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User Topic: Work husbands and work wives
Razor
♂ Member
Member # 16345
Default  Posted: 11:23 AM, November 7th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Sure I think it is possible to have a friendly-work-related relationship with a coworker. And its possible to keep that friendship within safe boundaries.

I suggest reading *not just friends* by the way.

You can talk about how your kids are doing in school or sports activities or things you and your BF do together. BUT NOT about problems in your relationship. And CERTAINLY nothing along the lines of flirting or saying that had you not been with your BF you would go with him.

My WWs LTA started out as a work friend. Their talking went from work related things to things of a bit more private nature. And soon he was telling WW that I was having a affair (because I worked late often) and was offering advice on how to fix our M. The result was a many years long EA and a 3+ year PA.


Forgive and forget = Relive and regret.

Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.
Friedrich Nietzsche


Posts: 3483 | Registered: Sep 2007
circe
♀ Member
Member # 6687
Default  Posted: 11:28 AM, November 7th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Yes I am attracted to him and would date him if we were both single, I am not dead I can be attracted to a man who is not my BF and I can admit it. What I don't do is act on it. I am attracted to other men too, it happens. It is when you can't acknowlege the attraction and recognize the boundaries that the trouble starts.

Of course people can be attracted to someone other than their partner. But I disagree that the trouble starts when you can't acknowledge it. I think the trouble starts when you acknowledge your attraction and continue to put yourself in a position to "feed" it.

He is like my best friend at work. We make jokes, and they can be very off colour at times and yes we make some inappropriate comments.

The last thing I would do if I were attracted to another man is consider him my best friend and make off color jokes and inappropriate comments with him. To the point where coworkers are actually gossiping about our relationship and calling the married man my "boyfriend". I'm struggling to understand how you can read back over what you wrote and think that's ok.


I was just pointing out that you can't go through life without male friends, it is unreasonable. You just have to be conscious of boundaries and respectful of the other person's relationship.

So male friends that you're attracted to, getting gossiped about by coworkers, making inappropriate comments with - all of that is within your comfortable boundaries and respectful of your partners? His wife would be cool with hearing her husband referred to as your boyfriend? Do you really think that people are concerned about your situation JUST because he's a guy and you are his friend? There's no other red flags you can see that people here are responding to?



Posts: 3193 | Registered: Mar 2005
ninebark
♀ Member
Member # 24534
Default  Posted: 11:30 AM, November 7th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

You can talk about how your kids are doing in school or sports activities or things you and your BF do together. BUT NOT about problems in your relationship. And CERTAINLY nothing along the lines of flirting or saying that had you not been with your BF you would go with him.

And here lies the problem, you just made assumptions. I have said more than once that I have never spoken to him about problems in my relationship. I have also never said I flirted with him or never I have I told him if I wasn't with my BF I would go out with him. NEVER. In fact I have repeatedly said that our converastions were never intimate, we spoke highly of our SO's.

Please don't start twisting my words.


BS (me) 40
WH - 48
Married 12 years
DS - 12
D-day 06/21/09
Separated....hopefully divorcing soon.

Posts: 630 | Registered: Jun 2009 | From: Canada
GabyBaby
♀ Member
Member # 26928
Default  Posted: 11:36 AM, November 7th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Most of my friends ARE male. I have yet to hear of anyone in our circle calling one of them my "boyfriend".
My boundaries are VERY clear and very firm.

Ninebark, I'm sorry, but I do not think you're seeing the relationship from an outsider's perspective. In large part, maybe because you don't want to give up the friendship.
If your SO had a problem with this guy, would you back away and go no contact?
Add to that, does your SO know about this guy (in the conttext that you outlined to us here on SI)?
Would he find it amusing? Would your coworker's wife find it amusing?

With regard to the work spouse thing, its interesting to me (as a social science observation) that most of the people who seem more ok or less offended by the work spouse term are "younger". Is that indicative of our society's relaxed views on a lot of things? Maybe...but it is still troubling to me because it is another example of bad behavior being laughed off and accepted because its "cool" or has a cute label.


Me - 40s
SorryInSac - WH#2 - 40s. DDay 7/12/14
Married 4, together 7yrs total
Status - ??

DD(21), DS(18, PDD-NOS)
6 Furkids - 4 dogs, 2 cats

WXH (serial cheater, 12+ OW)
Legally married 18yrs, together 16.5yrs

I edit often for clarity.


Posts: 6456 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: California
ninebark
♀ Member
Member # 24534
Default  Posted: 12:13 PM, November 7th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I am not going to disagree that is sounds like a slippery slope. And yes I am carefully listening to all of your points and comments and processing them.

Yes my BF does know about my friendship and yes I have told him that if we were both single we I would go out with him if he asked. I am open and honest about everything. I have afforded the same courtsey to him as he has a best friend who is a girl (who introduced us), he was trying to get her to go out with him for years. This is not some clandestine relationsihp that is hidden. We are not acting like lovers, we do enjoy talking to each other but like I said those conversations are appropriate.

I do not work in an office environment, I work in a trades shop so there are going to be inappropriate jokes or off colour comments from time to time. And as I said it was one coworker who made the bf joke, trying to be funny and failing.

So I think I have pretty much over hijacked this thread.


BS (me) 40
WH - 48
Married 12 years
DS - 12
D-day 06/21/09
Separated....hopefully divorcing soon.

Posts: 630 | Registered: Jun 2009 | From: Canada
TrulySad
♀ Member
Member # 39652
Default  Posted: 12:27 PM, November 7th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I feel like it's a complete slam on the title of wife or husband.

We start a relationship out dating, calling each other girlfriend/boyfriend. We may graduate to a title of lover, and then if it's right, eventually wife or husband.

Would anyone here EVER think to call this person at work their "work girlfriend/boyfriend, or work lover"??? I'm taking a wild guess and going to assume no. So why in the heck is it ok to assign the MOST IMPORTANT TITLE of WIFE or HUSBAND, to a coworker at work??? These people are, at best, acquantances. To assign them such a title of importance, is indicating not only intimacy, but degrading the one you chose to walk through life with.

No amount of reasoning by others will ever convince me otherwise.


Me: Sad, but I will survive

True Love: What I have for my beautiful children.


Posts: 452 | Registered: Jun 2013
justdoit
♀ Member
Member # 25898
Default  Posted: 3:31 PM, November 7th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Is this a regional or industry expression? I've never even heard of a "work wife" or "work husband". To me it sounds like an oxymoron - you know like "jumbo shrimp". Even if you work with your spouse, as I have for years, the term just seems insulting to all concerned.


Me - 60
WH - 67
Married 35 years
DDay - 5/14/09
He's reconciled, I'm in limbo.
"Stuck in the middle with you"

Posts: 159 | Registered: Oct 2009 | From: Rocky Mountains
omgnome
♂ Member
Member # 36888
Default  Posted: 4:01 PM, November 7th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

@ninebark

I don't know the specifics of your friendship with your colleague, my only counsel would be examine it very objectively. I intercepted some conversations between my wife and her second EA partner. I have some of them on my profile, and if it isn't too triggery for you I would like to suggest you read a little bit of it. To see how easily it can go from simple close friends to star crossed almost-lovers very quickly. If you so decide you can start the reading by searching the following quote so you don't have to read through everything:

"This is a sampling of the 130 emails I found between my wife and OM#2 on DDay #2."

They claim they are just coworkers, they wish they would have gotten together when they are both single. From there it's just a quick slide down a slippery slope. And this is only a day for them to go from hey it's glad to hear from you again to we must keep this secret, only at work, and quiet from others.

All in all I just urge you to be careful.


BS

Posts: 214 | Registered: Sep 2012
ReunitePangea
♂ Member
Member # 37529
Default  Posted: 4:04 PM, November 7th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

First off - work husband/work wives - it seems like a very bad choice of words came up by people who likely have little understanding of infidelity.

Second as far as the side conversation I am a little taken back by some statements on here.

This is so textbook right now I don't even know what else to say.

Textbook? Really there is a textbook that has all the answers? I think that is a bit bold of a statement. Betrayal / affairs / cheating mean different things to different people, there is no textbook definition that applies to all. Ninebark's situation may be an EA to some people if they were her SO but none of your are the people that question is important to. Ninebark's SO is the person that that question is important to and if he is fine with it then I do not see the issue here. Unless of course you can let me know where the textbook is located that everyone 100% agrees with. Ninebark, I think the important thing to remember is that you shouldn't be doing anything that you don't feel comfortable with your SO hearing in this type of situation. It may be advisable to see exactly how your SO feels about your work environment.


BS - Me 38
WS - Wife 39
D-Day - Oct 12
Married 10 years
OM1 - 12-year LTA
OM2 - 9 month A turned into open relationship with couple for another 1 1/2 years

Posts: 485 | Registered: Nov 2012
MoreWould
♂ Member
Member # 37982
Default  Posted: 4:23 PM, November 7th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I work closely with a couple in a “Work Marriage”. They’re as married as any couple I’ve ever worked with, unfortunately to others, not to each other. They do all the things discussed here: Come and go at the same time, share virtually every meal (including eating the same food off the same plate), complete each other’s sentences, whispering in the corners, etc, etc, literally ad nauseum. There are those in the company who (having suffered from their own A’s) have refused to work with them, or even be in the same building with them. Just couldn’t handle the triggers.

They are having an Affair. Everybody knows but them. Whether it is a PA, or an EA, or a PA that morphed into an EA via the old “Can’t we just be friends” dodge, I don’t know. I don’t need to, I can see more than enough with my own eyes without a security camera video.

I used to be able to stay above it all but recent events have us working very closely together daily. It is like dealing with one person with two votes and two bodies, Shakespear’s “beast with two backs”. Professionally unacceptable and personally terrifying. I got triggered so hard it reset me back to DDay over 30 years ago. Digging out now, but still have to work with them every day. It’s tough. That’s another dimension of the Work Spouse that doesn’t get talked about much, how hard it can be on the people around them.

And of course, they are totally in the Fog, and completely clueless. They think nobody “knows”, and even if they do, there’s no proof, so there’s no problem. That was my WW at the time, screwing a coworker, serene in the knowledge that her A was a total secret. Of course, pretty much the only secret was that everybody in the company was in on the gossip and it was only a secret from her. Even I found out before she did. Wasn’t pretty.

So back to the original post that started this thread. I’m sorry to break it to you Leo, but this isn’t fun and games, and you were way over the line. Totally wayward.


Me BH/WH, 63
Her WW/BW, 62
Her DDay Dec 1976 OMW at the door
My DDay, ~ 2years later, confessed ONS the next day
R via "Sweeping under the rug"
Still married, 40 yrs, mostly OK
2 kids, 24 & 20

Posts: 357 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Colorado
ninebark
♀ Member
Member # 24534
Default  Posted: 7:19 PM, November 7th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I felt the best thing to do, was just as suggested, I had my bf read this whole thread. We discussed it in all its aspects because as was suggested I could be in complete denial or not looking at it from an outsider's perspective. There is no point trying to argue my point without exploring everything that has been said. After all what if this was an EA from BF's point of view. So I thank you all for your candor, even when it is hard to hear.

He does not feel there is a problem and as he has pointed out me and my male friend has been friends for well over three years and have never crossed any lines or boundaries. I think because of my EX's PA/EA I am aware of how easy it is to slide down that slippery slope. However that being said I will be sure to keep all advice close to ensure that our friendship remains just that. I love and respect my BF and would never hurt him like that.


BF said he is more concerned about my obsession with Adam Levine.


BS (me) 40
WH - 48
Married 12 years
DS - 12
D-day 06/21/09
Separated....hopefully divorcing soon.

Posts: 630 | Registered: Jun 2009 | From: Canada
circe
♀ Member
Member # 6687
Default  Posted: 7:51 PM, November 7th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Ninebark's SO is the person that that question is important to and if he is fine with it then I do not see the issue here.

No, the coworker's wife is also an important party, as she is married to the man who is being called another woman's "boyfriend" by gossiping coworkers.

Textbook? Really there is a textbook that has all the answers?

No, there is just a healing library, in the menu to the left of your page, comprised of experiences of people who were in involved in all sides of the very affair triangles described in this thread. Wisdom and compassion gained from years of walking the path that often started with their spouse having inappropriate conversations with the person they would love to date "if only they were single".


Posts: 3193 | Registered: Mar 2005
Mousse242
♀ Member
Member # 6330
Default  Posted: 8:27 PM, November 7th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I am an executive admin asst. I have been/am the work wife. I know the spouses (wives) and no boundaries have ever been crossed.

I coordinate travel, I know what food they like so that when I schedule dinners or lunches I can order for them, I know what cocktails and wine they prefer, I know their kids names and often the kids themselves, I know their schedules, etc. I can write their correspondence for them, I know their "voice".

I know enough personal information to be a rock star on the job which makes me invaluable to the team and to my management.

I am not a threat, nor has anyone I have ever known in that position, to their marriages.

It's all about boundaries. I don't give off a vibe that it may ever be more than a professional relationship.


Posts: 5473 | Registered: Jan 2005 | From: Chicago
Fleury
♀ Member
Member # 24185
Default  Posted: 8:34 PM, November 7th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I work in a very male industry -- have for decades. As a result, I have formed many friendships with male co-workers. Never had a problem with any of them - other than the creep that 'asked' me out to dinner one evening. Never spoke to him again after that -- and told my H about it as well. Anyway someone 'assigned' the title of work wife to me with a man that I had worked with for many years. It is funny, she did it not because we were all cutesy and flirty...but because we argued all the time. We hadn't really noticed, it was just the way we communicated but I guess our bickering was becoming very annoying to others. I had a close relationship with this man's wife, so there was nothing hidden from anyone. She didn't understand his work, didn't want to hear his bitching and moaning about it and didn't mind us sitting around talking about it. Our conversations never crossed the line...because I don't think either one of us ever wanted it to.

Now we were also the victims of the office gossip. People called me to tell me this person was spreading rumors about us. I was so pissed. But the reason the people called to tell me....because they didn't believe a word she said. She was a gossip and for whatever reason wanted to hurt us. I immediately told my H about it. My friend hesitated to tell his W --I told him that he had to tell her and when he did...she laughed.

I worked closely with another male. We were required to travel together. He basically told me the boundries...no nice dinners, phone calls from his family trump all, he would not knock on my hotel room door, we were to meet in the lobby only etc. I never asked but I always assumed this was an agreement with this W. That he would always make the boundries known up front and not wait. I don't think a boundries discussion is a bad thing...and I don't think it means you are on the slippery slope. It just sets the boundries so there is no question.

Personal conversations happen at work all the time. Talk about kids, weekend plans, buying a new car, showing off pictures, health issues etc. People talk. What I don't hear is people complaining about their spouse -- ever. And I think that is what makes the other conversations safe.

I don't think it is the workplace that is the problem, it is the people in it. I think some people that use the term aren't guilty of anything other than not thinking something through. We all know that until you experience infidelity -- you have no idea what it means. Boundries are really good things to have -- no matter what the situation!!!

just me experience...

fleury


What have I done to deserve this life?

Posts: 378 | Registered: May 2009
PolyGal
♀ Member
Member # 20396
Default  Posted: 8:36 PM, November 7th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

ninebark I have no clue why people are coming down so hard on you. Maybe it's perspective. Like what, you should quit your job because you work with all dudes who like to joke around at work? I don't get it. I do get working in that sort of environment, as an engineer I also work with almost all guys, I have been in similar environments, it's just the way it is. Other people need to get over it and stop judging. Nothing you wrote implies that you're having an EA, lying to your bf, tried to get in the way of your coworker's relationship, or even used the term "work husband" to describe him yourself. People leave her alone! They weren't even "attached" to other people when the topic came up, and it wasn't even a private conversation! And she showed her BF the whole thread, how much more transparent can she be?

As for me, I had someone at work that I called a mentor. When he left the company I actually cried, I was so sad. I even messaged my WH (we are/were? working on R) and told him that the guy quit, and he said oh that sucks! because he knew how closely I was working with him and what he meant to me *as a colleague and mentor*. I described the dynamic to a close friend of mine, and she used the term "work husband." While it isn't the term I would use, I can see how it could be used. I was a new engineer in the area, he was experienced. My peer trainer wasn't very effective, so he took me under his wing. He showed me how to find all the information I needed, taught be best known methods for troubleshooting, who to talk to to resolve different kinds of problems. He worked early, so I came in early because he would show me more stuff. If there was a problem in the middle of the night (24/7 manufacturing facility) that needed engineering attention, and he was going, I would meet him there even at 2am sometimes. I learned so much from him and he gave me time and attention so willingly *for work purposes*. I would have been a fool to not accept it. It would have hurt my career.

We never had a personal conversation about anything, he knew I liked cats, I knew he liked beer, that's as personal as we got. We never socialized outside of work, except for happy hour with other coworkers a couple weeks after he quit. I've never been to his house nor he to mine, we never had any sexual tension. We talked about work, about the company, about how to be effective engineers, and he trained me up to the point that when he quit, I was able to take over, and damn I do the job well. But that day was like a kick in the gut, and that is why the "work spouse" label came up. I've been broken up with by "real" partners and was less affected by it. For six months leading up to it, I had more contact with him than with any other person, more conversations, we worked very, very closely together. Somehow we managed to keep it all in our pants. It's possible. The goal was work, nothing more, nothing less, and that is what we did. We just happened to work in a very demanding all-consuming sort of environment that tends to very strong working relationships. And as a woman, the people with whom I will develop those relationships with will be mostly men because I'm an engineer, and I'm not going to give up my career by seeking only women engineers to help me out when I need it (there are so few of them!) just because society doesn't think that men and women can't work together without screwing.

People work together, and sometimes they work closely together, and it doesn't have to mean that they are having an emotional affair, even if they have an emotional attachment to the person at work that is their closest work companion.

Regardless, I agree that the "spouse" terminology is probably not appropriate and isn't the semantics that I would use, though I personally don't find it outright offensive.

[This message edited by PolyGal at 8:38 PM, November 7th (Thursday)]


Posts: 118 | Registered: Jul 2008
Jrazz
♀ Guide
Member # 31349
Default  Posted: 9:47 PM, November 7th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Textbook? Really there is a textbook that has all the answers? I think that is a bit bold of a statement. Betrayal / affairs / cheating mean different things to different people, there is no textbook definition that applies to all.

Ok, so for the sake of semantics I rescind the word "textbook." May I please replace it with "a case study outlined in Dr. Shirley Glass's 'Not Just Friends.'"?


Also, my observations are based on the original statements, not the minimizing and backpaddling that is supposed to render benign any original statements that seemed categorically slippery and slopey. I'm not trying to call out ninebark anymore. I'm glad that her initial post is here for anyone to refer back to if they want to see what I was responding to.

We have an entire library on the website filled with Wayward lingo and how to spot it. I spend a lot of my life here trying to learn about myself and others in regards to how to navigate betrayal.

Ninebark, I really respect and appreciate you remaining in the conversation. Usually people who don't like what I have to say just ignore me. I hope that at the bottom of all this you are able to look yourself in the mirror and say, "Beyond a shadow of a doubt, I am doing the right thing." I try to do that too - but I'm not perfect at it.

As for thread jacking, Leopold put a topic up for conversation - I think this is all falling in line with that.


If life is just a series of ridiculous attempts to be alive, you're a hero. - J. Winger

Posts: 17529 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
StillGoing
♂ Member
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 12:06 AM, November 8th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

ninebark I have no clue why people are coming down so hard on you. Maybe it's perspective. Like what, you should quit your job because you work with all dudes who like to joke around at work?

I'd hazard a guess that it's due to the fact we're on an infidelity forum and her attitude towards admittedly unprofessional interactions with the opposite sex is cavalier and therefore setting off a lot of people who are inherently sensitive to the topic.

I don't think anyone suggested she should quit her job because she works with dudes who joke around with her at work. I think the original commentary was fairly concise, and there's been a lot of obfuscation via the word Boundaries and It Won't Happen To Me Because X, Y and Z. If it's not obvious why that would bother a lot of people then it's because that's a vast majority of affair kickoffs.


“Fate is a fickle bitch who dotes on irony.”

Posts: 7451 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
ninebark
♀ Member
Member # 24534
Default  Posted: 3:17 AM, November 8th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Jrazz, I like to think I am a adult, most of the time..lol. I also realize that my opinion isn't alway the right one and I am always willing to entertain any advice or differing opinions. If I am willing to put myself out there than I am willing to listen to anything someone has to say to me. I am always learning and making mistakes as I go along. I value your opinion.

The only time I get upset is when people misquote me or twist my words, otherwise I am fair game so to speak, I understand this is a very touchy subject as it hits close to home for many of us and it should be explored and if my post is the vehicle for that so be it.

Stillgoing, I don't feel as if I am cavalier at all about this, I take the subject quite seriously. Obviously I am willing to explore my relationships and hold them up for close inspection. It has certainly made me think.


BS (me) 40
WH - 48
Married 12 years
DS - 12
D-day 06/21/09
Separated....hopefully divorcing soon.

Posts: 630 | Registered: Jun 2009 | From: Canada
Laura28
♀ Member
Member # 28997
Default  Posted: 3:53 AM, November 8th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

If you don't understand - read my profile.


Married 32yrs Me BW 57Yrs Him FWH 60yrs
OWzero 1988 EA?/PA? Gaslighted.
Dday May 28 2010.
OW1 1994(6mths PA, EA 16+ years).
OW2 2002(8yrs PA).
OW3 2009(1Yr PA).
Others???? Status: Not Divorcing..but.."You can't unfuck the goat"

Posts: 2748 | Registered: Jul 2010 | From: Australia
circe
♀ Member
Member # 6687
Default  Posted: 4:43 AM, November 8th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

ninebark I have no clue why people are coming down so hard on you. Maybe it's perspective. Like what, you should quit your job because you work with all dudes who like to joke around at work?

Since "working with a dude" wasn't what anyone was objecting to, this is a false argument and has no bearing on the discussion others were having. Why not respond to the real things people were talking about instead? It's an interesting discussion, and if you read back, it clearly had nothing to do with "working with dudes" who like to "joke around".

And yeah, ninebark, the characterization of the relationship has changed significantly from your first post to the most recent one, and I was responding to your original as well.

Personal conversations happen at work all the time. Talk about kids, weekend plans, buying a new car, showing off pictures, health issues etc. People talk.

Yep, and I don't think there's anything wrong with talking about kids and new cars. I don't think anyone would characterize chats about kids and health as a 'work spouse' relationship.


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