I have a friend whose husband is a doctor. Every year at their annual Christmas party, she tells me that his receptionist and nurses are so rude to her and treat her like she’s non existent.
Can you imagine? It’s his wife!
Um, yep. I actually can.
FYI, it’s a common theme I hear all the time.
So it got me to thinking…
Why is it that the women employed by our husbands/partners/companions tend to treat the significant lady in his life so poorly?
I mean one would think that if your boss’s significant other is important to him, they should be important to the people who work for him, right?
I started asking around to many women who have found themselves in exactly the same position.
I started hearing tales of horror about the paralegal who worked for one woman’s husband and would never bother to say hello to her, or the secretary of another one’s boyfriend who used to ignore her every time she came to the office, or the assistant of another one’s partner who would urge him to break up with her because she liked his last girlfriend better.
I mean, really, what the heck?
The tales were endless.
The reasons? Well, those vary.
There seems to be a fine veil of faithful protectiveness that certain women develop when working for their boss. They begin to form a bond that gives them this weird sort of “I know him better than you,” na na-na na na attitude.
That creepy connection all of a sudden lends itself to grow into this full-blown case of what I like to refer to as “Employer Territorialism,” and all of a sudden, out of nowhere, it’s you who begins to feel like the other woman.
So what are the signs of employer territorialism, you might ask?
When you are around his female employee(s), you feel like:
-You’re looked at disapprovingly.
-Ignored, dismissed, disregarded, judged.
-The ‘outsider’ of an exclusive sorority.
-You’re talked about and very targeted.
-She/they are working against your relationship.
-You’re very transient; a fling, yesterday’s chuck roast.
Here’s the thing, ladies — your significant other IS NOT bothered one bit by the developing ‘feline war.’
What man doesn’t like a good cat fight?
They LOVE it!! Can I emphasize LOVE, LOVE and LOVE enough?
What guy doesn’t like a wrestling match between two women, even if it’s just metaphorically speaking? Whether they tell you or not, your guy — yes, the one you’re sleeping with, rolling around in the hay with, doing the cha-cha with — well, he’s set up these dynamics.
Don’t be a fool. He’s empowered his employee(s). He’s allowed this, authorized this, given them this free jurisdiction over his life.
You know, like letting the children rule the roost.
And depending on how much he relies on them or her — well, it sucks for you, because if you’re fairly new, you’re not getting a seat at the lunch table.
Whether he admits it or not, what man doesn’t want to be the prize between all the competing ladies in his life?
-Each one posturing to be more important than the other.
-Each one trying to be the alpha female.
-Each one trying to achieve dominance in his jungle.
And while these men work all day with these ladies and their importance is very much relevant — they’re not MORE important than the actual partner in their lives.
Unless, of course, they sense that your time is limited and knowingly put you in the “she’s gone in 45 seconds” category.
Even then, they should fake it a little better.
So basically these entrusted employees wind up judging you — and your worth and your value and your significance and your character — from their perspectives, all based on the longevity of their relationship with their boss because they know what’s best for him.
Most of the time they are just trying to maintain their own importance in his life while sustaining serious job security.
And believe me when I say that if they feel ever so slightly threatened by you — their motive for getting you kicked to the curb will be singularly clear.
I remember a scene in “Sex and the City” where Samantha was lying in bed with her then boyfriend, Richard. He had this Asian cleaning lady that couldn’t bend over backwards enough for him — that is, until Samantha was left alone with her when he went to work one morning. She threw her out of bed to change the oh-so-dirty sheets — literally pulling them out from underneath her.
I’ll put it in simple terms.
While the iconic heavily-maned male lion is traditionally awarded the title “King of the Jungle,” in reality it is the influential matriarch, the alpha female lion, (his partner) who rules the pride and keeps Leo in his place.
Truth be told, she combines her tender maternal instincts with the necessary degree of ruthless determination she needs to safeguard her life.
In other words, ladies…
In this catfight —the pussycat always wins.
Until Next Week