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Wife asks if she's wrong after encounter with husband's 'work wife' leaves him upset

A woman shared how her husband's colleague behaved with him, leading to an unexpected response.

Wife asks if she's wrong after encounter with husband's 'work wife' leaves him upset
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Expect Best, Mumsnet | @HeardOfCats

It's common for partners to meet each other's colleagues at social gatherings or office parties. But what would you do if a colleague called herself your husband's "work wife" and patted his tummy? A woman named @HeadofCats shared a similar experience at her husband's office summer event on June 16, 2024, in a post on MumsNet. She wrote, "It was a catered dressy garden party sort of thing and I'd been looking forward to it for ages, bought a new dress, etc."

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Nicole Michalou
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Nicole Michalou

The wife revealed that 10 minutes after they reached the party, a woman came up to them and said hello. "When I turned back around, she gave me a very effusive 'so lovely to meet you' and rolled straight into saying, 'But I do have a bone to pick with you - you need to stop packing John so much to eat as it's going straight on here!'" The colleague patted her husband's tummy and went on to say that she would be bringing his lunches from now on. "Followed by the most awful laugh that made me want to punch her in the face."

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Liza Summer
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Liza Summer

"I think, I said either 'What the hell?' or 'Who the hell are you?', I can't remember which. Either way, her face fell and she started trying to soothe me. She said that she clearly came across wrong, it's just that she's his work wife and she was just being relaxed as she feels like she knows me already from John talking about me so much," the woman recounted. She shared that the conversation lasted for 20 seconds and suddenly the colleague told them that she 'saw a friend she wanted to catch' and left from there. 

She then shared that following the colleague's departure, her husband became angry with her for being rude. She spent the rest of the event milling around a couple of colleagues of her husband and doesn't know how her partner spent the rest of his evening. Due to the whole incident, the woman revealed that her partner had begun to question their marriage. "Today, he said very coldly that my behavior is making him question things, which I assume to mean question our marriage. I can't decide if I'm furious with him or devasted that he's upset with me, or both. I still have no idea who this woman is who feels comfortable enough to be patting my husband on the tummy." She concluded by asking people on the platform, "Am I that unreasonable to have reacted like I did?"

Image Source: Mumsnet
Image Source: Mumsnet | @easipeelerie

People had mixed reactions to what the wife shared. @TeaKitten commented, "Well, yeah you were obviously rude and overreacted. Not sure what else there is to say there really." @easipeelerie wrote, "Did she literally call herself his work wife? That’s a bit weird. I can see why you’d have been thrown. That said, no one could have expected you to say what you did. It’s a bit unfortunate overall." 

Image Source: Mumsnet | @justmuddlingalong
Image Source: Mumsnet | @justmuddlingalong

@SaltyGod expressed, "She clearly overstepped and what she did was very odd. I would be pretty shocked if this happened to my husband. I’d personally probably at least question what was happening between them at work (maybe this is more me and I don’t mean to imply anything for you). That being said, I would not have replied as you did. I’d have made a fairly dry response but I’d not have been so outwardly rude. Now, you look like the rude one, and she’s the hurt party." @indianajet shared, "I would probably have reacted like you! She overstepped the mark in my opinion. Surely he wouldn't break up the marriage over this unless there is something else going on? I really dislike the term 'work wife.'"

@ecstaticmotion said, "I completely understand your reaction and am quite a blunt person so it doesn’t sound too shocking to me, but people are different. Have you considered apologizing to her, saying you were too blunt and shouldn’t have reacted like that, explain a bit why you did, so he can see you understand you’ve upset him and caused him embarrassment at work. Just to be clear, I don’t mean apologies because she was behaving fine, but because it’s probably the best next step and she may well apologize too."

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