Dear Annie: I think my supervisor is having an affair with a coworker

My colleague, “Jane”, is the front desk person and has a bird’s eye view of everything. Over the past few years, she has noticed that it seemed like my supervisor was having an affair with another coworker. I, too, have noticed what seem to be signs of an affair. Although I don’t approve (if I do), I am able to work without it bothering me. Recently this has started to affect my colleague so much that she now says it is a hostile work environment.

My question is, do I need to mention something to my supervisor before my colleague passes it on to HR? She threatened to do it, but she’s the type who normally doesn’t talk about action.

I feel uncomfortable saying something to my supervisor, but if it went all the way to HR, I would feel disloyal for not giving him a warning. I don’t know how to handle this delicate situation. – Clumsiness in the office

Dear Awkwardness: First of all, stop arguing with Jane about the alleged affair. Speculation without action equals gossip, and nothing good can come of it. The next time she tries to talk to you about it, tell her you’re uncomfortable discussing it and change the subject.

Of course, she is free to speak to HR about this. And if that impacts her ability to do her job, then she definitely should. Don’t Intercede: What would the end of the game be if you told your boss about it? This would make Jane vulnerable to preemptive attacks and protect your boss from the consequences of his own bad decisions. If he’s having an inappropriate affair, it’s a bad bet he’s chosen to bet. Let the chips drop where they can; the stakes are not yours.

Dear Annie: Thank you very much for the advice you give people, especially on participating in various support groups. I want to suggest another group that you could recommend as a resource: adult children of alcoholics and dysfunctional families.

ACA has helped me tremendously.

I was abused as a child and learned dysfunctional behavior because of it.

I started using drugs and drinking alcohol when I was 8 years old. My use of alcohol and drugs ultimately led me to deal in drugs and commit other criminal acts. I spent about nine years in prison, intermittently from 26 to 50 years. I got sober during one of my prison terms, and when I got out I had five years of sobriety under my belt. I ended up relapsing twice because of all the childhood trauma. I have brought this learned behavior from childhood into my adult actions and relationships.

I have now been in ACA for two years and out of prison for two and a half years. I will have been clean for 10 years this month.

I would like you to look at this program and promote it if you think it would be useful. If you would like to print my story of hope for others, I would be honored. – Hope story in Reading, PA

“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is now available! Annie Lane’s first book – with her favorite columns on love, friendship, family, and etiquette – is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected].

Annie Lane grew up in California and headed east to graduate with honors from New York University, where she majored in English literature and psychology. She obtained her Juris Doctor from New York Law School.

Since July 2016, Annie has offered common sense solutions to everyday problems in her column “Dear Annie”. His advice is exceptionally insightful. She’s firm, funny and sympathetic, echoing the style of her biggest inspiration, Ann Landers.

Annie lives outside of Manhattan with her husband, two children and two dogs. When not writing, she devotes her time to playing dates and Play-Doh.