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wife's male coworker

Friends and Lovers Progressing into "Friends with benefits" and beyond: When platonic relationships become more intimate.

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Old 16th January 2018, 8:29 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2017
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wife's male coworker

I will try to keep the long story as concise as possible. we are a couple in our early 40s.

My wife works as a nightshift nurse for 12 years. she has a male coworker friend who is about 15 years older than her that is a charmer type (he has 4 kids with 3 women). he seems like a humorous/outgoing type. I consider him her work-hubby but it doesn't bother me as I fully trust my wife. apprarently everyone is very close at work and occasionally would hang out in a large group of 10+ people at a local bar or at someone's house until late (they are all nightowls obviously). the trouble started about 2 months ago when my wife told me the guy started being very cold and distant. He still keeps it professional at work but would not joke, smile or talk normally.

Tracing back to possible cause, she was at one of the late night parties few weeks back. After the party was over, the guy apparently texted her to see if she wanted to go grab coffee. It's not for certain if he wanted to go alone with just her or with the whole group. anyhow, she didn't see her phone until morning and she texted him to apologize she didn't see it. he was ok about it but from that day on, he's apparently been like this.

My wife asked him what the problem was and initially he said there's nothing wrong and he's not mad or bothered about anything. After my wife persistently asked, he texted her saying it's not you, it's me that needs to deal with something internally.

My wife is stressed out because it's very uncomfortable at work for her. the guy would talk normally to everyone else BUT her.

my speculation is that the guy had a feeling for her and wanted to make an advance but feels rejected, assuming she did see the text msg on that night and ignored it because she was weirded out, thus making him feel embarrassed.

I explained to her that some guys are possessive of their relationship with their friends/coworkers of opposite gender and I feel like he's doing that to keep her wondering and worrying about this (I can totally understand this because at one point I was like this as well). He probably wants her to initiate that conversation and express how much she values the friendship/relationship. it seems so immature that hes doing this.

Does anyone have a take on what's going on?
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Old 16th January 2018, 9:11 PM   #2
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I think your assumptions here are probably correct. He felt rejected by her and perhaps maybe had the wrong idea that she was interested before this. And the cold shoulder act is probably meant to get her attention.
Couple different ways she could handle it... Ignore it. Go about her days as normal and just avoid him and let him be childish. She can consider it a friend ship that's over and just move on.

Or she could just offer her support as a friend, and let him she is there to listen if he ever wants to talk about it. If he continues to act this way after that, so be it... Back to my 1st idea. But the longer she ignores it, chances are he will give it up eventually once he realizes he won't get anything out of acting immature. He is trying to play with her mind, a married woman for one thing, he will have to realize it's pointless after so long.
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Old 16th January 2018, 9:48 PM   #3
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I think he may well have some feelings, but I also think his feelings jump around from one woman to the next, as your background on him suggests. So I wouldn't expect a long-term problem with him as there will be new nurses, you know.

Whether his invitation was innocent or not, her not answering, I believe, convinced him that she was shocked by it and didn't return the text and so now I think he is embarrassed because whether it was innocent or not, he thinks she thinks he like-likes her. Which he might or might not. Anyway, your wife sounds very trustworthy and close with you and is telling you about all this, so she's got zero to hide. She's just uncomfortable because it got awkward. I really don't think it will last forever. And on the positive side, he did more or less take ownership for it and not try to drag her in when she asked him what was going on but instead said it's something he just needs to deal with himself, so that's pretty responsible. I mean, the situation was, as you fear, ripe for drama, but I think they're both too sensible to let it go there. She needs to drop it now trying to get him to open up or she may get more to deal with than she bargained for. Hope she'll just let it go now.

You're a good husband to be trusting her and supporting her on this. In fact, I'd say you can change your user ID to "aboveavgjoe." I just don't think you have anything to fear. I think his attention would be fleeting and that he's determined to control himself.
"I care not much for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not better for it." -- Abraham Lincoln
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Old 16th January 2018, 10:12 PM   #4
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do you get to have a work wife?

why does she care about how he feels?

she should have some boundaries and make sure she does not do something that if you did the same, she would file for D.
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Old 16th January 2018, 10:12 PM   #5
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I think you're correct. He like a lot of men though he meant more to her than just a coworker. Hence the asking her out for coffee.

Getting a rejection was like being turned down for a date.

You and she would be wise to keep boundaries up.
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Old 17th January 2018, 6:54 PM   #6
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Hey friend! Thanks for sharing here! I think that your wife has acted in the right way! She has showed friendship and genuine care for this person and he said he needs to work some stuff out! I would treat him in a professional and casual way and let him make his decision about being friends or not! Keep moving forward!
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Old 17th January 2018, 7:05 PM   #7
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These past few months have been rough on guys who seek sexual attention in the workplace. Maybe he’s wising up and realizing work interactions should be profesional. He has to act different with your wife because he’s attracted to her.

Let him be cold and distant. He needs to be cold and distant. He shouldn’t have been overly friendly with your wife in the first place.
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