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I work with my partners ex

(62 Posts)
cassy Sat 28-Jan-17 13:55:01

Well this is a strange one, and I'm a bit miffed/pissed off to say the least. I discovered recently that the long term ex-girlfriend of my partner, works at the same organisation as both of us, although in different departments! He has always said he has never dated anyone from work, and he doesn't know that I even know her name. So when she introduced herself for the first time it hit me like a ton of bricks because I didn't have a clue - my knees actually went for a second. It was awful to have to compose myself immediately.
This is my quandary, how do I tell him I know she works at the same place. We haven't even discussed her name and I have never seen a photo of her. How can he just not say anything to me??
Has anyone got an idea of how to bring up the subject with him??


MissAdventure Sat 28-Jan-17 14:21:29

Well, I suppose you could just come out with it - after all, he has lied to you, but I suppose you want to tread a bit carefully.
I've no advice, but I'm sure others will have.
Good luck!

Elegran Sat 28-Jan-17 14:33:07

Perhaps she has not been working there very long, and he is unaware of it? Perhaps he knew, but thought that it would disturb you to know? (looks like he would have been right) Perhaps it is someone else of the same name?

And how DO you know, if you and he have never discussed it and you have never seen a picture of her? Why have you never discussed it? And remember, he is with you now, don't be jealous of the past.

If you need to discuss it with him, you will have to start the conversation with something like, "Didn't you used to live with XXXXX? There is someone of that name at work, what a coincidence. Is she the same one?"

grannypiper Sat 28-Jan-17 15:08:28

MissAdventure who says he has lied ? his ex may not have worked their when they were together. Cassy either suffer in silence or ask him, the choice is yours

MissAdventure Sat 28-Jan-17 15:14:33

Yes, you're right grannypiper
I assumed he had told Cassy fibs, because of her reaction to meeting his ex.
Sorry! smile

janeainsworth Sat 28-Jan-17 15:25:40

How do you know her name?
Does she know that XXX is your partner?
Does she know that you know she used to be XXX's girlfriend?

I would maintain a dignified silence. What does it matter now?

cassy Sat 28-Jan-17 17:04:38

janeainsworth - no she does not know he has a girlfriend. No she wouldn't know it was me. It may come to a point when I have to manage her to some degree. I feel sick to think of that.

I think he knows, but thinks that it would disturb me. She has only been here a year. I looked them up on the electoral roll, her name isn't that common. Too much of a coincidence to have the same name and she said she lived in the same area as his ex.

The trouble is, it does bother me. What if I didn't know and said something to her by accident? They still have house stuff to sort out so he does see her from time to time.

cassy Sat 28-Jan-17 17:06:06

grannypiper - I cant just ask. He will know I've been snooping. I wish I had never looked.

Elegran Sat 28-Jan-17 17:10:20

So talk in a general way about the woman and drop her name into the conversation. See what he says about her.

Or speak to your HR person and explain why you don't want to have to manage her. That would be more effective than asking advice from people here who have never met any of you.

I still don't understand why you and he have never talked about his past life. Why have secrets? If it was spoken about openly, you wouldn't have to snoop.

Christinefrance Sat 28-Jan-17 17:16:56

I am concerned about the lack of openness in your relationship cassy, surely it would be better to talk about this. It can only get more difficult as time goes on. I was in a similar situation where I had to manage the woman my ex had an affair with. It didn't end well.
Talk to him please.

janeainsworth Sat 28-Jan-17 17:26:34

How would you behave if you hadn't been snooping, as you put it?

If no-one at the moment knows you were snooping, and they're not going to find out, pretend you haven't been.
Let your partner and the ex reveal the situation.

If on the other hand, you're worried your partner will find out you've been snooping, it would be best to come clean before he confronts you.

If they still have things to sort out, it sounds as though their breakup has been quite recent. Is your real worry that you've started this relationship too soon?

cassy Sat 28-Jan-17 17:35:40

I cant. I just cant drop her name in the conversation. Christinefrance - How can I bring it up? Shall I just ask him. Im just so upset that he didnt/hasnt told me. Does he think we will never meet? Maybe he actually doesn't know, I did think this.

If I didnt know her name through snooping, I would not be aware of her working here would I - and then all would be OK.

No, I havent started the relationship too soon. Everything is fine otherwise. He is really lovely.

Elegran Sat 28-Jan-17 17:43:01

If you want it sorted out, you will have to talk about it, even if that means admitting that you were snooping - your partner surely can't be surprised that you wanted to know about such an important person in his life.

If you think he will be annoyed - then why don't you want to annoy him? Would that be too scary? Is he somone who it is better not to annoy? What does that say about your relationship with him?

If you DON'T want it sorted out, then say nothing and do nothing, and put up with working near her. Sooner or later you will come face to face and have to deal with that, and then you will wish that you had had that talk with your partner earlier and cleared the air.

cassy Sat 28-Jan-17 18:04:31

The thing is, relationships are frowned on at work. I cannot confide in anyone else, it is so difficult.

cassy Sat 28-Jan-17 18:05:09

I just don't want to rock the boat

FarNorth Sat 28-Jan-17 18:26:37

So you only know her name because you looked them up on the electoral roll, is that right?

If she has worked for your firm for a year, does that mean she wasn't there when she was your partner's girlfriend, or that she wasn't there when they first dated?

If you only know things about them by snooping, and you don't want to admit to snooping, you'll just have to keep quiet and put up with the situation.

Elegran Sat 28-Jan-17 19:22:12

Or actually TALK to your partner and ask him about your predecessor, then when you have her name from him, you can say "Oh, there is someone of exactly that name at work! What a coincidence! Was she a (whatever the woman's job is) ?

Are you very young, cassy, that you don't know how to talk to him?

Christinefrance Sat 28-Jan-17 19:56:54

Yes I agree with FarNorth, it's a case of put up or shut up, sorry if that sounds a bit harsh. A relationship based on this sort of deceit is going to founder sooner or later. I think you are worrying unnecessarily and talking about it will be far less stressful than the way things are at present.

grannypiper Sat 28-Jan-17 21:53:38

cassy Why is it a problem ? we all have a past, your OH didnt get to the age he is without an ex (did you). You just have to be grown up, how on earth would you cope if he had children with an ex ? calm down and enjoy your relationship. Dont make problems where there isn't any. Just chill brew cupcake

suzied Sun 29-Jan-17 10:16:37

I can understand the OPs feelings, I was married before and had 2 children before meeting my DH (33 years ago!), yet I still feel a bit miffed/ jealous when my MiL exalts the praises of his ex GF he went out with at uni and was with for 4 years- long before he met me. The fact that at first, he kept in touch with her family , kept photos of her didn't help. we talked it through and he agreed it wasn't appropriate- he got rid of the photos and dropped the contact. Doesn't stop the Mil comparing me unfavourably to her, but thats an other issue...
Talking it through with your OH is the key to this one.

Jaycee5 Sun 29-Jan-17 10:19:47

What would you have done with that information if he had told you? I can understand why he didn't (not that I wouldn't be annoyed in your situation).
She is an ex. She will be an ex for a reason and unless you notice any particular closeness between them it shouldn't be an issue.
If you let this eat away at you it will be you damaging the relationship so, as others have said, either address it full on or forget it. If you decide to address it don't do it in an accusatory way.

Polremy Sun 29-Jan-17 10:23:34

Could you perhaps wangle it so you go with him next time he has to sort house stuff out with her? After all, he has told you about his ex and you are both being grownups about this. It's just that he hasn't told you she worked in the same company.
Then you could say something like "I think I know you from somewhere"

Kim19 Sun 29-Jan-17 10:27:38

Never quite understand having to 'reveal one's past' to a partner. That's how it is PAST. The future starts at the point of meeting. Obviously there are exceptions when inter-family matters are concerned but, unless specifically asked about something I would have told my husband nothing. It's gone, past, dead and serves no useful purpose. I was with him exclusively and that's where all my energies went. The past is a huge learning curve and reserved for the heart and memory (and even the memory becomes distorted over time!). Onwards.........!

Mirandaf55 Sun 29-Jan-17 10:30:03

Tricky one this - If you both work at the same place, do you ever review the day over supper? Perhaps you could say that you were introduced to her in a meeting without letting on that you know who she is/was and gauge his reaction. While snooping can open up a can of worms,i do that 1-2 of the comments on here have been a little harsh. Sometimes people choose not to rock the relationship boat without necessarily being afraid of abuse of whatever kind from their partner - they just hate arguments!

Halsgran2 Sun 29-Jan-17 10:37:04

You could just drop it out in conversation - you know of 2 people who work together at the same organisation and they have problems (de dah de dah) & see if that elicits anything, or "you have met someone in another department who says they knew you some time ago" (see what happens with that one) ..... bit devious I know !!!