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My boss is cheating on his wife

Dear Michael,
My boss is having an affair with a colleague. This has been going on for a while. What confirmed my suspicions was when I found a receipt for an expensive handbag he had bought her as a birthday gift.

My boss is married and I am wondering if I should confront him or my colleague and tell them it is wrong, or should I tell the wife?

What really makes me angry is that she gets special treatment, yet everyone else in the office is working hard to get paid.

Some workmates are aware of the affair and it is just a time bomb waiting to explode. What should I do? Dian
Dear Dian,

You seem certain that there is an affair.  If it has been going on for a while, why didn’t you confront your colleague sooner, when it would not have been such a grave matter to do so?

You are right, exclusive attention between a boss and a person they supervise is not ideal.  It would be naive, unfortunately, to suggest that such favouritism is uncommon.

Is it an affair? Judging by the cost of the gift, your colleague’s response, and the added assumption that you and the other workmates have never received such gifts, then yes, it could be an affair.

Yet, your colleague is very open and brazen about it.

Special treatment

Is your boss open in his bias?  You suggest that he is.  And is his wife aware?  She may already know about the favoured treatment her husband gives this particular workmate.Should you tell?

If you’re going to approach the boss on the matter, then you should ask yourself whether you have the sort of rapport and levels of mutual trust and respect that gives you the authority to confront him.

Whether you’d have this ‘authority’ or not, be aware of the fact that confronting him would put your job at risk.

Turning  to your colleague. She clearly enjoys every moment of you and your colleagues’ displeasure at her receiving the boss’ unique attention.

It is likely that confronting her could turn vicious, and ultimately, if it is about personalities, she has the ear of the immediate power!

Confronting her, also holds the same risk as confronting the boss, that is a high probability of losing your job.Your boss’ wife may already know about the affair.

Assuming she doesn’t, who are you to her to the extent that she will trust your accusations against her husband?

And once you tell her, what then?  What should she do about it?  (She actually may have a few ideas about what to do.)  If you are called upon to prove, will your word and accusation hold?

Remember, this is a marriage and there is always more than meets the eye between husband and wife.

Do you have a pressing personal problem? Seek advice from Michael Oyier at  [email protected]