Wednesday, 24 September 2014

The End Game (part 1)

When John and I broke up 5 months ago it was because of his cheating.  I've caught him a few times sexting other women, and come across just too many 'lovesick' girls in and around my company to not be smelling a rat. I finally caught him with evidence on his phone of having a full blown sexual relationship with another woman, and when I contacted her, I discovered he'd been having sex with her for more than 22 years!  All the way through our relationship!! I was devastated.  I just couldn't understand how he could have deceived me so easily. How he could have entered into our relationship with such deception from the start. And I had really really loved him.  (I'll blog more about this story later).  He actually told his girlfriend that he was only sleeping with me to keep his job!

In the face of such betrayal I just couldn't carry on working alongside him any more!  And the more I thought about his 'sleeping with me to keep his job', the more I could see the truth in that.  He was doing less than half of what I had employed him to do. Earning a FAT salary (which he had engineered to overpay himself for YEARS), and I was picking up the slack for him, doing half of his job and all of mine.  I was cleaning up his messes; making excuses to everyone for his rude and arrogant behaviour, and finding and fixing his mistakes in the work he did.  I had lost some strong and valuable staff because of him - they could see right through him while I was still in 'lalaland'.

As I started seeing the man through my now broken rose coloured spectacles I realised I was carrying a lazy, lying, cheating, incompetent schmuck who was destroying me and my company more every single day he came to work.  I decided to ask him to go.  I knew he was now in a very fragile state of mind and I was afraid of how he might respond.   He's a 53 year old guy - not a lot of job prospects ahead.  He's a talented entrepreneur, so I was pretty sure he would land on his feet, but even though he had been a bastard from hell to me, I didn't want to just turf his ass out onto the street.  So I wrote him a caring farewell note. I sent it to him and his shrink just before his shrink appointment so someone could hold him through the shock of it:

Dear Shrink and John 

I am sending this at this time because it needs to be done, and I fear the impact it will have on John. I considered joining your session today (John asked me to), but my shrink has advised me against it.  So here it comes in distant black and white.  It comes with a huge amount of sadness and pain, and from a place of love. 
Shrink, please help John understand why I now need to go 'No Contact' with him. I don’t think he will ever be able to truly understand how this has all impacted me, nor what I need to do to protect and heal myself now, nor how continued contact will continue to erode me and my ability to heal.

Dear John

In light of the horrendous events of the past few days, I believe the only course of action for us is to part ways completely.  There has been an irretrievable breakdown in the relationship and trust between us and I believe it to be impossible for us to continue to lead and manage my company together.

I am very aware that this will have a significant impact on you financially, and so in order to give you the opportunity to make a new plan to support yourself, I am offering a 3 month termination notice period.  Should you be able to find something else in a shorter period of time, you are most welcome to leave my company immediately to take advantage of that opportunity, but I will not extend the period beyond 3 months.  This means that your very last possible working day would be 21 August 2014, just to be clear.

I am fully aware that this is not a normal ‘HR’ process that I am taking here – and I am terribly afraid that you will take the legal route about this as you have threatened to do in the past.  But I am trying to trust that you have reached the point where you will try to do the good and honourable thing as you know I am, in order to limit the damage that could be caused to me, you, our families and children, our reputations, and my company that any prolonged legal battle would create.  You also know that my company currently cannot afford anything but this deal that I am offering you.

Here are the practical issues we would need to manage:
·         You continue to produce what we agreed is your role as commercial director of my company until you leave
·         You continue to work offsite unless you are required at meetings at work.
·         We will interact only on business issues – my shrink has strongly advised that I cannot allow any personal contact during this time
·         We will tell the staff that you have been offered an opportunity that you can’t refuse and will be moving on with great sorrow because of all the happy times we have shared in this space.
·         Even though I know you mean me well, as I do you, I know that the narcissistic part of you will be tempted to triangulate with the staff through this time and after. So another rule is that you may not have any meetings or conversations alone with any member of staff, or associate.  I am concerned that you may inadvertently do or say things to people which would very negatively impact on my ability to heal, and my ability to lead the team. (you have often done it inadvertently, even while still part of the team).  I also understand that this is a devastating request to you as these people have been your community for 4 years, and you will feel alone and abandoned and bereft for a while.  I’m deeply sorry about that.  It’s the only way I can see to keep us all safe, long term.  Please note that although I have no right to impose this post you leaving, I must ask you to stay away from the my company community people even after you’re gone. 
·          Please protect my reputation always.  I will protect yours.
I don’t know what else to say.  Please believe this is the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life.  The grief and pain I am experiencing is almost beyond my ability to hold.  I really hope that, painful as this has been,  we will both be able to use the lessons of this time to heal and grow into the best human beings we are capable of becoming. I wish you nothing but goodness in your future – I do understand how much you suffer with your demons and have huge compassion for your pain, no matter how much pain it has caused me.

All my love

When I read this now, 5 months later I am so angry at how he has taken advantage of me over these 5 months.  I tried so hard to look after him and he has not honoured that in any way.  Instead he has used this time to manipulate, torture, abuse, harangue, lie, and try to steal my company from me. He does not deserve the generosity of spirit I give to those I love.  He just desecrates it.  I don't believe he is capable of even understanding that people are capable of this level of care and love.

And I just let him trample all over me. And traumatise me even worse than he has ever done before.  And its been bad  before.

His latest move is to say he does not consider himself on notice at all (after 5 months), and that I should inform my new buyers that they will have to carry his cost as a full blown employee or pay a lot of money to him for a retrenchment package.  I now completely regret not having fired him outright 5 months ago. I should have just followed the cold HR process and be done with him!  My generosity is costing me big. Why I ever thought he was capable of doing the right thing I  just don't know.

I have to get rid of him immediately.  I will not be able to come back to work and lead my company, and facilitate the buyout, whilst at the same time trying to limit the damage he causes and watch my back every step of the way.  I'll be back in hospital within a week. Probably with a full blown heart attack this time.  I absolutely refuse.  I'm so done!!

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