Q: Dear Jackie,
I did something really stupid and had an affair with a married coworker. Now each and every day at work is sheer hell, filled with rumors and nastiness. I can’t take this anymore and don’t know what to do. The person I had the affair with is making my working life unbearable. He has told the office staff that I was stalking him and that he made me stop, but I was the one who ended the relationship because he was not ready to leave his wife or to tell her that he is gay. I really cared about this person but now I am happy it didn’t work out as I have seen his true side. Any advice would be appreciated.
Confused and Angry.
A: Dear Confused and Angry,
Unfortunately this is how most office romances end. I feel that with allegations such as this you need to talk to your union representative and discuss your rights. Your union rep could help arrange mediation which would be a chance for both parties to sit down in a safe environment to discuss the issues. I would also look at transferring to another sector or department for your peace of mind.
You will be able to put this behind you and move on, but your coworker unfortunately has many demons to sort out. Try not to let the rumours take over your thought and remember that they are not the truth. You may want to also discuss the situation with your manager so that they are aware of both sides of the situation. Take it day by day and breath by breath. Get out of the office whenever possible at breaks and lunch hour. Try to go out at night with friends so that you are not sitting in the house, dwelling on the situation. The office gossip will end shortly as, unfortunately, there is always a new scandal!