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Cher, Relationship Enthusiast
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 21449
Experience:  Extensive experience as Educator/Teacher, M.A., Counselor, Spouse, Parent, Psychic Advisor
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I am in a personal relationship with my supervisor. He is being

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I am in a personal relationship with my supervisor. He is being emotionally abusive to me at work when we are discussing some work-related issues. He lets himself use the tone and threaten me with loosing my position every time he is dissatisfied with my perception. I have already warned him that I can officially complain on that, but it only makes him angrier and wanting to get revenge more and more. He feels free to use the dirty language outside the work, and is being very disrespectful on everyday basis if it all is happening in such context. How can I protect myself and my position, also what can I do for him to control himself with me at work and outside of work? I like my job, but I do not want to work in such a poisonous environment. Thanks.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Cher replied 8 years ago.
Hello, and thanks for your question.

When you say you are in a personal relationship with your supervisor, do you mean a 'romantic' relationship, or you just 'associate' with each other as friends, outside of work?

Can you give some examples of how he is emotionally abusive at work when you are discussing work-related matters?

What sort of position do you have and what perception of yours does he claim to be dissatisfied with?

How long have you worked in this environment?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
It's more than a romantic relationship, at some point we had feelings for each other, but now it's like a constant unhappiness with very rare nice moments.

He raises his voice, even if the door is open and there are people outside the office. When I ask him to speak quiter, he ignores it. Usually, he immediately threatens with firing me (I report to him, and also hold a supervision position under him). I feel powerless and treated so unfairly.

We are 'together' for 4 years, it was always difficult, but last 2-2.5 years - incredibly diffiult for my side, at least. He is very authoritative and controlling, and has a history ofpublic, long and ugly divorce process.
Expert:  Cher replied 8 years ago.
Hi again, and thanks for your reply with additional information.

His behavior toward you is unacceptable, especially in the workplace.

What I suggest you do, if your words seem to fall on deaf ears, in the future, is first, close the door to the room you're in if he's yelling, and gently ask him to lower his voice; if he refuses, walk out of the room telling him you'll be happy to listen, when he speaks more quietly to you.

If he threatens to fire you, he can't do so unless he can prove you are not doing your job properly, and you can report him for the way he treats you, to his boss. It sounds like he needs some anger management therapy and if he has a past history of public, long and ugly divorces, it's obvious why. He does sound like a very angry, impatient person and if he is authoritative and controlling at work and in your personal life, there's no reason you should continue any kind of personal relationships with him, unless you can think of a reason why you should stay a personal friend of his. You said you're unhappy, and you deserve happiness.

You shouldn't feel obligated to leave your job, due to his very unnecessary behavior, and if he doesn't know the proper way to speak to employees/people, HIS supervisor should let him know this. If you've gone through all the proper channels to get him to stop, but he hasn't, you'll have to reiterate to the powers that be, how his constant unacceptable 'business' behavior continues.

Tell him that because of his behavior, you'll no longer be seeing him outside the office, and you would appreciate no contact from him. The workplace is 'one' relationship and outside the workplace is another, and you can stop your personal relationship with him outside of work, as you wish to. He can't take it out on you at work, if he's angry you've decided not to be his 'friend' anymore. If you speak to him in just as authoritative a voice, but in a ladylike fashion, and tell him firmly and confidently, that you will no longer tolerate his treatment of you, in this manner, at work, he should get the idea. If he continues, continue to report him and perhaps you can ask for a transfer to another department where he won't be your supervisor. In that way, you won't have to see him/be spoken to, in that way, anymore.

If you can't change your position at work, ask him to write you emails or notes, etc., to say what he has to say, regarding your job, but you will not listen to him speak to you this way in the future.

No one should have to tolerate this type of treatment at work, or in a relationship outside of work, and I admire you for staying this long!

I hope things work out well for you.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX is so uplifting to hear your words of fairness and good advice.
Th problem for me is that I like my job and I have a daughter who I have responsibilies for, but if I go report him, my professional environment might become intolerable and I will have to leave: he has a power in the situation, and can make my professional life unsuccessful and difficult. He often criticises my work, twists what people talk about me (just to make me feel inconfident I assume) etc. That's why I feel cornered and powerless.
Expert:  Cher replied 8 years ago.
Hi again, and you're most welcome.

I understand your quandary because you can't leave your job, due to supporting your daughter and yourself.

Don't allow him to make you feel a lack of confidence, and if he twists what people say about you, don't listen, knowing it's not true. Isn't he already making your professional environment intolerable? I know you feel it can get worse, and you're probably right

Try to find out what the 'ladder' of power is, and who is a good person to speak to in Human Resources or someone in a higher position than him, about his abusive behavior. Perhaps you can find other people he treats the same way at work, and all of you can go to a supervisor, together. There's power in numbers, you know, and that may help.

If you feel there's absolutely nothing you can do about his behavior at work, then don't interact with him, unless you really have to.

Turn off his yelling in your mind, and think of something else. Walk out of the room, as I suggested earlier. Tell him quietly that unless he learns to speak to you properly and with respect, you can't hear him. Tell him to send you an email, as you're 'allergic' to yelling and nastiness. I think if YOU seem stronger, he'll back off at least a little bit. He sounds like the type to never hear/see himself and thinks everyone else is wrong.

If possible, start scoping out some other jobs on your same level, in different companies. Don't allow them to call your present company to confirm your employment, if you end up being interviewed, if you're not sure you want to leave and/or if you haven't given notice, yet. Checking around to see what else may be available for you, is never a bad idea.

Cher and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX will try to follow your advice.
Expert:  Cher replied 8 years ago.
You're most welcome, and I thank you for your reply and your accept.

I hope things improve, soon!