TODAY

TODAY   |  June 17, 2013

What to do if your boss sends inappropriate texts

A new survey asked complicated relationship questions, like what to do about an inappropriate boss or a partner who is Facebook friends with an ex, and received some surprising results. Relationship expert and Men’s Health contributor Ian Kerner and Sascha De Gersdorff of Women’s Health discuss the findings.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> through your partner's e-mails or texts or asked them to defriend an ex on facebook . what if your boss was sending inappropriate messages. what would you do?

>> those questions were asked by good and bad.com in conjunction with mens and womens health magazine and the results were surprising.

>> ian is an expert and contributor to men's health and she is featured editor for women's health.

>> good to see you guys.

>> this is a nationwide survey. let's start with the first question. what to do if your partner is facebook friends with his or her ex. 56% say it's not a threat. 17% would ask their friend to defriend their ex, 6% would friend the ex themselves.

>> which i love. i think people are too cavalier and they're saying it's not a big deal but we see it all the time. people rekindle these relationships. their relationships with their partners are getting stress tested and they reach out to an ex. i like that 6.5% said if you want to be a friend with my boyfriend or girlfriend, you're going to be a friend of the relationship.

>> that's a great point and i think that we find at women's health that people that spend a lot of time on social media , especially facebook have higher levels of jealousy in their relationship. a little bit, okay. but things can get rocky and you don't want to be obsessively checking out who they're friends with.

>> i don't friend anybody on my facebook .

>> nice guy.

>> yeah, okay, what to do if your boss sends you inappropriate sexual text messages . a majority of participants said they would send a message back to their boss saying that's inappropriate. larger numbers said they would go directly to human resources to report it or ignore it completely. this is a tricky situation. a lot of people, if you report you could face consequences. if you don't report you're going to be dealing with an even worse situation.

>> absolutely. the number one thing to do is do not text or if there is more of them, save it. you want that record. we agree you want to go to hr. confronting the boss directly as you said could get a little sticky so you want to go to hr with the record so it doesn't become a he said, she said thing and make sure you understand your company's sexual harassment policy. could be a firing offense so you want to protect yourself.

>> 7.6% said they would use it to climb the corporate ladder.

>> yeah.

>> wow.

>> and more men said they would do that than women.

>> oh.

>> next question, what to do if you find out your partner snooped through your personal messages like texts, e-mails or facebook . 56% would want to get to the root of why their partner was snooping but 41% expressed genuine concern for their partner's distress. what do you think?

>> this is an all too common situation. we're all on our smartphones. we're texting, we're e-mailing. it's natural to want to know who are you talking to or writing with and if your response is not revealing that can breed suspicion which leads to snooping. this happens very often.

>> how should it be handled?

>> it's interesting, a small but significant percentage said i'll give my partner my password. i think in a loving, trusting, committed relationship you should have nothing to hide and the concept of snooping shouldn't even exist in the first place.

>> right.

>> and here's another one, what to do if you discover that your partner is sexting with someone else. 68% would confront their partner about. 32% wouldn't. 20% said they would just flat out leave their partner. that seems like a high number.

>> well look. look at what we're seeing in the news with folks like anthony wiener. in some ways, the whole thing is out of control. it's interesting that a lot of people said they wouldn't do anything which tells me that a lot of the texts are probably not as graphic but more in that middle zone of flirtation. and i think in the end we have to get some control of technology. i think it's really just advancing at such a rapid pace that it's really ahead of our relationships.

>> but yet very much a part of it as we know so i would say, you know, what is the text? is it a little flirtatious or is it more x-rated. we want to talk about what is a sext and what is more harmless.

>> and flirtation too. how much are you going to allow in your relationship.

>> throughout this study we saw in any flirting scenario people are willing to allow a degree of flirtation. whether it's with a partner's best friend .

>> the survey said 45% would confront their friend if their friend was flirting with their boyfriend or girlfriend. 34% said they would let it go.

>> yeah.

>> thank you so much.