I’m a female who worked closely with, and socialized with, a guy for 12 years. We became very close friends.
We were never romantic, never kissed. We’re both married to other people and all became close friends.
Four years ago, he was getting divorced and took another job closer to home and his kids. We remained good friends with him.
Two years ago, I moved to another workplace and somehow, it set him off!
On my second day, he called, telling me adamantly to quit, that he worked there before we met, he sometimes sends work there, and he didn’t want me there.
I reassured him that I respect him as a professional and friend and wouldn’t talk about him if his name came up.
But he still insisted that I must quit. He gave no reason why.
His demand went on for months. Then he sent me two emails that were so ignorant and vile, the names he called me hurt me to my core! I emailed him back to never speak to/contact me again.
I blocked him from all contact with me.
My husband said I was right to be hurt and angry, but we were both overreacting and should step back a bit… but I was too hurt!
Three months later, he suddenly appeared at my job. I removed myself from the service area until he’d left. He arrived again the next day. Again, I removed myself but he’d seen me and how scared I was of what he’d say or do. He never returned.
However, he started calling me there, multiple times daily…as soon as I knew it was him I’d transfer the call. I’ve never in the 18 months this has been going on communicated with him.
Two months ago, unrelated to him, I took another job.
Now, he’s calling me on my personal cell phone, multiple times weekly, always from a different number.
I don’t want to get the police involved because neither my husband nor I see this as harassment. I’m deeply hurt and offended by his previous tirades against me.
He’s never escalated this beyond phone calls. My husband thinks I should email him that, if he can keep it civil and respectful, I’ll meet him to discuss this.
We don’t think he’s going to give up until I do this.
Should I Meet Him?
Do NOT meet him alone.
You have no idea how disturbed, or even dangerous he is to have pursued you so obsessively and angrily.
This is clear harassment: In Canada, under Human Rights law, harassment includes any unwanted physical or verbal behaviour that offends or humiliates you.
Canadian Criminal law defines it as harassing behaviour including repeatedly following, communicating with or watching over one’s home.
Under United States’ laws, harassments defined as any repeated or continuing uninvited contact that serves no useful purpose beyond creating alarm, annoyance, or emotional distress.
While it’s possible that your former friend has been affected by a mental health illness, or had a real concern for your well-being at that first new job, his actions were/are bizarre, possibly dangerous.
If your husband wants to test the man’s interest in a meeting, HE should see him first, without you. And insist on an explanation of why he’s hounded you, before you will consider meeting him with your husband at your side.
Even then, I worry about this man’s state of mind, and your safety. Whatever his issue, it’s gone too far.
FEEDBACK Regarding the wife whose husband wants to move downstairs (Nov. 29):
Reader – “Here's a poor guy who’s been tongue-lashed so often by his scolding wife that he’s reduced to living in the basement!
“The wife doesn't see it that way. The neighbours and their family do, and probably think he should’ve moved out altogether years ago.
“He's been enduring a living hell.
“The slim minority of long-term husbands who are happy have gentle, respectful wives.
“This 57-year-old woman will never find a better man than the one she has. Too bad she didn't realize it and treat him with more respect.”
Ellie – Nowhere is there a single sentence in the wife’s original letter that corroborates what you’ve written other than her age.
Your feedback is about your attitude towards marriage. I hope that if you felt that miserable, you left civilly and didn’t badmouth your ex in this manner.
Tip of the day:
If someone harasses you, and blocking contact doesn’t help, protect your safety, including notifying police.