A 32-year-old woman worked as a researcher, primarily collaborating with her colleague, a 30-year-old man, on a significant project for approximately two years. However, things grew awkward when her colleague professed his love to her.
The Weighty Project And Mutual Career Interests
The project in question held substantial importance for both the narrator and her colleague, as it demanded extensive intellectual and labor contributions. The collaboration was expected to continue for at least another two years and was important to their respective careers.
An Unanticipated Disclosure
A pivotal moment occurs when the colleague, following an evening of drinking, confesses to being in love with the woman by email. This was concerning as these feelings were not mutual, and the woman lived with her 44-year-old partner.
Expressing Her Shock
The woman expressed her surprise at this admission, as it was entirely unexpected. She reflected on the past for any signs but concluded that there were none that unequivocally pointed to this situation.
Confiding in Her Partner
Faced with this unexpected development, the woman turned to her partner for guidance and shared e-mail drafts containing her thoughts on the matter. These drafts emphasized her lack of romantic interest in her colleague and her desire to ensure that these feelings do not jeopardize their professional collaboration.
A Strong Reaction
Unexpectedly, the partner reacted very strongly. The woman explained: “He seemed offended, to think I must have invited my colleague’s affections, and that I should immediately quit my job.”
A Drastic and Unacceptable Ultimatum
The partner’s suggestion of the woman quitting her job was shocking, as it would have severe repercussions on her career. She was unwilling to consider this option, which she found utterly disastrous considering all her hard work and dedication to the project.
Reassuring the Partner
In an attempt to reassure her partner, the woman explained that despite her belief that her colleague’s feelings would not disrupt their work, she acknowledged the need for caution and thoughtfulness in managing the work dynamic.
A Week of Tensions
Time passed, and tensions mounted within the woman’s relationship with her partner. He fluctuated between anger and giving her ‘the silent treatment’. The woman explained that he even “suggested several times that I should move out of the house to be with my new spouse”.
Kicked out of the House
The culmination of this emotional turmoil occurred when the woman went home to visit her partner on her lunch break. When she arrived at her home, the door locks had been changed, and her belongings were packed into a suitcase and left on the patio.
Contemplating Her Actions
The woman grappled with her partner’s extreme reaction and her own decision to firmly reject the idea of quitting her job. She began to question if her refusal to even entertain the notion and her abrupt dismissal of the idea was too uncompromising. She wondered if she acted insensitively or if she was justified in her stance.
The Internet Responds
Posting her conundrum online, the woman was defended by readers. “Your husband seems to be under the misconception that he owns you”, one person wrote. “Kick that jerk to the curb and don’t look back.”
Another person agreed: “What on earth is wrong with him that he thinks taking out his anxiety on you is okay? He needs therapy and you need freedom.”
Other readers focussed on her internal debate as to whether she should quit her job for her partner. “I’m sorry your husband has decided to do this”, one commenter sympathized. “I know you probably read this enough, but please, do NOT quit your job for him. He’s being extremely manipulative.”
A Criminal Offence
Legal action was also suggested by several readers: “Time to lawyer up and divorce”, somebody bluntly wrote. “Change passwords for accounts tied to financials, social media, etc. The man sounds unhinged. Changing the locks if you are both residents is an illegal eviction, you can call the cops and remove him from the premises if he is not an owner.”
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