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'My wife wants me to reject a job offer because my ex works there.' MAJOR UPDATE

'My wife wants me to reject a job offer because my ex works there.' MAJOR UPDATE

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When opportunity knocks, you want to take it. But it's not always that simple.

"My wife wants me to reject a job offer because my ex works there."

I (36M) have been having an argument with my wife regarding this issue for the past few days. I wanted some neutral opinions especially from married women on what you would do in this scenario. I work in the tech field and our research area is very niche. I had issues with my current company and started interviewing at different companies. At one of the companies, I ran into Amy, who I dated 14 years ago.

We dated for 3 years and broke up amicably as I wanted to pursue further studies and she wanted me to settle down. I met my wife a year after our breakup, and I was still friends (with occasional benefits) with Amy till then. I was upfront about the whole situation with my wife, and she told me early on during our dating that my friendship with Amy bothers her.

I loved my wife and was serious about us, and it was a no-brainer for me to stop hanging out with Amy. Amy was confused but understood why I did it. We have not spoken to each other since then. My wife and I have been married for 11 years now, and have one super cute toddler.

During the interview process, Amy was one of the interviewers and we had a nice professional discussion. I received a job offer from that company the very next week. I would be in middle management and Amy would be directly reporting to me. I have already informed the hiring manager regarding Amy, and they seem to have no problems with it.

I also have two more job offers and I negotiated with all the companies and the first company (where Amy works) is willing to pay me almost 80K more than the other companies. However, my wife told me that I promised her that I would not be in touch with Amy many years ago, and she is asking me to take offer from the company who is willing to offer the second most compensation.

Her reasoning is it would be awkward for me to be Amy's manager and since we both work in the same field; it is not like I can transfer her to another manager. She insists that it's not insecurity, but I made a promise. She says that it's finally my choice, but she does not feel comfortable with me managing Amy and working with her.

I see her side as I would have to travel with my team (including Amy) for few days to an onsite location at least once a month. I can see why it would make my wife nervous. I personally want to join the first company as the compensation is higher and the experience in that company would be very valuable to me.

Would I be the wrong if I decided to go with the first company? It will offer my family a lot of financial security and would be good for my career. I do not want that taken away because of Amy. At the same time, I want my wife to be comfortable and not be constantly worried about the situation I will be putting her in.

The internet had a lot to say in response.

z-eldapin wrote:

I couldn't imagine the drama that will unfold every time you have to take a work trip, take your direct reports to lunch etc. Or the resentment that you will harbor for feeling forced to make a choice. I guess what it comes down to is what has more value to you. Your relationship or 80k. Justified insecurity or not, the job will cause issues in your relationship.

invisiblebluerobot responded:

This is correct. Its not about right or wrong. Its about how much pain are you willing to endure for that extra $80k. This will be viewed as you taking a job to work with your ex and have daily interactions with your ex when it is not required and you have other options. This will come up again and again and again.

So do you want to make your wife happy or do you want $80k extra money?

Don't get me wrong And extra $80k is a lot of extra money, but only you can decide if its worth it to you. Don't be surprised if you take it and its the start of a 3 year battle that ends in divorce.

Glass-Intention3979 wrote:

I don't disagree with your reasoning on this issue. The only thing you should be thinking about here: Is the money worth ruining my marriage? Think about it. Your wife has told you this is a problem for her. So, you taking this job is going to cause issues in your relationship.

Everyday (or every so often) your wife is going to bring this up. Resentment from your wife thinking she and her feelings don't matter and the Resentment you have towards your wife will fester. Arguments will happen. And, you both will suffer and you know who else will, your child. Children we see their parents not being happy.

So, is this worth it? Look, you did make a promise to not see this woman again and I know it's been years. But, it wasn't a clean break up, you were fwb before your wife. Nagging insecurities (of life and marriage) are going to creep in while your away onsite with this divorced woman. I'm not suggesting you will ever cheat or Amy will want it or that your wife is insecure enough to think you will.

But, people are human. And to be fair your wife is telling you not to do this, that she is not comfortable with this. If you do this against her wishes and feelings don't be surprised down the road, if your marriage deteriorates beyond repair. So, again, is this job worth it?

goalie_LAX_21093 wrote:

If it was just your ex working at the same company, that's one thing. But that you'll be her manager? Eh - I can get why your wife isn't thrilled about this. And honestly- I kind of question the $80k difference between job offers. For basically the same job? Why SUCH a large difference? Every company I've worked for has salary bands and they keep in tune with what the market will bear for any position.

An $80k difference gives me a lot of pause- why is this company paying SO MUCH MORE?? I can't say whether you should do this or not, but if you do - as others have said, you have to be 100% transparent with your wife, Amy should have none of your personal information, and as much as you can with travel - stay as far from her as you can.

Will you be flying or driving? Don't fly on the same flight, don't give her a ride, etc. You will need to keep VERY firm boundaries not only with Amy but with your entire team - you can't give out personal contact info to everyone else but her. You can't give rides to everyone else but her. Etc etc etc. Can you effectively manage like this?

nerd_is_a_verb wrote:

Is Amy married with kids? You say the brief interaction was professional, but you don’t really know Amy’s viewpoint/motives here. Your wife is clearly insecure, but she may have good reason to be insecure. I can’t tell whether you’re full of it or not. This is factually a great setup for you to cheat. I think only you really know whether you are being sketchy, but your wife’s reaction is well within normal.

OP responded:

My wife did all the PI work and found out that Amy is divorced and has no kids. That was one of the reasons why she was a bit apprehensive about me taking the job too.

Five days later, OP shared another update.

I wanted to give a quick update. I know a lot of you pointed out why it is such a bad idea, but I want to be honest here. The reason why I wrote the post was to get ideas on how I can convince my wife that I should take the position.

I felt that I have never given my wife a reason to not trust me, except one time (long story), and I should not be making important life decisions that benefit my family because of Abby who I have not spoken to in 14 years.

On Friday evening, we had a long discussion as my kid was at my SIL's place for a playdate. As many of you guys pointed out, my wife might be insecure with me hanging out with Abby specifically because we were FWB after breakup.

I asked her about it and told her to be honest as I would never make a decision without her being 100% onboard. My wife said that out of all my ex-girlfriends, she felt a bit insecure about her. The reason was because I did not get a clean breakup with her and had lingering feelings even when I met my wife.

For context, when I met my wife (thru mutual friends), I was still FWB with Abby for few months after. However, I cleared things with Abby and broke up for good before I asked my wife on our first date. My wife had heard about how I was not able to get over Abby before that and only agreed to date me after I told her that I decided to go NC with Abby.

I asked my wife if she feels I will be less loyal to her if I am around Abby. My wife and kid are everything to me and I assured that there is no circumstances where I would even think of stepping out of line to risk that. I also assured her that I will maintain professional boundaries with each of my direct report as I have been doing over the last many years and Abby will be no different.

However, if I miss out on this job opportunity because of Abby, I will always feel like irrespective of what I do, my wife does not 100% trust me. My wife said that she trusts me 100% and does not want me to feel like I am doing something wrong.

She said she does not want some hypothetical scenarios affect the important decisions I make in my career and is ok with me accepting the offer. She asked me to make sure that we set up specific rules about Abby. One of them being no communication outside work, maintain only strictly professional communication and always overcommunicate with my wife about everything about Abby.

Abby messaged me on Saturday about how it was great to see me during interview process, and I immediately told my wife. Based on her idea, I replied back to her on LinkedIn and will make sure any of our communication stays there. I had until Monday to accept the offer.

Yesterday, when I went to my office, I was planning to call the other company during lunch time. However, my manager asked me to come to a meeting room to discuss something urgent. My current company knew that I was entertaining other offers (I had told them) and decided to match the offer from Abby's company. It is not exactly the same compensation, but it is only 20K less than their offer.

Plus, they also assured me that they would promote me as soon as a Director level position opens up in one of the teams. It was amazing and I called my wife. She was very happy, and of course I decided to stay at my current job. Overall, I feel happy that I got a big raise at my current place and also know that my wife is not insecure and trusts me 100%.

Edit: since a lot of people as asking what the one thing was, adding it here instead of replying It was stupid. Years ago my wife's friend told me we kissed while drunk and I did not tell my wife.

Her friend thought I was her husband and apologized a lot. I told my wife after few days later out of guilt. My wife had seen the whole incident and laughed because I drunkenly pushed her away after she tried to kiss me, which I do not remember. But that was about it. She still teases me and her friend about it to this day. Also, I called my ex Amy in previous post and Abby here (both are fake names).

The commenters kept it real.

AcrobaticMechanic265 wrote:

I could hear your wife's sigh of relief from here.

bunnypt2022 wrote:

Crazy that Abby jumped right away to contact you on saturday. She is fast....

Complete-Design5395 wrote:

I told my husband about your previous post and I told him: 100% Abby gets in touch after the interview to say “it was so good to see you blah blah blah!” I just knew it! I don’t think your wife was insecure, I think she was listening to some internal intuition. Phew. No need to contact Abby, even on LinkedIn, anymore right?

baby_platypus wrote:

I say this with warmth and kindness as you seemed to hit a happy medium - but you really shouldn’t have entertained this. The message from Abby shows that your wife’s fears were not completely unfounded. I understand why the compensation change at your current position made the choice easier, but it shouldn’t have been a thought.

You really would’ve put your marriage in a tough spot and I guess I just don’t see how the job would’ve been worth risking your happy situation. THAT SAID - I’m really happy it worked out.

Martha90815 wrote:

You should NEVER be in a reporting relationship with someone you’ve been in a romantic relationship with. That’s a TERRIBLE idea. It would be one thing if she just worked AT the company but if she’s on your team AND reporting to you, hard pass.

Sources: Reddit
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