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Here’s one that you probably don’t hear every day: I’m an associate and I frequently work with a junior partner (early 40s) who is married to a considerably younger woman. She and I have friends in common and we occasionally see each other out, although she apparently doesn‘t go out with her husband. Unfortunately, the last time we ran into each other at a friend’s party, we ended up making out then and then later hooking up.
We’ve been emailing and texting back and forth since then, but I am living in terror that this partner is going to find out, or she‘ll sabotage me or that someone will say something on Facebook, etc. If at all possible I want to get out of this situation without losing my job. Can you please give me some advice?
Dear Jewel Thief,
Let’s get one thing straight: you committed a robbery, one of the most heinous crimes known to Seaside Heights. You stole your boss’ wife, and though I don’t have my copy of the Bro Code handy, I’m pretty sure this violates it…
Backing up for a second, she could be doing this with dozens of dudes. In fact, maybe they’re swingers or have some kind of arrangement, or maybe he was secretly videotaping you two and is watching it on that iPad that he’s always annoyingly carrying around. I obviously have no idea what the relationship is between this couple, but why not get some use out of your law degree (finally) and do some due diligence with your mutual friends?
Or better yet, why not go directly to the source? As my 6th grade health class teacher once said after showing us a mortifying video which included the words “pubis” and “sanitary napkins,” “if you’re not ready to talk about sex, you’re not ready to have it.” Maybe you can drink boxed wine and pick up the phone and talk to her like a reasonable adult about the situation, or, if you’re anything like me, send a text asking her to get on Gchat so that you can conduct any meaningful and/or potentially embarrassing convos in writing, removed from real emotional intimacy by at least two computer screens.
If you communicate with her (protected by two monitors, of course), you may happily discover that she’s not that interested in you and that she has no intention of destroying your career. But if she likes you and wants to pursue an affair, you need to let her down easy. Otherwise normal women get unhinged over two things in life, romantic rejection and their own weddings, and how skillfully you handle the dumping will directly impact the potency of her saboteur impulse.
I hope this helps.
Making out with your boss’ wife? Is she hot? Nice…
Too bad you are now totally screwed. Honestly, if the junior partner finds out, he’s not just going to fire you. That would be too kind. No, he’s going to continue to supervise you, closely, and you’ll beg for death before it’s over. You are humiliating this man both in his bedroom and in his place of business. When he finds out, he’ll have nothing left. Other associates will not respect him and snicker behind his back. His fellow partners will snicker openly to his face during golf outings and in between client pitches. He’s a junior partner so he’s already struggling to get the respect of his more well established peers, and you are taking that opportunity away from him. He’ll have nothing, except his all encompassing desire to destroy you.
When a woman is cheated on, she wants to kill the guy, if she can hurt the home-wrecker in the process, that’s just icing. When a guy is cheated on, he wants to kill the other man — if he’s a sap he’s still in love with the girl, and if he’s not than he’s already moved onto other fish in the sea. But it is the male challenger (especially if he’s younger) that will become the focus of his desire for revenge.
You need to think bigger than the question you’ve posed here. How do you get out of this relationship? That’s child’s play. How do you get out of this firm before he finds out? That should be your sole focus.
Because somewhere deep down, he already knows. And even if he doesn’t, he’s one bad fight away from finding out. She now has your career and his pride in the palm of her hand. I think she’ll use it as she damn well pleases.
My advice is to find a new job. The one you have now is a ticking time bomb.
Unless you are one of those guys who has already decided he doesn’t want to be a lawyer and is just waiting for an opportunity to leave or get fired so you can do something else. In which case… Nice. You’re in a position where whether you get fired or leave voluntarily, your story will be “I was doing this partner’s wife and the whole situation just got too heavy.” That’s a great story.
But in your next job, try following the old rule: bang the spouses of people junior to you, not senior to you. That’s the way to avoid getting whacked, or starting a war.
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