Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Employee Wants to Forget What She Saw

DEAR HARRIETTE: I work at a law firm in New York City. Recently, I was working late on a case, so I went out to get dinner. When I got back to the office, I heard a strange sound coming from my boss’s office. I was worried -- I’m a 25-year-old single woman -- so I peered into the office. I saw my boss and his assistant engaging in inappropriate acts. He saw someone was standing by the window, but I don’t know if he saw it was me. What do I do? Do I confront him? Do I pretend I never saw it? I feel so uncomfortable. -- Wish I Didn't See What I Did, New York City

DEAR WISH I DIDN’T SEE WHAT I DID: Leave it alone. Unless you saw something that seemed to be causing the assistant harm, consider the incident none of your business. Very little good can come from you bringing up their affair. If your boss asks you, though, that’s a different matter. You should be honest: Note that you heard a strange sound when you were coming back into the office and investigated what it was when you saw them in the office. You can state that it made you feel uncomfortable and unsafe, if that is true. But don’t bring it up on your own.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My boyfriend went out to a bar last week for his college reunion. Later in the evening, we met up at his apartment to talk about his night. Before he told me about his time, he said, “I have to tell you something, and I don’t want you to be upset.” My heart started racing immediately. He told me that he ran into his ex-girlfriend from college, and they talked for a bit. She approached him, and they caught up. Toward the end of their conversation, his ex-girlfriend told him that she still loves him and wants to know if he thinks they could ever have a future together.

I can't help but be extremely upset by this. I know I have no right to be mad at him, but I am. I don’t think he should have been talking to her in the first place, especially because this is not the first time she’s done this. He and I have been dating for more than three years now, and they broke up more than four years ago. I am so shaken up by this conversation. What should I do? -- Running Into His Ex, College Park, Maryland

DEAR RUNNING INTO HIS EX: The most important question here is how your boyfriend responded. What did he tell his ex when she professed her love for him again, years after they broke up? While he obviously cannot control his ex and her feelings, he can be crystal clear about where he stands.

If he has been direct and forthcoming with her about his commitment to you and you feel confident in his commitment, you need to let go of your anger. Don’t get riled up about something that you cannot control. Instead, focus on your relationship with your boyfriend, and trust that he is being honest with you.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)