Dear Amy: After 12 years together, most of which were wonderful, my husband and I divorced. Thankfully, we are still friends.
Fast-forward two years: I found someone that I truly believe could be “The One.” I never thought this could happen, and I’m happier than I’ve ever been!
“What could be wrong?” you ask. Well, Prince Charming and I work at the same company. I am in a leadership position and he is an indirect subordinate.
While technically this romantic relationship is not against company policy, they do have a notification policy which asks us to notify HR and our direct supervisors of the relationship.
I’m worried that by making our relationship public, our supervisors, peers, and the company may treat or view us in a negative light. I want to follow the rules, but I don’t want to jeopardize my/his career or brand with the company.
Prince Charming has gone so far as to seek other employment, but with no luck (even though he doesn’t really want to leave).
How do you recommend we navigate these waters and protect our relationship and our careers at the same time? — Inconveniently in Love
Dear Inconvenient: Unless you are Michael Scott and you work at Dunder Mifflin, reporting your relationship to HR does not mean that you are grabbing a megaphone and announcing your relationship to all of your colleagues. It means that you are following company policy.
If you are in a supervisory position and your company has a reporting policy for romantic relationships between co-workers, then you must report it.
The policy is in place in order to relieve you of the burden of trying to decide whether to disclose your relationship. You have to, and so you should.
Before reporting, you and Prince Charming should make sure you are both aware of the company policy and have read the handbook regarding relationships. You should understand that reporting your relationship might (but might not) necessitate a job shift within the company for him.
You should agree not to engage in professional favoritism or public displays of affection at work.
You should agree to be extremely discreet, and to not discuss your relationship with co-workers, even after signing your “love contract.”
Your supervisors and HR professionals face the same challenge regarding your relationship that you two do — to remain discreet, appropriate, and professional.
Dear Amy: I am 61-year-old, divorced man. I am highly educated and have raised two successful kids on my own. I live alone. My kids live far away, and my only relative is an older brother.
My parents died when I was young and I lived with different extended family until the age of 15, when I became a ward of the court.
During my youth, I suffered severe abuse from my brother.
I’ll spare you the details, except it involved getting beaten into unconsciousness. I suffer from GAD and PTSD.
The older I get, the more I resent my brother’s cruelty, which nobody knows about except for me. It must appear odd when I skipped the holidays to be alone, but I can’t stand being around him.
Should I just cut him out of my life, or just suck it up and act like nothing happened and keep him in my life?
I’ve confronted him about it, and he says it wasn’t a big deal and that it made me tougher. — No Extended Family
Dear No Family: Because you have been diagnosed with GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) and PTSD due to the childhood abuse you have survived, I don’t think “sucking it up” is an option for you.
You should not force yourself to spend time with your unrepentant abuser.
You survived a heartbreaking and traumatic childhood. You have lived a successful life. I hope you are pursuing ongoing professional help for your continued challenges.
You have the right — and responsibility — to protect your health and keep your distance from your tormentor. Break the chain. Make your own family. Celebrate your success and survival.
Dear Amy: “Unsure Grandmother” described raising her 21-year-old daughter’s grandchild.
The child’s mother is completely irresponsible.
Neither you nor the grandmother says anything about the father of the child.
He has as much responsibility to care for the child as the mother does.
Even if grandma didn’t mention him, shouldn’t you have said something about him? Mom didn’t make this child by herself. — BB
Dear BB: You’re right. It seems that everyone in this equation ignored the responsibilities and rights of the father, including me.