Last edited: 25th April 2019.
In March 2018 I wrote a blog about my relationship with my then boss/recent ex, ‘How To Date An Arsehole’ https://wp.me/p9u5hw-4K. As a consequence of writing that blog, I lost my job and had to leave Dubai, my home for 11 years. I made a complaint of professional misconduct to my company as he had abused his position of power and been emotionally abusive, which negatively impacted my health and my career. I was told to trust that they would deal with the matter. A year later, in April 2019, I learned that I had been misled and he is in fact staying with the company. In response I updated the post ‘Letter to the CEO’ https://wp.me/p9u5hw-1AD and wrote this blog post. #TruthMatters
In an ideal world I should not have had to blog about my boss/ex, AKA The Good Husband, to get the abusive cycle of our relationship to end. When you tell someone many times that their behaviour is hurting you and you hear endless sorries but they still persist, when they don’t leave you be when you ask them to, when you try to walk away but they don’t let you without repercussions in the workplace, then you get to a point when you will do anything to make it stop. Writing the blog post ‘How To Date An Arsehole’ was an act of desperation and I am grateful it led to me leaving a bad situation in my life.
Also in an ideal world I would leave ‘The Good Husband’ blog posts down. My dad passed away in February and something like that makes you reflect and reconsider everything. I made the choice to remove the posts in March as I felt it was best for all of us involved, and I was happy with that choice. I’ve moved on. I don’t condone what my ex put me through but I do forgive him. That doesn’t make what he did OK but it does mean I don’t hate him. Holding on to anger does nobody any good. Only he and I know what really went down between us and he has to live with everything he did. I ended the relationship multiple times trying to do the right thing. After the first time he ended it, I asked him to stop all personal contact and to only contact me when necessary for work to allow me to move on. He sent me this:
He didn’t respect my wishes – I have messages telling me how he felt about me until the end of the relationship in 2018. It’s this kind of smooth-talking persuasion that suckers you back in. In an abusive cycle, when you try to break away, they talk you round, you want to believe them, things get better for a while and then the behaviour begins again, and it is often worse than it was before. That was my experience throughout the three years. One nervous breakdown, a lost job, post-traumatic stress, panic attacks and nightmares, broken friendships, sleepless nights, many many tears and much trolling later, I wish I had walked away sooner. Friends don’t ask for sex, repeatedly lead you on and knock you back when they feel like it, guilt you into staying in the relationship when you try to end it, deliberately hurt you, or undermine and make it difficult for you to do your job when they don’t get what they want – and neither should your boss. Abusive relationships are complicated. I still protected him when I left – I shouldn’t have. I felt strongly that a complaint of professional misconduct needed to be made as silence is complicity but I didn’t want to cause trouble for him and his family so I just asked for him to be spoken to to ensure he doesn’t do it again. I did not, however, expect for him to be rewarded with a new job, particularly after the way the company treated me. I’m baffled by that. What a slap in the face. Count yourselves lucky the school is not in the UK – I would have taken him to an employment tribunal. A national UK newspaper did contact me about covering my story but I declined. Telling the truth in my blog is enough.
My heart breaks for his wife and kids, especially as I kept my mouth shut for so long to protect them and stuck to my decision not to sleep with him. They don’t deserve to have to deal with repercussions from this shitshow. I’m so sorry. We’ve all been through enough. To be clear, I do not have a vendetta against him, no desire to ruin his life, but everyone needs to take responsibility for the things they do; I have but he evidently hasn’t. He hasn’t been held accountable and that’s not right. I don’t know if he intended to resign but they wouldn’t let him (the CEO’s deliberately misleading leaving announcement in September said he was going to pastures new; a school run by a different company or in a different country would have been a true fresh start for everyone) or if he still doesn’t feel as though he did anything wrong, which worries me but it’s not my problem anymore. As I have said before, if my complaint had been acknowledged, followed up, and I had been heard, this whole situation could have been properly resolved in private. When dealing with HR last year after I left Dubai, I always felt fobbed off and suspected there would be no consequences for him. Time has proved my suspicions correct and it looks like I was the last to know he will be staying with the company. They never had any intention of holding him accountable. For that reason, the blog posts have been re-posted and will have to stay up. I’m no one’s scapegoat – punished for speaking up while he got a public pat on the back. I will not be made out to be a liar when I was not even spoken to. I was ignored and expected to go away. That’s not OK, not in 2019. Women with truth and evidence on their side expect to be treated better than that. I can’t work out if I wasn’t believed in the first place, or whether I was believed but the company didn’t want to address it. I do know that the truth did not fit with their agenda and they didn’t want to hear it. I don’t think anyone would fight this hard to be heard, and take so much shit for it, if they weren’t telling the truth. No one would break an NDA if they didn’t feel it wrong to stay silent. People are angry I went public with his identity and I was made to feel guilty for it, but the company turned a blind eye anyway, which makes me feel vindicated and glad I kept speaking up. I only went public with his identity AFTER the CEO publicly supported him, despite being informed of his professional misconduct – we were kissing in his office when he asked me to have sex on his desk, very happy to commit adultery in the workplace (2nd November 2015). Thank God I said no and never allowed myself to be in that situation with him again. All I ever asked was to be treated with respect; instead I was fucked around, lied to, misled, and portrayed as an unreasonable unstable woman who needed to be silenced. Just FYI, justifiable anger over dealing with bullshit does not make a woman a psycho. We are not living in the Dark Ages. Gender equality matters in this era of TimesUp; women no longer tolerate being ‘muzzled’ for blowing the whistle when power is abused.
I appreciate that it is difficult for others to fully understand what I went through because you didn’t go through it but that does not mean that you get to troll me or discredit me because you don’t want to believe what I have said. You were not there. You haven’t seen all of the messages (the manipulative mean ones are quite something; completely incongruent with his ‘Mr Nice Guy’ image). You don’t know everything that happened. I have made some things public because I wanted to be believed and I want to help others to recognise that they could be in equally harmful personal/professional situations, to encourage them to speak up and escape. I could easily share more messages/emails, tell more about all the crappy things he did, but it’s just not fair on his family to do so. I can only imagine the lies he’s told. I know first hand how convincing he is – the fake empathy act, the ‘I’m speaking to you as a friend’ spiel used to get colleagues on side, and how special he can make you feel. It’s all smoke and mirrors. Eventually I saw through it all, stood up to him and paid a heavy price. I actually tried to make peace with him after Dad passed, through grief and my own tendency to always want to make things better for other people. I momentarily forgot who I was dealing with. I won’t make that mistake again. I can’t respect a man who doesn’t take responsibility. The ‘boys will be boys’ mentality has let – and continues to let – men get away with shit for years; it has to stop.
I don’t foresee writing any more blog posts about this relationship and its aftermath but who knows, maybe one day I’ll write a book about it all. I have the perfect titles: ‘A Matter of Principal’ or ‘How To Date (& Leave) An Arsehole’. One good thing that has come out of this experience is opening up the discussion about emotional abuse. Until I had counselling, I had just perceived our relationship as toxic but it was a game-changer realising it was more than that. As I have written in an earlier post, ‘Invisible Scars’ https://wp.me/p9u5hw-Sf identifying a relationship as emotionally abusive is not about labelling yourself as a victim but instead recognising what unacceptable behaviours occurred and getting the help necessary to heal. It’s a work in progress. The revelation that my boss/ex has been allowed to get away with abusing his position of power triggered unpleasant memories this week that I have tried hard to put behind me and sent me back to a dark place. And people wonder why it mattered to me that I was not heard and he was not held accountable. This article explains why emotional abuse needs to be taken seriously and suggests ways to set yourself free for any of you experiencing this bit.ly/2PmPpP1 I fought back. You can too. There is life after emotional abuse.
The best revenge is being happier without them and I’m definitely enjoying living a new chapter in my life. I will never go back to Dubai – the hypocrisy of the place repulses me and there could be legal consequences for me if I returned. Things are what they are and nothing I say is going to change anything. I’ve wasted too much time on this man and this whole saga. I can’t keep trying to convince people to believe me when they just don’t want to listen. People always believe whatever they want in the end, regardless of the truth. Proud of myself for holding him accountable when others haven’t. He’s welcome to stay where people know what he did. He’s made his bed. No smoke without fire. You can’t say I didn’t warn you if he does it again, though I doubt very much that he would be that stupid. His family and I deserved better; he let us all down. I’m grateful I got away and he can’t hurt or manipulate me any more. I’m leaving this to karma. What goes around comes around. The blog posts speak for themselves. After everything I’ve gone through, I’m happy and healthy, and that’s all that matters to me now. Complete closure, finally. Good riddance 😉
Peace & love.
This blog post links with: Letter To The CEO https://wp.me/p9u5hw-1AD; For The Record https://wp.me/p9u5hw-18C; How To Date An Arsehole https://wp.me/p9u5hw-4K; Get Lit (Not Gaslighted…) https://wp.me/p9u5hw-Gr; Invisible Scars https://wp.me/p9u5hw-Sf; From One (Ex) Mistress To Another https://wp.me/p9u5hw-1zN All of these posts have been updated for the final time.