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From the office, with love:
"Working with a cheating ex"

Abigail McCann   May 4, 2023

For when your boss is giving you BDE – big desk energy.
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All images and graphics courtesy of  Abigail McCann via Canva

Welcome to the first of many From the Office, With Love, City Girl Online’s new dating column navigating romance within the workplace and beyond. Every week we will have one of our lovely readers write in for advice and our team of experts will give you tailored, professional advice to help you live your best City Girl life.

“I have to work with my cheating ex”
Mobile phone
broken heart
Confused stickman

“Okay so the horror stories you’re told of ‘don’t s**t where you eat’ didn’t deter me from dating a colleague, but my god I wish they did. We started dating a few months ago, after working together for over a year, and it seemed perfect. I was spending everyday with  him – now my boyfriend – what could go wrong. Well, a lot actually. It was his birthday, so we had planned a getaway to Portugal.


“The day before the trip arrives and I am so excited to finally go away with a boyfriend, something I’ve never done before, so it must be serious right? Wrong. We see each other at work, and he kisses me goodbye saying he’ll pick me up at 8 am the next morning. 8am rolls around, no sign of him. 9am. 10am. 11am. Still no word and I start to panic. I call and message him what feels like a million times before resorting to calling his brother, who can confirm he’s safe but won’t say where he is. Then I get a text from a co-worker ‘meet us at the pub’.


“I head straight there to be met by a group of my co-workers all looking rather sheepish and they reveal the truth – he’d cheated.

“Whilst I was on a family trip a few weeks prior he had cheated with his ex-girlfriend, and it had become somewhat of a habit for him. Disgusted, I acted on impulse, emotionally texting him ‘We are done’. Like any girl in my situation, I sunk 3 or 4, maybe even 5, pink gins with my colleagues and returned home to sleep and cry.

“A week goes by and I’m still on holiday from work, we have little to no communication, and then the day rolls around. The day I’ve been dreading – my first day back at work, and obviously his too. Now we don’t work in the same department, but we do work very closely meaning many a desk visit is needed for correspondence. I am now a few weeks post breakup and I’m struggling. I can go from seeing him on a Friday afternoon meeting and feeling utter disgust and hatred, to seeing him on a lonely Monday and feeling like all I want to do is go back to how it was.

“I know my worth and I don’t want him back but the constant contact and running in the same circles is making it hard to be strong. Please I need your help on navigating this? I can’t not correspond with him as our departments work so closely, so what do I do? I can’t work feeling  like I’m going to punch him or kiss him at any second!”

- A very distressed office worker

Navigating a breakup is always hard. But the fact you have to see that cheater every day is the icing on top of the heartbreak cake. We say you’ve dodged a bullet there babe, but now for some professional, useful advice from the experts:

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It may seem hard right now, but using this expert advice the pain will fade and the memories become less vivid, and one day this will just be a fun anecdote to warn the grandchildren off, as you have put it "sh**ting where you eat". Cheer up chick, hot girl summer is coming...

For more from expert Debbie Rivers, click here and from expert Teresha Young, click here.

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