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Ask Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC Your Own ...

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5451
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Im in a unique-ish situation.

Customer Question

I'm in a unique-ish situation. I work for two friends (small family business) who are married but are separated due to his cheating. He is living in the house as he can't afford his own place. One of the things I do at their business is maintain the computers - I know he's been on porn / escort sites. Last night I went to get his chair out for a meeting and his screen was a log out for an escort service. while we were in the meeting one of the employees went into his office to put something on his desk (I could see her go in) she was in there just a tich longer than it would take to toss a piece of paper on his desk. I'm concerned she saw the screen. Is it appropriate for me to tell him this and let him know that many of our computer issues are due to viruses (our computer network is filled with them and it's affecting productivity.  He said that he would spend the $5-6,000 needed to replace the computers - we can't afford it but can't afford not to due to lost production time the system causes) that come from those sites? I've been having a very hard time with this whole thing as he has been like a brother to me and I'm still - after several months - trying to figure out how I feel about his lying, cheating, deceiving - not only his wife and kids - but also to me. His company has struggled for 8 years and I have been instrumental and sacrificed a lot to get it running. He and I have had many conversations about his situation and I struggle every day to not judge - be kind and compassionate and know it's not my issue. But I have lost a great deal of respect for him. Through out the years I knew he was unhappy and frustrated and I advised him to do it the right way for the sake of the kids if nothing else - if it wasn't working than leave with some dignity. He didn't do that - he got caught Do I talk to him about his computer use and the fact that an employee may have seen it and to stop being careless? I can't imagine what would happen if his wife or one of his kids see something like that. As his friend, the issue that bothers me most is that while his wife and kids are getting counseling he says he cant afford to get some - and he needs it the most but he can obviously afford "escorts" he apparently can afford (he went through drug, alcohol and sex addition counseling when we were younger - He and I (and his wife) have been friends for about 25 yrs)

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

Whenever you are employed by a friend, it can be very difficult to separate those lines of what to say and do while you are at work. After all, this person pays you to do a job but you are also familiar enough with each other that the usually boundaries of work relationships are not there.

However, your friend seems to have blended his personal issues with his work and that is never good. It can make him lose respect with his workers as it already has with you and it can hurt his business as well. If he is distracted by his personal issues he will not be giving his best to his business.

While it is distressing to see your friend having these problems you also need to be able to work and to not be drawn into his life at this point. Because of that, it is probably a good idea to allow your friend to be responsible for his own behavior. If that means other employees see what is on his computer, that is what happens. The issue with covering for him or letting him know when his porn or escort sites are visible is that he gets to avoid the consequences of his behavior. And that will prevent him from seeing what he is doing as an issue. But if employees begin to quit or are bothered by what he is doing and he hears about it, it may trigger him to finally deal with his issues. It also leaves you out of the caregiver role which only adds stress to your life. Also I suspect that is he is fully aware of what he is doing and the potential consequences. He may just be choosing not to deal with it.

You are right that if your friend wanted help he could go. If he can afford escorts, which are not cheap, he could afford counseling. I suspect that your friend is choosing to avoid therapy because he does not see an issue with how he is acting.

If you feel you want to talk to someone about what is going on with your friend, there are many options for low cost therapy. Here is a site to help you:

http://psychcentral.com/lib/2007/finding-low-cost-psychotherapy/all/1/

I hope this has helped you,
Kate
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5451
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. It's hard watching this and having him risk everything I've worked and sacrificed for over 8 years. I don't know I can fool myself any more in believing it'll all be worth it in the end
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
You're welcome!

I understand how you feel. It is difficult to see someone decline as he is doing and hurting not only himself, but his family and business as well. It might be worth looking for another job so you can more easily be there for your friends and keep your employment separate.

My best to you,
Kate

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