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Why is it always a coworker?

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PhantomLimb posted 8/6/2013 22:25 PM

I know that's a dumb question-- but I'm so surprised by how many AP are COW on this site. My WS's was, too.

Is it like they are monkeys in the zoo or what?

WTF is wrong with these people?

h0peless posted 8/6/2013 22:34 PM

In my case, the ex was complaining about me to her friends at work and some creepy old dude heard her and decided to take a shot. Apparently it was pretty effective.

cuppacoffee posted 8/6/2013 22:34 PM

i suppose it's because they are at work as much as at home.

I just know if the husband would have put as much work into his job as he did to his COW he'd be making more money.

and every time he crabs about his job I remind him that.

PhantomLimb posted 8/6/2013 22:58 PM

In my case COW sent around an email asking people in the office to help her move after she filed. My WS was the KISA type and, even though I begged him not to get involved, he was the *only* one who went to help.

I had just moved out of town for a job and I think he was lonely. No one else in the office seemed to like him and they latched onto each other.

WS and I met in school, which I guess is a little like being coworkers. We had something like 5 classes together our first year in grad school. So I guess it happens.

I guess I just don't get it given how risky it seems. It's one thing to date in school which is a terminal thing-- you eventually graduate or leave or something.

But for something to blow up at work? Don't sh*t where you eat!

[This message edited by PhantomLimb at 10:58 PM, August 6th (Tuesday)]

Mama_of_3_Kids posted 8/6/2013 23:04 PM

For Do3K, it could have happened anywhere; yes, the work environment was a bad situation (A City...seriously, people screwing around ALL.THE.TIME), but his lack of boundaries are what allowed for the A to happen.

meaniemouse posted 8/6/2013 23:22 PM

I think there is actually some research on this topic. Generally the thinking is that at work people are usually at their best. They dress well, look good and are on their best behavior. For people who are in professional careers, they are usually really, really good at what they do and get a lot of positive feedback from co-workers--often there's a built-in mutual admiration society at the workplace. Couple that with a bunch of people who spend a great deal of time together with similar interests and backgrounds that are reflective of the work they do and with no visible reminders of hearth and home around. . . add to that travel for work, working in close quarters and spending breaks and lunches and maybe after-hours time together on a regular basis and it can be a recipe for disaster. Especially if the spouse is in a different field or at stay-at-home-parent who is busy with their own stuff and doesn't "get" how hard the other spouse's worklife is (but of course, the co-worker does) and it can be a minefield.

[This message edited by meaniemouse at 11:25 PM, August 6th (Tuesday)]

womaninflux posted 8/6/2013 23:31 PM

Agree with Meaniemouse...people have their best "front" on at work and they only show what they want to show. No one at work knows they leave the seat up or ignore their spouse or watch porn or are incredibly selfish in many ways. No one at work has to live with them, see them at their worst, argue with them about money and in-laws.

PhantomLimb posted 8/6/2013 23:42 PM

That makes a *lot* of sense to me. In that kind of environment, it seems almost easy for someone to slip if they don't have good boundaries.

I've certainly had crushes on co-workers, but I always recognized them as fleeting and rarely about the person deep down. Usually I would just make a mental note "if I were single..." but, guess what, I'm not single. So I'd let it go. I always thought that acknowledging the feelings to myself took power away from them. And I just thought it showed I wasn't dead inside. :)

I guess that's the difference. I never dreamed of trying to act on it. Because when you weighed something that flimsy and imaginary against the "Real" love that I had at home, there wasn't a contest. And I could never hurt and disrespect my spouse in that way.

I'm surprised any subsequent relationship with an AP coworker works out, to be honest!

kansas1968 posted 8/6/2013 23:44 PM

I know at least for myself, I developed some really lasting, deep, relationships at work. Some of those could have probably developed into affairs if I didn't have strong boundaries in place. You are with those people hours and hours every day, actually more than you are with your spouse, and many time in intense situations. You have to trust each other and you share a lot of yourself with those folks.
Very easy to go from friend to lover if those boundaries are weak or not present.

wannabenormal posted 8/6/2013 23:50 PM

I agree that it has a lot to do with appearance and approval; they're neato - they always look and smell nice. They're good at their job. They don't usually bitch about needing money for groceries. They actually don't usually bitch at all. We eat lunch together and laugh at the same 'someecards' work cards.

It's a false sense of intimacy. It's also an escape for those that do engage.

cuppacoffee posted 8/6/2013 23:53 PM

t/j
The husband used to wear this nasty smelling axe stuff at work to smell like a young guy. Most of his coworkers are teens/college age. He's 32.

He now wears older smelling stuff. i like him smelling like a man not a boy.


He was always his best at work. She never knew about how he'd flip out on us or leave his socks all over the house. She got the 'best' of him.

womaninflux posted 8/6/2013 23:56 PM

Also want to add, work is the place where everyone has their party manners on (and hopefully keeps their PANTS on).

PhantomLimb posted 8/7/2013 00:12 AM

Maybe I'm crazy, but I always preferred the relationship I had at home where I wasn't always "on" and wasn't always trying to impress.

wannabenormal posted 8/7/2013 00:27 AM

Phantom - that's why YOU are not a WS! LOL!

I find it sad really - but it's so common.

womaninflux posted 8/7/2013 00:38 AM

Phantom -

You aren't crazy...you are REAL. But most people who engage in an affair are into it at least in part for the fantasy of it. Recently spoke with old friend who revealed a year long affair she had over a decade ago with her married boss. Neither she nor he works for the company any longer. Going through what I have been through (SAWH had a 2+ year affair with a co-worker), I wanted to know more about their motivation and what it was like, what kept it going, what ended it. She said at first, part of the excitement and appeal was the secrecy and the sneaking around. But that grew tiresome quickly. They could never be seen in public, go to movies, out to dinner, out to a bar. The only weekend they spent in public together was one where they flew to another city together. They had to use work related events as a way of getting together...their time was literally stolen moments. They'd have a vendor dinner which would end at 10 and he'd be at her apartment with her until he'd go home at 2. Pretty much what my SAWH was doing with his AP.

In the end, she wanted more from the relationship and, realizing that she would never get that, she ended it.

Now she realizes how selfish she was and that their behavior, though it was not their intent, probably did hurt his wife and kid ( she is not sure the wife ever found out but apparently towards the end she was suspicious). She also realizes that she did not really KNOW him - she only knew what he revealed to her and likewise she with him. It wasn't worth it in the end.

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