line that she probably wants him to cross. Its not the words, its the signals she is sending. And she never really shut him down. She kind of told him, but really didn't, that its ok to keep with the stories but maybe say we had oral sex, but don't use the word ate.

And then for her to give you shit about it? This woman had 8 affairs. She should count every second you stay with her as a blessing. Instead, even with your second post, she is doing the very minimum to keep you from giving her shit. Ok I posted. are you happy now?

You need to take control of this situation or get out. This, and it is apparent by your posts, is driving you insane. Understandably so.

I feel for you, but you need to stand up for yourself.


parent4 posted 11/12/2017 19:01 PM

Why in the fuck would a 48 year-old woman tell a co-worker about her checkered past?

She should have simply told him that any such remarks were inappropriate.

Sounds as if she was signaling to him her temptation.

rambler posted 11/12/2017 19:16 PM

She did not establish a boundry, she opened a door for him.

Giving someone personal information us always the first step.

What she said will not discourage him at all. In fact it will have the opposite effect.

rambler posted 11/12/2017 19:16 PM

She did not establish a boundry, she opened a door for him.

Giving someone personal information us always the first step.

What she said will not discourage him at all. In fact it will have the opposite effect.

moralhighground posted 11/13/2017 10:24 AM

I think the fact that she told you about this means she is trying. It wasn't a great start but that's to be expected. I think when you feel calm, you should work together on what you would like her to say and what would be most effective.

It's absolutely frustrating that they don't get how to relate to other humans appropriately after being on the planet just as long as us and we are successfully setting boundaries left and right. But I think she needs more specific direction on what to say and how to react to people like this. And practice makes perfect.

gettingintune posted 11/13/2017 10:31 AM

I think the fact that she told you about this means she is trying.

I think she is TRYING as well.
She told me when the "locker talk" happened in the kitchen early on
she told me that she thought of something to add, but then realized that would be crossing a boundary and is aware of that. I believed her then, and believe her now, when she talks about working to establish and maintain boundaries

but her choice of words "I have a checkered past" in this context, is worrisome, as is her defensiveness when I point this out to her.

the biggest hurtle for us is that she believes she has worked thru everything, is moving forward, has made progress, has changed, and is working on maintaining boundaries, ...yet...I don't see it....
I HEAR it..I hear what she says... but I DONT see it in her actions...at least not around me...and now, not in her relaying the story from work

I believe she is trying...but she isn't there yet...however, she seems to believe she is.

waitedwaytoolong posted 11/13/2017 10:48 AM

Your d day was 3 years ago and the progress she’s made in that time is when a co worker described how he ate out a tasty pussy she showed massive restraint by not adding to the conversation?

The high bar is set at her ankles and she can’t get over that. Good luck. I’m folding my cards and am out

Hopeful30 posted 11/13/2017 10:54 AM

Is the manager partaking in these conversations too?

IMHO she likes what is going on because she could have shut it down already.

Ask her to go to HR with what is happening in the work environment with these conversations.
Is she willing to file a report and give you a copy?
Is she looking for another job?

That is what setting boundaries should look like now that it has already gone past the line in the sand.

gettingintune posted 11/13/2017 12:31 PM

Your d day was 3 years ago and the progress she’s made in that time is when a co worker described how he ate out a tasty pussy she showed massive restraint by not adding to the conversation?

not quite.
She showed restraint within the first week or so in the new job last year, but being aware of the nature of the topics being discussed in the kitchen and chose not to participate in the conversation because she wanted to maintain boundaries

the oral sex story from the skate kid, was a a seperate conversation.
it sounds from what she has said, that the kid would say stuff like "hey I got lucky last night.or hooked up or so" ...but this instance, the kid opted to describe the previous nights events in graphic detail.

gettingintune posted 11/13/2017 12:32 PM

Is the manager partaking in these conversations too?

no. the manager is not back in the kitchen but our front, but if he walks by and hears such topics, he will tell the staff that its not appropriate for the work place

there is no HR. its a mom and pop restaurant type thing owned by a couple.

WilliamM posted 11/13/2017 13:01 PM

I do think she is doing her best to set boundaries. I am assuming she had none before. So that is progress. I think you see that. What it seems is that there are three things that bother you. If I am wrong let me know. One, she allowed the conversation with the 20 year old to happen without snuffing it out. Two, she shared that she had a checkered past and does not see how a young 20 year old can take that. Three, got defensive and does not, or can not acknowledge your POV on how you see it as a BS. Is this right or did I miss anything?

What your wife still has is a bit of wayward thinking. She is not being a safe partner for you while she is at work. She needs to cut it down, even if she has to be harsh and mean about it. She needs to let the guy know, and make no mistake about it, that that type of talk is unwelcomed, unwanted, and not appreciated.

The checkered past issue is a bit different. I actually can understand why she did not see it as a problem. However, I don't understand, once you explained your POV, why she did not immediately apologize and work to have an understanding. She could have done this by asking questions and learning how you feel and how you see it. She is not a BS so does not fully understand that the foxes that spoil the vines.

gettingintune posted 11/13/2017 14:01 PM

What it seems is that there are three things that bother you. If I am wrong let me know.

One, she allowed the conversation with the 20 year old to happen without snuffing it out.

Two, she shared that she had a checkered past and does not see how a young 20 year old can take that.

Three, got defensive and does not, or can not acknowledge your POV on how you see it as a BS.

Is this right or did I miss anything?

that is 100% accurate. Can I hire you as my ghost writer/editor. You condense 10 pages into 1 short paragraph!

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