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Boyfriend is upset over work


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Please accept my apologies for any grammatical and spelling mistakes as I am typing this on my phone. Context: i work with my boyfriend and I am in a role where I rely heavily on my colleagues while he is in a role which requires no teamwork. The work environment is quit toxic with micromanagement, anger outburst from colleagues and favoritism being evident everyday. We are both impacted by this but the flexible hours and relatively good pay keeps us there given our current financial circumstances.


He is quit emotionally impacted by the work environment and the people we have to work with. While I was the same, I have worked hard to be resilient and have accepted that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, at least for now. To make my life easier I try to be friendly with my managers and colleagues which my boyfriend is not happy about.


He voices that it’s hard for him to see the difference between how I am at work and how I am at home. I have explained that I need to maintain a level of professionalism at work, especially when I rely quite a bit on my colleagues in order to get the job done. I feel that while I am friendly, I am not being inauthentic - I just show more of myself at home.


On top of this, he has a big issue with me speaking with male colleagues. Colleagues who are all either in relationships or are married. Most if not all of them are 10-20 years older than me and are aware of my relationship and they all work with my boyfriend as well.


I have tried to avoid them to the best of my abilities but it’s very hard given the nature of my work and the work culture. I try to avoid them during my breaks but sometimes it’s hard to avoid general office small talk from time to time.


This situation is draining emotionally and greatly hinders my job and possibility of a career progression - I feel that it’s kind of unreasonable for him to ask me to avoid all male encounters in every context. Am I being reasonable or am I crazy?

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His jealousy is unreasonable. There is nothing wrong with small talk with opposite gender people at work. That should be a dealbreaker for you-unwarranted jealousy. It's controlling behavior. Not only do you have to deal with toxicity at work, you have to deal with it at home with his nonsense. Home is supposed to be your soft landing place after a hard day at work, but you go home to a barbed fence. Like my friend said who got out of a similar relationship, "It's like I'm some beautiful butterfly he wants to pin and keep locked inside a frame." Fly away before you invest anymore time with a toxic person.

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These are symptoms of a larger problem with HIM, not you.


Jealousy is not love even though there are a great many people that view it as love and caring. It is his ego setting boundaries for you instead of you setting your own boundaries.


I once dated a woman that told me I could not have a female coworker in my office with the door shut. Many times in my line of work I need to speak privately with coworkers so her request/demand was ridiculous and untrusting. I told her simply "If that is the way you think, there is the door" She changed her tune really fast and said it isn't that she didn't trust me, she didn't trust them. It didn't matter as her lack of trust in me to do the right thing no matter the circumstance was insulting.


She viewed some jealousy as caring and deep love because you cared enough to throw a fit if someone talked to you or flirted. It is not healthy and you should consider having a serious talk with him about this.



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Tell him he needs to drop his insecurities, and focus on more important things like his own business. He has no right to tell you how to do your job, and it doesn't affect his position in anyway so he has nothing to complain about. If he doesn't get it, you have two choices. Find a new job, or find a new job and dump him.

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I agree with all the other comments above but that would be just according to your account, OP. None of us really know how you actually interact with these male coworkers or if you smile in a way that's a little too charming or if you just ooze sex appeal (nothing wrong with that but if it's intentional you might want to dial it back). I am all for women as strong leaders or playing active roles at work.


If you do value your relationship with your boyfriend, I'd encourage you to uncover what's making him so uneasy. He doesn't sound like the dullest crayon in the box. He is working and he is contributing in some way so someone sees his worth in the company. He probably doesn't feel good coming across like a green-eyed Medusa either. No one finds that a pleasant situation to be in. I'd say give him the time of day and uncover what's making him so uneasy and I'd also encourage the both of you to talk about your future goals and aspirations. Couples owe that to each other and updates are required through the years. I'm not talking about lengthy memos, ok. Just check in with each other on a weekend every few months. Don't focus entirely on the financial aspect. Dig deeper into the motivations and inspirations behind your work and where you see yourselves professionally.

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He sounds unreasonable. I agree with you, you have to maintain friendly, professional relationships with people at work. I'm in a position where I go on overnight trips with my male colleagues, and you know what - our spouses just have to trust us (not me, I'm not married, but for the rest of the team!!). I don't know - I think you might have to either change your job or get a new boyfriend.

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No, you aren't crazy and yes, your bf is unreasonable. More than unreasonable he has serious jealousy and control issues. These are his own issues alone and no matter what you do or how you try to appease him, it will never be enough. Even if you change jobs, it won't change his insecurities and if anything he might get that much worse as he tries even harder to control your actions now that he can't see day to day what you do and who you talk to.


You can try and talk to him and be very firm and blunt that this isn't acceptable to you. If it works great. If he doesn't fix his attitude, I'd exit this relationship immediately. These kinds of control games and accusation will just drain the life out of you. Better to be single than deal with that kind of drama.

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Even if you change jobs, it won't change his insecurities and if anything he might get that much worse as he tries even harder to control your actions now that he can't see day to day what you do and who you talk to.


That's a good point. He can obviously see what you're doing at work. he might be even worse if he couldn't see it and had to leave it to his imagination!!!

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Your bf has some serious control and insecurity issues. This needs to be dealt with.


If the place is so miserable, why don't you both look for jobs, at different places?


Do you have male friends? Do you socialize with others or does he have problems with that?

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I feel that while I am friendly, I am not being inauthentic - I just show more of myself at home.


I like this statement very much. I believe it to be true and I want to achieve the same at my work.


I find you reasonable and I don’t believe that you need any advice.

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Thank you everyone for your advice and thoughts, it’s been really helpful for me in thinking about where to go from here. It’s been an ongoing issue and I have tried to support him and accommodate for whatever help he needs but to no progress. He doesn’t think I am being reasonable and there seems to no changing his view. He actually broke up with me this morning because I said I needed time to think things through so that’s that. Thanks again :)

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I'm pretty sure he'll be back in some way. He's breaking up as punishment for not following his "rules". He will expect you to cry, beg, plead and agree to do whatever he wants.


Please stay strong. His controlling behavior will escalate if you go back to him.

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