Having an Affair with Your Rich Boss? Here’s What Happens When Everyone Finds Out: Part 1

After my older lover and boss, Mr. Brown, gen­er­ously gave me his child­hood home, my two daugh­ters and I packed up and moved out of the house that we had been stay­ing in with my soon-to-be ex-husband. My divorce would be final­ized by the end of May, and I had already con­tacted Mr. Johansen to help with sell­ing my mar­i­tal home. Mr. Brown and I had been spend­ing a lot of time together doing repairs around the house, and were also both spend­ing time with my kids. It was to a point where we were almost together 24 hours a day, and I didn’t have a prob­lem with that.

Because Mr. Brown was my lover and my boss, things were start­ing to get com­pli­cated at work. Peo­ple had started catch­ing wind of what was going on. A few of our part­ners at the firm were aware that Mr. Brown’s wife was sick, and the talk around the office was that I was the rea­son that Mr. Brown wasn’t sleep­ing at home any­more. He had actu­ally been sleep­ing at his condo—the one we favored for quick­ies and sleep­overs of our own—because his wife had a care­taker move in to take care of her 24 hours a day. Her health was get­ting worse by the day, and since she knew about my rela­tion­ship with her hus­band and was OK with it, Mr. Brown had a nurse stay with her at all times so she wasn’t alone. We still took her with us and the kids to the movies and to the park. Mr. Brown was not neglect­ing or for­get­ting about her, and we all spent a lot of time at their house swim­ming and playing.

This was caus­ing huge prob­lems for me with some of the other women at the firm. They felt that, because of my recent divorce, I was tak­ing advan­tage of Mr. Brown and his wife, and that I was try­ing to get sym­pa­thy money out of them. The gos­sip was get­ting so bad that peo­ple were actu­ally speak­ing rudely with me right to my face and I was start­ing to be treated quite badly. And then shit finally hit the fan.

One of my female co-workers, who had access to some of the e-mail servers, was able to read some of the mes­sages between me and Mr. Brown, as well as some of the e-mails from his wife—she decided to go to Human Resources about it. I was sit­ting at my desk one after­noon and my cell phone started to vibrate. It was my per­sonal cell phone, so I fig­ured it was either my ex or my mother. But when I saw that it was Mr. Brown, I pan­icked. He never used this cell phone because he always dialed my work phone. Some­thing had to be wrong. I answered it dis­creetly and whis­pered, “Hello?”

He told me that he just fin­ish­ing speak­ing with the HR man­ager, Mrs. Roberts, with regards to rumors about me and him. He told me that she would prob­a­bly want to talk to me as well, and that since it was against com­pany pol­icy, I could be in a lot of trou­ble. He owned a large por­tion of the firm, includ­ing stocks, so he was basi­cally given a slap on the wrist. But he told me that because I was basi­cally con­sid­ered to just be an assis­tant, I could very well be fired. He told me to deny that any­thing was going on, and that I had been help­ing out with the arrange­ments for his wife’s care­taker. He also told me to say that I had been tak­ing the kids to his house to spend time with his sick wife.

Sure enough, I had a new e-mail before I even hung up the phone. I knew that start­ing an office romance, espe­cially with my boss, was a bad idea, but I didn’t want to lose my job—I couldn’t afford to lose my job. I knew that talk­ing to the HR man­ager was going to be a night­mare, but I didn’t know that she was going to tell me about some secrets of her own…