My friend who owns a catering business asked me to help him run it. He courted me in school but nothing happened as there was just no chemistry between us.
We reconnected after college and we became better as friends. He is separated from his wife while I’ve been a widow for over a decade. He helped me in my time of need and I made sure he heard me say to our friends how grateful I am to him.
But after almost two years, I noticed how he’d drop subtle hints that I shouldn’t be too friendly to his male employees. Turns out he was becoming jealous of how I dealt with them and this has put a strain on our relationship.
Sure, I need this job. But should he have a say on whom I befriend, show kindness to, or fall in love with? I don’t think he pays me enough to take over my emotions or put my personal life under his authority as well.
I don’t want to quit because I love this job and I make good money here. I am afraid things will turn nasty if I confront him and tell him how he’s making me nervous and stressed out at his frequent not-so-subtle digs at me. I feel it’s all because of his inability to express his unspoken feelings for me that we’re in this situation.—NL
Remember, he was interested in you years ago and, for many, first loves are difficult to forget. He was unsuccessful in his marriage and you might, or could have been, the reason for that.
You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, it is said. Don’t confront him. That’s too unpleasant. You’re not sure what his state of mind is and it could easily turn nasty, if provoked.
Sit with him in a pleasant setting, like over a cup of coffee. Start talking like a friend or a sister over benign topics. Touch on your long-ago history, if that would bring back warm thoughts and clear the air of this animosity, which seems to be eating him up. And when you’ve established a quiet rapport, lay your cards on the table with utmost honesty.
He, too, might want to have a clear understanding of your on-going mottled relationship. He might wish to see it reigniting, or if not, put a final closure on where the two of you should stand now.
There is no stressful atmosphere that cannot be unstressed by good communication.