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Old 09-11-2008, 06:54 AM   #1
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older male friend crossed boundaries

What do you think about this situation?...

I'm in a year-long seminar course and became friends with a man who is my father's age. I made sure with him in the very beginning that his wife was okay with him being friends with someone of the opposite sex. Also, I am happily married with two children. He has called me once a week for five months and all those conversations have been regarding seminar material.

Then he invited me out to lunch, just the two of us, to work on seminar stuff (which is the very first time meeting outside the seminar). While at lunch, he asked me to consider the possibility of being lovers. I was stunned! I saw him as a father figure who would never say such a thing! Why would he say that to me when I'm happily married? He did say that he lacks intimacy in his marriage. But doesn't he have common sense not to ask me in my relationship/family status?

After the meeting, I sent him an email expressing my anger and told him that I don't want him to call or write again. I also told seminar authorities because he's attempted this with another girl in the seminar. But I can't help feel bad for how I reacted because he's a really nice old man (not so old...he's 60ish).

I'm in such angst about this. He was really, really nice. He said that I did not give him any reason to believe I was interested. I set the expectations at the beginning and he crossed them. It all sounds black and white, but I am feeling so horrible about it. I can't eat, can't sleep. I hate this feeling. Now I want to discontinue the seminar because I just want to turn my back and forget about it and pretend it never happened.

What else can I do?

 
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Old 09-11-2008, 07:25 AM   #2
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Re: older male friend crossed boundaries

I don't think you should discontinue your seminar. Please don't. I know it really feels uncomfortable for you to be there, but what about the money, time and efforts you have already invested into it? What about your goals?

I think you will get over this incident over time.

I am not sure whether you should have reported him. He simply proposed something, he didn't actually touch you (unless I have missed something), let alone harrassed you. But now it's done, and I don't think you can take back your report (words). Did you write it? Was he ever admonished because of your report?

But yes, knowing that you were married, that was very insolent of him. Many would have done the same as you did.

Anyway, if you really feel very bad about it, you could write him a very brief e-mail explaining that you acted on an impulse (for self-protection) and didn't really mean any harm to him. At the same reaffirm your desire to discontinue the relationship because that would be more adequate for both parties. If he replies, you don't write back. And let ashes be ashes.

 
Old 09-11-2008, 07:30 AM   #3
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Re: older male friend crossed boundaries

Because he has attempted this with another girl, it sounds as if he is just a dirty old man. Either that or he is very lonely but I would say he is just a dirty old goat.

Good for you for ending contact with him. Do not feel guilty about it or quit what you are doing. Nothing happened and if you quit the seminar, it will make this whole situation worse than it is. You are still in control.

Perhaps things will go back to strictly business but I would not put myself in a situation where I would be alone with him anymore.

 
Old 09-11-2008, 09:09 AM   #4
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Re: older male friend crossed boundaries

I agree with Pendulum. I really don't see any other "easy" way for you to help your feelings of guilt. I hope things work out the way you would like.

Mileena

 
Old 09-11-2008, 09:27 AM   #5
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Re: older male friend crossed boundaries

You did nothing wrong. Don't punish yourself by throwing all your hard work down the drain just because of this lude, crude guy.

The shame is not yours. You clearly set the boundaries and did nothing to move them and he crossed them, and he has to suffer whatever consequences come of that. Be strong, and hang tough. Even if you have to face him or deal with him, just carry on with your work. You did nothing wrong.

 
Old 09-11-2008, 09:35 AM   #6
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Re: older male friend crossed boundaries

don't even think about dropping out of this program because of this......
just maintain a professional relationship with him, as much as you can at this point......he probably feels even more embarassed than you do.

 
Old 09-11-2008, 08:07 PM   #7
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Red face Re: older male friend crossed boundaries

2. things: he definatly crossed a line that he shouldn't have, don't feel the least bit uneasy about it...and 2. We are all dirty old goats, i'ma man and have been one and around them for 44 years...you'd be shocked at what men talk about when the women arn't around. If he had asked some random girl this, it would have just been a gamble, but the fact that he asked you, who gave no indication you wanted anything like that and that you are married, was way out of bounds.

 
Old 09-11-2008, 10:30 PM   #8
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Re: older male friend crossed boundaries

Quote:
Originally Posted by justlilme View Post

I'm in such angst about this. He was really, really nice. He said that I did not give him any reason to believe I was interested. I set the expectations at the beginning and he crossed them. It all sounds black and white, but I am feeling so horrible about it. I can't eat, can't sleep. I hate this feeling. Now I want to discontinue the seminar because I just want to turn my back and forget about it and pretend it never happened.

What else can I do?
Would a "really, really nice" man ask you to violate your marriage? No. I don't think you should discontinue your seminar, because despite wanting to forget, it DID happen. You shouldn't be feeling guilty, and in time, hopefully you'll feel better about it all.

 
Old 09-12-2008, 05:35 AM   #9
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Re: older male friend crossed boundaries

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosequartz View Post
don't even think about dropping out of this program because of this......
just maintain a professional relationship with him, as much as you can at this point......he probably feels even more embarassed than you do.
I agree completely. You stay in your seminar and go about your business as you would have as if you have never met him. You did nothing wrong here. He has done this before and chances are he will do it again. He took advantage of your friendship IMO. You set out a very clear boundary and he crossed it. Just keep pushing forward and your guilt will lessen over time. You feel guilty because you thought of him as a friend. Just remember, a "friend" or any decent human being wouldn't have asked what he did.

 
Old 09-12-2008, 07:43 AM   #10
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Re: older male friend crossed boundaries

Thanks everyone. Here's an update.

Last night I went to a dinner party and the other girl happened to be there. I asked her to tell me about her "guy friend" and she saw that I must've experienced the same thing with him. She told me that he blatantly asked for sex. He persistently called her for weeks on end. He used business as an excuse to talk or to try to see her. She was very upset and she's a single girl. What more for a married girl? He used identicle lines and conversations. He was recently fired from a job due to sexual harassment. And there is another woman in the seminar whom he's approached whose name we don't know. This should say enough about him.

Now I am relieved that I told a person of authority. It wasn't a formal written complaint. I just told them that this was happening in the seminar. They said that they will handle it. Don't know yet whether they will reprimand him or not. Whatever happens, I'm not quitting.

Thanks for all your words of advice and support. I've learned from this to always trust my instinct and to not relinquish my power.

Pendulum and Rose, it was nice seeing you again.

 
Old 09-12-2008, 09:29 AM   #11
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Re: older male friend crossed boundaries

Quote:
Originally Posted by justlilme View Post
...

Pendulum and Rose, it was nice seeing you again.
Hello back to you!

Have we "met" before? I really can't remember where, on which board. Your (nick)name doesn't sound familiar to me. Anyway, let it be. My memory is betraying me again.

I'm glad that you are not quitting your course. You'd certainly regret doing so, especially if you ended up finding out later that he was forced to quit it himself.

The update you have brought us sheds more light onto this man. If he is a harrasser, then I no longer have any doubts: you have done the right thing, even if instinctively, so to say, because probably you didn't have all the facts then. I don't know if the other girl had the courage (yes, it takes a lot of courage for someone to report things like this) to report him, but you did and you have to be complimented on this.

 
Old 09-16-2008, 01:57 PM   #12
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Re: older male friend crossed boundaries

yay that's great news!
You handled this wonderfully!!!!!!

 
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