Since about a year and a half ago, I have been in a relationship with someone who is an ex-colleague. At first as it was private, I only told my close friends at work. Eventually my boss came to know about our relationship. Since then, I feel like she's always trying to get involved in our life. As a matter of fact, my fiancé worked under her supervision some years ago so they know each other.

As we work together everyday, quite often, we usually take our tea break together to discuss work or other matters. But since she found out about us, she is now always asking personal questions concerning us. Questions about what we did this weekend, when we are meeting, our plans and also our family matters. In certain ways she is acting like she knows him much better than I know him. Sometimes these conversations impact my relationship with my fiancé. In fact, we are both annoyed by the way she interferes between us.

My fiancé has told me to tell her not to interfere with us. I am quite confused what to do with this situation. I feel I might be a bit 'blacklisted' and also I respect her for she is very close to me and I see her more as a mother.

I do my best to avoid these conversations with her but sometimes it just not possible.

How can I prevent my boss from interfering in my private life in a way that preserves my relationship with my boss?

This question is in the context of the Culture of Mauritius

  • 1
    comments removed: Comments are intended to help improve a post or to seek clarification. For extended discussions, please use The Workplace Chat.
    – jmort253
    May 25, 2013 at 3:10
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    Hi Neha, welcome to The Workplace! There wasn't an actual question here. On The Workplace, our Q&A format requires an actual question that can be answered with facts, references, and specific expertise. I inferred from your post what that question might be, and I edited it in. If that isn't the question you meant to ask, please use this edit link to make further edits. Hope this helps! :)
    – jmort253
    May 25, 2013 at 3:13

2 Answers 2


You give some interesting information that seems to be somewhat contradictory. Writing "she is very close to me and I see her more as a mother" seems to imply that you have a relationship that is more than just work colleagues, and that you have been happy with this up until now. However you don't seem to want her interfering in this specific relationship, although a "mother-like" relationship would normally imply you've discussed previous relationships with her. Why do you particularly want to not discuss this relationship with her? No need to answer that here, but it is something you should think about.

You should treat this situation like you would treat any relationship where you want to create more distance between you - and the way to do that is far outside the scope of a workplace site. Make sure you do it politely and respectfully I would expect that your boss would not discriminate against you because you broke off a friendship, but how to react if she does is a whole other question.

  • Absolutely, @DJClayworth.
    – samarasa
    May 24, 2013 at 19:53
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    And a manager shouldn't be like a mother -- think about the boundaries you have and should have in a work relationship, and work to make sure they are more appropriate for a boss instead of a close family member. May 24, 2013 at 22:49
  • If she is actually like a mother, the problem doesn't become very different: some mothers are felt too invasive by their children and their children-in-law. I'm sure this issue is often raised to ParentingSE.
    – Pere
    Jun 29, 2017 at 16:06

I also see that some managers try to ask questions about personal life for some good reasons: to make you more comfortable to work with him/her and create a friendly environment, etc. However, there should be a boundary/limit on the questions. It depends on the relationship between the two persons.

As Neha described, she treats her manager as a mother. Therefore, I will take the following approach to deal this issue without hurting others or burning bridges. As @PLB suggested, when she/he asks questions about your personal life then try to change the topic or show your discomfort with your body language in a gentle manner. I hope that your manager observes that and he/she stops after a while. If still continues, then politely tell her as your fiance suggested. Start with a gentle approach and then go as hard as you can based on how close you are with your manager.

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