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User Topic: Work husbands and work wives
LeopoldB
Member
Member # 40606
Default  Posted: 9:22 PM, November 5th (Tuesday)

No urgency to this post... just wondering what people here are thinking and what their experiences have been - - good or bad - - with work spouses.

Work husbands and work wives... what are the boundaries? There are more and more posts at SI about spouses having EAs at work. I just wonder whether all of these are really EAs or whether a good number may be close working relationships that are on a slippery slope but have not slid down it yet and may never do so. The terms "work husband" and "work wife" are so common in the popular lexicon that they cannot all be inappropriate.

Here is Dr Phil on the issue:

http://www.drphil.com/articles/article/693

I had a work wife. It was great. She could read my mind, finish my sentences. I could depend on her and she was an incredibly valuable company employee. We clicked on the technical and esoteric nature of our respective expertise in our business careers. We could (and needed to) speak at length about topics that friends, families, and significant others could never begin to understand. She worked for a different department that needed to collaborate closely with my group; similar pay levels and titles. No overlapping hierarchical management responsibilities. Just really effective cross-functional process management.

It did not become inappropriate in part because we chose not to cross that line (there was borderline joking about it), in part because of circumstances, and in part because of lack of opportunity (located 1,400 miles apart). She left the company for a better opportunity and her replacement is less than half as productive, has a poor attitude and worse work ethic. The lack of coordination between departments is killing us.

I miss my work wife because we were a great team and everything is so much more difficult now. But I can understand that our spouses might have viewed the work environment as a threat or potential train wreck in the future.

How do you deal with spousal work relationships that span 2,000 hours per year, are intimate, emotional, yet not physical... when they certainly may seem to be potential threats or ongoing EAs?

Just wondering what folks are thinking about their own or their spouse's work relationships in light of having been betrayed.


Posts: 193 | Registered: Sep 2013
solus sto
Member
Member # 30989
Default  Posted: 9:31 PM, November 5th (Tuesday)

At work, I have colleagues, not a spouse.

The very term "work husband" makes me cringe. That alone crosses boundaries, IMO.


BS-me, 52
WH (Trac-fone), 52, PD
2 kids-DD25, DS18
multiple d-days
DIVORCING
Alone, most strangely, I live on~Rupert Brooke

Posts: 8522 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: midwest
Rebreather
Member
Member # 30817
Default  Posted: 9:37 PM, November 5th (Tuesday)

in part because of circumstances, and in part because of lack of opportunity (located 1,400 miles apart).

What circumstances? If all that stopped it from being a physical affair was distance, then I say you already slid down the slope.

I have men I work with very closely. During intense times I follow rules; I keep personal talk to a minimum, I only speak of my spouse in the highest possible regard, I never drink, no private meals. That kind of thing. It's WORK. If my husband called someone his work wife I'd lose my shit.


Me BS
Him WH
2 ddays in '07
Recovering.
"The cure for the pain, is the pain." -Rumi

Posts: 6353 | Registered: Jan 2011
PurpleRose
Member
Member # 33129
Default  Posted: 9:37 PM, November 5th (Tuesday)

I can still remember the day my XWH referred to this woman I didn't know as his work wife. The stab was intense- yet being a SAHM I really didn't know what it meant. All I knew was that it felt wrong. I didn't like it.

He told me it was all good fun. People in the office were just joking! She was so like me- we would probably be good friends if we got to know each other! I told him I didn't like it one bit and so I didn't hear much about her after that. Turns out the joke was on me.

She ended up becoming his COW. We are now divorced because of his affair.

I find the term "work wife/husband" so insulting I could scream. That person is nothing like a spouse-- they deal with the work persona. Not the burping, snoring, are the bills paid, underwear on the floor, what's for dinner, hold my hair while I puke cause I have the flu persona.

Not at all the same. And it's a big problem if this is the way the people in work environments are thinking now.


divorced the Dooosh
*****************************
even if you find your voice,
sometimes it does not matter anymore,
when you speak to a man who is deaf by choice.
~dodinsky

Posts: 3537 | Registered: Aug 2011 | From: Happyville
StillGoing
Member
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 9:59 PM, November 5th (Tuesday)

The terms "work husband" and "work wife" are so common in the popular lexicon that they cannot all be inappropriate.

The popularity of a subject is not indicative of its appropriateness. There are plenty of popular films and books that glorify infidelity. The phrase Love Affair is fairly popular. Meth is pretty popular.

When you start to justify the appropriateness of something, it's a pretty safe bet it's no longer appropriate.


It did not become inappropriate in part because we chose not to cross that line (there was borderline joking about it), in part because of circumstances, and in part because of lack of opportunity (located 1,400 miles apart).

Standing right at the edge just means it's a matter of time, not willpower. If it was a matter of willpower then the relationship would have remained completely professional, and I honestly cannot see how anything that is called a Work Wife or Work Husband is in any way completely professional.

I expect my spouse not to have any intimate relationships at work. I expect her to have professional relationships.


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

Posts: 7419 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
Jrazz
Guide
Member # 31349
Default  Posted: 10:06 PM, November 5th (Tuesday)

The popularity of a subject is not indicative of its appropriateness. There are plenty of popular films and books that glorify infidelity. The phrase Love Affair is fairly popular. Meth is pretty popular.

When you start to justify the appropriateness of something, it's a pretty safe bet it's no longer appropriate.

^^^^^^^This. OMG THIS.


If you can't learn to enjoy your life when you have problems, you may never enjoy it because we'll always have problems. - Joyce Meyer

Posts: 16861 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
emotionalgirl
Member
Member # 40184
Default  Posted: 10:16 PM, November 5th (Tuesday)

It's funny to think of it as a work wife or work husband. I think it is really all about boundaries.

My boss is a great guy, he just sucks at organization in any form and also has a habit of not taking care of his health. He knows my WH I know his wife, we do not socialize outside of work.

When I look at our work relationship, if I may call it that. I likely sometimes sound like a nagging spouse. I am always after him and nagging him for some form or paperwork that I need to do my job, and his wife and daughter have asked me to nag him about his unhealthy snacking on candy and stops for ice cream when he is out of the building. I always do in a joking manner, usually bringing his wife up. His wife once said to me...you can be the nagging work wife I will be the nagging home wife. This said neither of us would EVER cross THAT boundary! It is never even a thought and although I may nag him, he is still my boss who I treat with respect in every other way. Our work relationship is purely professional in every other way, and we DO NOT confide in each other about our personal lives outside of work other than generalities. He and I are both religious people who love our spouses value our marriages.

I think the term work wife and work husband is just an over used term. Like I said it is really all about your own values and morals. The situation is what you make of it, if my boss had different values perhaps it would cause a problem. If that were the case then my values are strong enough that I would have put our working relationship on a different footing from the start.

Morals and values....some people have them....some people don't. Regardless they are what it is all about!


1st D day: Saturday July 20,2013
2nd D day....when the s**t really hit the fan and the truth came out.Saturday August 3,2013
3rd D day: Friday August 16, 2013...NC sent Friday Aug 30 4th D day NOV 11
Me: BS
Him: WH
Married 25 years....finally in R

Posts: 370 | Registered: Aug 2013
LeopoldB
Member
Member # 40606
Default  Posted: 10:27 PM, November 5th (Tuesday)

Thank you for the very interesting responses.

If you have the opportunity to ask friends what they think of the terms "work husbands" and "work wives", I would be curious to hear whether they tend to interpret those labels judgmentally (negatively) or whether they consider them more a fact of modern work-life.

I originally heard the term "work wife" used in conversation by my SIL talking about her H (my brother's) work colleague. She did not use in a negative way (although maybe she was more perturbed than she let on). The context seemed to be that his work wife helped fill the role of the woman in the expression "behind every successful man is a woman" because someone had to be looking out for him during the 2,000 hours a year when she was not there.


Posts: 193 | Registered: Sep 2013
Jrazz
Guide
Member # 31349
Default  Posted: 10:35 PM, November 5th (Tuesday)

***Posting as a member

Yes, the term is used with affection and passing permission. Unfortunately.

How is it escapable that assigning the term "husband" or "wife" to anyone outside an actual spouse is inappropriate? Because it's cute and funny and everybody's doing it?

Husband. Wife. Forsaking all others. Monogamous commitment. Family. Priority. SEX. THAT is what these terms are supposed to correlate to.

I think that using them in the workplace is an excuse to have inappropriate feelings for someone, whether married outside the workplace or not. Yes, you spend 9 waking hours with this person. If you married someone outside of this partnership, you owe them the respect to cast this deceptively charming moniker out with the rest of the workplace EA slippery slope refuse. IMHO.

[This message edited by Jrazz at 10:37 PM, November 5th (Tuesday)]


If you can't learn to enjoy your life when you have problems, you may never enjoy it because we'll always have problems. - Joyce Meyer

Posts: 16861 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
SisterMilkshake
Member
Member # 30024
Default  Posted: 10:39 PM, November 5th (Tuesday)

The context seemed to be that his work wife helped fill the role of the woman in the expression "behind every successful man is a woman" because someone had to be looking out for him during the 2,000 hours a year when she was not there
A grown ass man has to be looked out for by a woman at work? Am I misunderstanding this?

I do not like the term "work wife" or "work husband" because it implies intimacy. There should be no intimacy whatsoever between work colleagues. If you wouldn't say or act this way in front of your spouse, than you shouldn't be doing it.


BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


Posts: 9514 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
Rebreather
Member
Member # 30817
Default  Posted: 10:41 PM, November 5th (Tuesday)

Leopold, two points.

1. With all due respect I am not going to ask my friends about this because unless nd until someone understands boundaries, their opinion is crap

2. Why in the hell does a grown ass man need someone to "look out for him" at work?!?!?!


Me BS
Him WH
2 ddays in '07
Recovering.
"The cure for the pain, is the pain." -Rumi

Posts: 6353 | Registered: Jan 2011
Nature_Girl
Member
Member # 32554
Default  Posted: 10:45 PM, November 5th (Tuesday)

It's completely inappropriate. To have a colleague is one thing. To assign them the husband or wife moniker crosses the line. It cheapens the meaning of husband and wife.

My EX had a work wife, and it was totally an EA. He almost moved us from one coast to the other because his work wife accepted a transfer within the company from one coast to the other. I can't believe he almost uprooted us like that because she was just a colleague. No, he was totally having an EA with her. He justified it by insisting everything was on the up 'n up, they supported each other at work, yadda yadda yadda. She was all he talked about.

I think anyone who has a work spouse has crossed the line.


Me = BS (Stay-at-home-mom)
Him = EX-d out (abusive troglodyte NPD SA)
3 tween-aged kids
Together 20 years
D-Day: Memorial Weekend 2011
2013 - I DIVORCED HIM, I'M FREE!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBOJpIwF47Y

Posts: 9480 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: USA
Dreamboat
Member
Member # 10506
Default  Posted: 10:51 PM, November 5th (Tuesday)

I recall when this term first became popular way before my X had an A. I thought the term was stupid then and I think the term is even stupider now. In fact, I now find the term to be offensive.

I have a work team. Sometimes the team is better than other times. Sometimes I "click" better with one team member than another. Sometimes I freakin hate a member of the team. I have never referred to my team as my "work family". Some of these people I have worked with for 15-20 years and I care about them, but none of them are my family.


And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off
-- Shake It Out, Florence And The Machine

Posts: 17605 | Registered: Apr 2006 | From: A better place :)
emotionalgirl
Member
Member # 40184
Default  Posted: 11:06 PM, November 5th (Tuesday)

I just feel the need to add one more thing here. We in this modern times find it offensive that " a grown man or woman needs taking care of them or someone to look out for them at work" However if you speak to many older women who worked as executive secretaries, many of their work duties were much like those of a spouse. Many of them even picked out gifts for family members and ran errands such as picking up dry cleaning.

The term work wife or work husband was not used in that era, it still does not alter the fact that there were poor boundaries in some cases. Yes there were affairs, and cases where these men actually married their assistants. In all reality none of that has changed. the only change has been in the vernacular of todays generation. I think that it is truly just inappropriate use of the word husband or wife and that as long as a person has proper morals and boundaries, the term used to identify that person is just that...a term of identification. Is it right to use that term of identification, no. Is it done in an offensive or disrespectful manner, I don't believe so. Is it particularly hurtful and disrespectful to those of us whose spouses have had affairs and are perhaps overly sensitive, yes I believe so.

in actual fact It is likely just a very unfortunate change in the modern vernacular of today's generations. We all know that many of my own generation and the majority of those who have come after are not the most respectful bunch, nor do they use the best vocabulary! In many cases things are done by these generations due to ignorance regarding the strong feelings that they can generate.

[This message edited by emotionalgirl at 11:08 PM, November 5th (Tuesday)]


1st D day: Saturday July 20,2013
2nd D day....when the s**t really hit the fan and the truth came out.Saturday August 3,2013
3rd D day: Friday August 16, 2013...NC sent Friday Aug 30 4th D day NOV 11
Me: BS
Him: WH
Married 25 years....finally in R

Posts: 370 | Registered: Aug 2013
Tearsoflove
Member
Member # 8271
Default  Posted: 11:27 PM, November 5th (Tuesday)

My questions would be:

1. Could you have had the same type work relationship with another man?
2. If so, would you have referred to him as your "work husband"?

And if you couldn't have had the exact same relationship with a man, it was not an entirely professional relationship and, therefore, crossed boundaries.


I had an excellent relationship with my former boss. I sometimes finished his sentences and often spoke for him in emails and written paperwork because he had poor grammar skills due to a learning disability. If he had ever referred to me as his "work wife", I would have quit out of respect for both his wife and my husband. I regard him with great affection and respect but our relationship never crossed lines. I'd never have been embarrassed had our spouses walked in on a conversation.

The level of intimacy you speak of in reference to the woman you worked with sounds beyond the scope of professionalism. The fact that you "joked" about crossing boundaries is an indication that there was something under the surface between you and while you state that it was never inappropriate, the fact that you did joke about it was inappropriate in and of itself. I doubt you could also say that you and she never engaged in a conversation you wouldn't have wanted your wife to hear just given the fact that

It did not become inappropriate in part because we chose not to cross that line (there was borderline joking about it), in part because of circumstances, and in part because of lack of opportunity (located 1,400 miles apart).

Nowhere in your explanation of why it didn't become appropriate because it would have been disrespectful to your spouses or because it was unprofessional conduct or because you really love your spouse and this was a professional relationship. You merely didn't become inappropriate because it was inconvenient. You might want to consider that because if inconvenience is the only thing stopping you from having an affair with coworkers, what's to stop you when you meet someone who is convenient.

[This message edited by Tearsoflove at 11:29 PM, November 5th (Tuesday)]


"Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand." ~Homer Simpson


Posts: 4020 | Registered: Sep 2005
vivere
Member
Member # 34465
Default  Posted: 11:51 PM, November 5th (Tuesday)

Just wondering what folks are thinking about their own or their spouse's work relationships in light of having been betrayed.

Assigning the status of 'wife' or 'husband' to anyone other than your wife or husband is hurtful, in my opinion. It creates an intimacy that just should not be there in a professional work environment.Creates a bond that should not exist in a professional capacity.

I like TearsofLove's question.


You are responsible for your own happiness :)

Posts: 315 | Registered: Jan 2012
JanaGreen
Member
Member # 29341
Default  Posted: 2:09 AM, November 6th (Wednesday)

I hate that expression.

I like and respect most of my coworkers , male and female. I cannot even begin to imagine using that phrase for any of them, or having it applied to me. Ick. Boundaries. Personal space.


We're both in our 30s. One awesome 4-year-old daughter.

Posts: 6649 | Registered: Aug 2010 | From: Somewhere in the South
refuz2bavictim
Member
Member # 27176
Default  Posted: 3:28 AM, November 6th (Wednesday)

I would be curious to hear whether they tend to interpret those labels judgmentally (negatively)

I find it interesting that you label a negative interpretation for the term "judgmental".

At any rate, my judgement of the term "work spouse" is that it's a childlike expression.

It makes me think of two kids playing "make believe" or "house" . I really think it has no place in a professional environment.

[This message edited by refuz2bavictim at 3:29 AM, November 6th (Wednesday)]


BS:ME DDay: 7/18/09 Last of TT 7/11/10
MOW's EA/PA all were my "friends" but one


Posts: 2372 | Registered: Jan 2010
sullymeishadomi
Member
Member # 16305
Default  Posted: 5:21 AM, November 6th (Wednesday)

I am one of those people who believe men and women can have friendships and close work relationships as long as they are adult and know and have firm boundaries in place. Here at work, we joke (even borderline perv) and share personal stuff but for anyone to have an affair....eeewwww...and that is the response you would get from any of us. Tho we have fought in the past, we lost two people and our work dynamic has returned to that of family

Work wife or work husband... term makes my stomach turn. Wife and husband is an intimate relationship.very intimate. Sex, etc.

I have a coworker in another office. The way he speaks of his "work wives" raises my eyebrows. To me, its inappropriate.

To me, the term work wife or work husband takes away whats left of the stigma of cheating.

You can have coworkers with whom you work extremely well and have a close friendship without turning that person into a spouse.

Jmo


People tell you exactly who they are...why expect them to be what they are not

Posts: 8212 | Registered: Sep 2007
nomistakeaboutit
Member
Member # 36857
Default  Posted: 5:28 AM, November 6th (Wednesday)

IMO, when those expressions (which I hate) are used, it indicates a boundary crossed. At best, if it is being used simply to indicate the close, appropriate and professional environment that exists between the two,people, then it is insensitive and hurtful.

If that was Dr. Phil you were quoting, then Dr. Phil is an asshole for calling his secretary his work wife.

Also, fwiw, I felt this way before my xWW cheated on me..


Me: BH 56.........Her: WW 43
DD: 6..........DS: 4
Married for six years.
DDay: 12-25-11 Divorced: 7-15-12
...................................
"It's like a nightmare within a nightmare, which in and of itself is a nightmare!"

Posts: 935 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: U.S.A.
Whatdoido333
Member
Member # 36597
Default  Posted: 6:00 AM, November 6th (Wednesday)

I believe men and women can be friends, but work Spouse? No way.

My husband has a work wife, otherwise called an AP. I refer to her as the OW. Totally inappropriate once boundaries are crossed. She knows everything about me. How is that appropriate?


Posts: 118 | Registered: Aug 2012
Undefinabl3
Member
Member # 36883
Default  Posted: 7:14 AM, November 6th (Wednesday)

While I hate the term Work Wife or Work Husband, I reconize that a bond can potentially form between co-workers that consistantly work together closely for long periods of time.

I had a 'work husband' at previous job and he was as close to a best friend as I could possibly get. We were polar opposities and neither were each other's relationship preference and knowing that upfront made us very easy friends. We never once had that tension that may build up between a co-ed pair and so conversation was free flowing and honest...sometimes bluntly honest.

I worked an off shift and he was the mananger and we sat next to each other. We were the only people there at that time in the area, so we helped each other with work and real life problems a lot.

DH is a civil servant and has partners. Most of them are women and there is 1 that I would consider his 'work wife'. He spends almost all of his day with her in a tense work environment where you have to count on your partner 100%. That requires a level of trust and intamcy that is further then just normal co-workers IMO. Do i like it? Not really. Do i think that it may save one of their lives to have a trust like that? Yep, without question.

So i guess the short of the long is that I agree with that this kind of relationship can exist platonically, but the term really sucks.


Me: 31 MH
Him: 37 MH
New online find 6/19/14 - shit

Posts: 1701 | Registered: Sep 2012
Peaches2013
Member
Member # 40852
Default  Posted: 9:40 AM, November 6th (Wednesday)

I think the "work spouse" terminology assumes a lack of boundaries and immaturity/unprofessionalism.

I have worked, sometimes closely, with colleagues of both sexes. In some cases, I socialized with them outside of business hours or they were my favorite lunch partners. They became friends. But our work relationships stayed professional while we were at work and sturdy boundaries were in place when we socialized outside of work so work and personal didn't comingle - and that's kind of the part which I think makes the person go from colleague to "work spouse," that lack of boundary between work and personal.

My actual spouse, on the other hand, had a lack of boundaries even before the incident which landed me here. His communication, even in his office setting, with his colleagues was often inappropriate in a professional setting. I get it - people gossip, there's the whole idea of getting information at the water cooler. But even he will admit that while he wasn't looking for an inappropriate relationship with some of the people he worked with, boundaries were crossed - you shouldn't be texting cute little hearts and love yous to your co-workers (really, whether you're married or not, but that's beside the point), which my husband was doing. He flirted heavily with all women he worked with...and just because he's a Southern good ole boy lawyer doesn't make it right or acceptable because they all act like a bunch of douchebags in the office.


Me: BS
Him: WH ONS/short EA
Married 11 years
Together 15 years
2 children

Posts: 64 | Registered: Oct 2013
Kierst13
Member
Member # 39197
Default  Posted: 9:57 AM, November 6th (Wednesday)

I suppose if a WS is referring to a colleague as a work wife/husband; we have nothing to worry about as they will be cheating on them soon also.


Story in my profile
He lied, I gave the gift of R
He became the model remorseful WS...all while lying and seeing her
Am I done? Yes I am!

Posts: 347 | Registered: May 2013
Sal1995
Member
Member # 39099
Default  Posted: 10:08 AM, November 6th (Wednesday)

My "work wife" happens to be my real-life wife, which only made the fallout from her affair doubly complicated. I actually "fired" her for a week or so. But I join those who find the work-spouse terms inappropriate. The relationship should never cross the professionalism line. I have a friend IRL who forced his wife to quit a well-paying job as a condition of R because every 5 years or so she ended up starting an affair with some guy at the office. He had to moonlight cleaning pools just so they could get by.

A person that you work well with from a productivity standpoint should just be a valued colleague, nothing more.


Me (BS)-45, WW-42
PMs with men only, please
DDay 2/17/13, 9-10 month PA/EA
Final NC late Feb. '13
M - 18 years, 4 children
Reconciling

Posts: 1351 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Texas
womaninflux
Member
Member # 39667
Default  Posted: 10:38 AM, November 6th (Wednesday)

I have always gotten along better with male co-workers and have worked in male-dominated industries (IT) so I have had many "work husbands." However, I NEVER, EVER crossed the line with any of them. Even when I was single. Most of the time I knew their wives as well and was on good terms. There were a couple of times where I'd go out with them and take along my H. Did not feel weird at all.

Now that I am raising my kids, I have several "dad friends" who are at home with their kids. I've definitely been more aware of boundaries with them because I would never want anyone to *think* something was up.

I am far from perfect - have made a lot of relationship mistakes but I have always had good boundaries as far as male friends/co-workers are concerned. Oddly enough, my H's affair partner is someone he had a business relationship with. So apparently not everyone has the same boundaries.


BS - mid-40's
SAWH - mid 40's
Kids - 2 elementary school aged
Getting tons of therapy and trying to "work it out"

Posts: 864 | Registered: Jun 2013
WhatsRight
Member
Member # 35417
Default  Posted: 10:45 AM, November 6th (Wednesday)

I agree that the term itself is not only offensive - ESPECIALLY FOR A SPOUSE WHO HAS BEEN CHEATED ON - but can in itself 'open the door' for even the thought that a close relationship should develop.

I have had many VERY CLOSE relationships with men outside the relm of possibility of anything inappropriate - but NEVER have I referred to them as a "husband" ANYTHING.

Sorry for the CAPS. I guess this really bothers me!

[This message edited by WhatsRight at 10:46 AM, November 6th (Wednesday)]


"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy


Posts: 1879 | Registered: Apr 2012
GabyBaby
Member
Member # 26928
Default  Posted: 10:49 AM, November 6th (Wednesday)

Work wife/husband is completely inappropriate.
A previous poster asked a very good question (which I dont recall seeing answered).

Would you have the same type of relationship with a coworker of the same sex and call him your work husband?

In my opinion, these "work wife/husband" relationships are nothing but emotional affairs with a catchy label slapped on it.
A person can be professional and work closely with others without getting into this gray area.

Sheesh.


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

DD(21), DS(18, PDD-NOS)
6 Furkids (4 Dogs, 2 Cats)

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

Note: I edit often for clarity/typos.


Posts: 6294 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: California
Rebreather
Member
Member # 30817
Default  Posted: 11:07 AM, November 6th (Wednesday)

I reconize that a bond can potentially form between co-workers that consistantly work together closely for long periods of time.

Yes, and that is why it is so dangerous. This is how so many affairs begin. And why using cutesy terms are problematic. That bond is a danger zone. Period.


Me BS
Him WH
2 ddays in '07
Recovering.
"The cure for the pain, is the pain." -Rumi

Posts: 6353 | Registered: Jan 2011
ninebark
Member
Member # 24534
Default  Posted: 11:08 AM, November 6th (Wednesday)

I am about to enter the unpopular zone here....Don't throw anything at me please....

I have never referred to anyone as a work husband. But I am the only woman in my place of work, which consists of around 40 men or so. I have a lot of strange relationships let me tell you.

However there is one. 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. But it is because we have very similar senses of humor. I love him to death and if we were both single I would go out with him. BUT, we are NOT. He has a wife and I have a boyfriend. He has said to me that he has never and will never cheat on his wife and I told him that I would never cheat on my BF. We were clear on that and we understand that. Our relationship pretty much stays at work. I don't call him or text him or anything off hours. If we did socialize it woule be with SO's as well.

That being said some people have started referring to us a bf and gf at work. I think people just like a rumor to spread. He isn't around me all the time, but when he is we are usually chatting or laughing about something.

Where is all this rambling taking me...oh yes. We are not what I would call the most professional people at work, but then again I can be the same with my female friends too. It doesn't mean we are having an EA or crossing boundaries. We are honestly just good friends. When we talk about our SO's it is always in the highest of terms.

So while I hate the term work husband, I also dislike the fact that some people feel you can't have a male friend without it being some sort of EA.


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
Jrazz
Guide
Member # 31349
Default  Posted: 11:19 AM, November 6th (Wednesday)

Ninebark, you've been a member here for years. Have you honest-to-goodness never read Not Just Friends?

You just spent a paragraph defending what sounds like an EA to me. The fact that you have had to make "clear" by verbal agreement that there is nothing going on between the two of you is a clear cut case of not wanting to let go of the closeness you share.

If it's appropriate, you don't have to fight for it.

It sounds like this thread his a little too close to home for you. The overwhelming majority of people here are saying things that are making you uncomfortable and defensive. I for one learned long ago that as soon as I get that feeling, it's time to take a deep breath and get introspective.

That being said some people have started referring to us a bf and gf at work

How humiliating for his wife and your bf.

[This message edited by Jrazz at 11:21 AM, November 6th (Wednesday)]


If you can't learn to enjoy your life when you have problems, you may never enjoy it because we'll always have problems. - Joyce Meyer

Posts: 16861 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
Josephine01
Member
Member # 38511
Default  Posted: 11:29 AM, November 6th (Wednesday)

miss my work wife because we were a great team and everything is so much more difficult now. But I can understand that our spouses might have viewed the work environment as a threat or potential train wreck in the future.

How do you deal with spousal work relationships that span 2,000 hours per year, are intimate, emotional, yet not physical... when they certainly may seem to be potential threats or ongoing EAs?

I think what you describe is an emotional Affair. How could it not be? You finish each other sentences. . . you joke about crossing the line. . . it's not a slippery slope you've slipped. Because of circumstances. . . partly how many miles apart in which you live. . . well this means if you lived closer and if you were married you prob. would have had a PA.

I had many friends and some of them male at work, my boundaries were to never go out alone with any of them outside of work. Never compare them to my spouse. Never give innocent hugs to any of the males and if there were problems at home I would chose a female in which to confide. It's as simple as that. I worked in a gym and yes it would of been easy to have work husband, but instead I chose to have friends and female confidants.

S

o while I hate the term work husband, I also dislike the fact that some people feel you can't have a male friend without it being some sort of EA.

I think as long as you talk about your spouses in high regards and as long as you don't make plans and go out with this guy alone (I'm not talking about the occasional quick meal that co-workers sometimes have) then you are right you have a friend at work. But. . . If you confide with him about your sex life or sometimes find yourself wanting to be with him instead of your H. (I am not saying this is you.) then one is kidding themselves as to what their relationship is.


Me, 42 BS
H, 61 WH
2 boys 19 and 15 years old
Married 24 years

Posts: 314 | Registered: Feb 2013
tushnurse
Member
Member # 21101
Default  Posted: 12:18 PM, November 6th (Wednesday)

The term is offensive, and cheapens the meaning of your relationship with your spouse.

MY H i is my H and there is noone anywhere that can even come close to the feelings I have for him.

I have worked very closely with men throughout my profession, many of whom were MD's and behaved inappropriately with other Nurses and staff members. I never had that happen with my because I never gave off the vibe that it was ok. There is a level of intimacy that you should NOT have with your co workers that you can have with friends, and of course your spouse. I have many MD's that I consider friends, and have attended Weddings, Graduations, Bah/t mitzvah's etc of their families, but I would never consider it acceptable to be a work spouse.

The funny thing is the few people I have heard use that term are the ones that I always questioned their judgement and morals to being with.

I have been known to be someone who speaks their mind, and have in fact said something to those who use this term. It usually stops them in their tracks to be called out on something that is supposed to "cute" or "funny" . Really your wife think it's funny that you call someone who is spending more time with you than her, that? Didn't think so.

Yuck just Yuck.


Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 15 & 17
Married for 22 years now, was 16 at the time. .
D-Day Sept 26 2008
Fully R'd, and Happy Happy Happy

Posts: 8100 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: St. Louis
LeopoldB
Member
Member # 40606
Default  Posted: 12:24 PM, November 6th (Wednesday)

To answer the question, no I would not have the same relationship at work with another guy. That is what made her my work wife.

It seems quite possible to have an EA at work and not even know it. According to one survey, 32% of workers said they had an "office husband" or "office wife".



Posts: 193 | Registered: Sep 2013
tushnurse
Member
Member # 21101
Default  Posted: 12:30 PM, November 6th (Wednesday)

Well 32%of those workers are idiots. It's crossing a line and they know it. Giving it a cutsie little name doesn't change the fact that it's wrong.


Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 15 & 17
Married for 22 years now, was 16 at the time. .
D-Day Sept 26 2008
Fully R'd, and Happy Happy Happy

Posts: 8100 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: St. Louis
Spelljean
Member
Member # 35624
Default  Posted: 12:35 PM, November 6th (Wednesday)

I consider them co-workers and I do not cross lines into personal relationship topics, "feelings", etc. I know when I am about to cross a line, and I believe most people can recognize it. It is a choice to take it further, and I choose NOT to.

I have no desire to ever date anyone I work with either. I've always felt its a bad idea.

One thing though, when I have worked with someone of the opposite sex for a really long time and we work great together, I don't develop romantic feelings. It always feels more like they are a brother and I shudder at the thought of being intimate with them. Even trying to imagine it now with any of my co-workers...I shudder. They do feel like in-laws or brothers...anything but a romantic partner.


WH: 41
me: BS, 45
Together 18 1/2 years, married 17
DDAY 8/2/12
OW: EA- friend of 4 months
Status: separated

Posts: 903 | Registered: May 2012 | From: California
ninebark
Member
Member # 24534
Default  Posted: 12:45 PM, November 6th (Wednesday)

See I told you this would get a bad reaction and I apologize if I came off as defensive, because that wasn't the intent. I am trying to explain it and it is coming out all wrong. I suspect no matter how I try to defend my position it is going to come off as defensive.


He treats me as a friend, just as he treats the guys at work. So the some of the guys decide to tease us by calling us BF and GF. That makes me mad because we have done nothing wrong. We joke we laugh, we work, we go home to our families and that is it. The reason it gets me upset is when it seems like it is not okay for me to be friends with a guy. He helped me out once when my dishwasher broke and I helped him write his resume when he he applied for better position. It is what friends do. Our conversations aren't intimate or personal and are they generally take place in front of a room full of people.

So does this mean we are more than friends?

I had many friends and some of them male at work, my boundaries were to never go out alone with any of them outside of work. Never compare them to my spouse. Never give innocent hugs to any of the males.
I agree, I also have no female friends at work, because there are no other females..lol.


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: 12:47 PM, November 6th (Wednesday)

My FWH's coworker used the term once to refer to the departmental secretary that is 25+ years older than him. This was before FWH's A. She's the equivalent of Mrs Landingham on West Wing - a sassy and smart woman who knows everything and can get anything at all done efficiently and so is 5 years past retirement age and still going strong. In any case, she overheard the coworker refer her as his "work wife" and tore that coworker a new one. She found it degrading and disrespectful. When FWH told me that story that evening, we both laughed about it, thinking how "cute" it was that she was so old fashioned that she was offended by "work wife". How stupid FWH and I both were for not seeing how right she was, and how crappy our boundaries were as a married couple if we thought her offense at the term was quaint.

These days I can't see how I ever thought that term was ok.


Posts: 3187 | Registered: Mar 2005
RyeBread
Member
Member # 37437
Default  Posted: 12:47 PM, November 6th (Wednesday)

Out of respect for your spouse why would anyone even use such a silly pet name for a coworker?

I would ask yourself, "If my REAL husband or wife was present, would I be acting or talking this way with this person?"

Honestly asnwering that question with yourself is a pretty good indicator or how appropriate or inappropriate the behavior is.


Let him that would move the world first move himself. - Socrates

Posts: 1030 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Midwest
ninebark
Member
Member # 24534
Default  Posted: 12:48 PM, November 6th (Wednesday)

and just to clarify, he is a plumber and I paid him for the dishwasher, he just didn't charge for labour.


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
LosferWords
Guide
Member # 30369
Default  Posted: 12:50 PM, November 6th (Wednesday)

According to one survey, 32% of workers said they had an "office husband" or "office wife".

Funny... I've seen very similar percentages of people surveyed who admit to cheating in their marriage as well.

I think if I were to come home and start talking about having an "office wife", I would be shown the door very promptly, and rightfully so.


Posts: 6587 | Registered: Dec 2010
ajsmom
Member
Member # 17460
Default  Posted: 12:54 PM, November 6th (Wednesday)

Duplicate post

[This message edited by ajsmom at 12:54 PM, November 6th (Wednesday)]


Fidelity isn't a feeling...it's a choice.

"Truth has no special time of its own. Its hour is now - always." - Albert Schweitzer
____________________________________________
Me: BW - Him: 200+ # tumor removed 7/09
DS - 31 - Yikes!


Posts: 21039 | Registered: Dec 2007 | From: Been Through Hell...On My Way Back
ajsmom
Member
Member # 17460
Default  Posted: 12:55 PM, November 6th (Wednesday)

Cliché soulmate schmoopieness to me.

I'm calling it like it is, folks - EA's on the slipperiest of slopes.

Time to get real.


AJ's MOM


Fidelity isn't a feeling...it's a choice.

"Truth has no special time of its own. Its hour is now - always." - Albert Schweitzer
____________________________________________
Me: BW - Him: 200+ # tumor removed 7/09
DS - 31 - Yikes!


Posts: 21039 | Registered: Dec 2007 | From: Been Through Hell...On My Way Back
circe
Member
Member # 6687
Default  Posted: 1:46 PM, November 6th (Wednesday)

ninebark:

I love him to death and if we were both single I would go out with him. BUT, we are NOT. He has a wife and I have a boyfriend. He has said to me that he has never and will never cheat on his wife and I told him that I would never cheat on my BF. We were clear on that and we understand that.

Our conversations aren't intimate or personal and are they generally take place in front of a room full of people.

So does this mean we are more than friends?

IMO, yes of course you are. I don't even think it's a very close call. You've evaluated him and found him desirable as a potential romantic partner while you are committed to someone else. You say you haven't had intimate conversations, but obviously you guys have found the need to reassure each other that you won't be unfaithful and have had to come to an "understanding" that you'd never cheat on your partners. Heck yes that's intimate.

For the record I don't think you sound defensive so much as you sound... I'm sorry, but you sound a bit foggy. Or playing loosey goosey with your boundaries. For 6 months I shared an office with a male colleague who is also my friend of many years. We definitely got closer in the office sharing days as we overheard whichever phone conversations, meetings, personal conversations and that sort of thing that we simply couldn't reasonably keep private. But my boundaries keep me about 10 conversational leaps away from any chat about whether or not we're faithful spouses. That conversation will never happen, because the 9 conversations that would precede that and increase our intimacy to the point where those words would exit my mouth would never happen. I know how his kids are, how his wife is, where they vacationed and even what he likes to eat for lunch. But my assumption is that people who are married are committed and so why even have the conversation where we come to a personal understanding about how we're not going to cheat? To me that sounds like two people "trying not to have sex" which is approximately half a step away from two people actually having sex. IMO.


Posts: 3187 | Registered: Mar 2005
ninebark
Member
Member # 24534
Default  Posted: 2:08 PM, November 6th (Wednesday)

Fair enough I can see where it would seem that way. Btw the conversation on the not cheating actually took place when we were both single and I was talking about my divorce. He was separated for two years and not long after that went back to his wife. We were talking about relationships in general and the reasons we had broken up at the time, mine due to infidelity, his due to other issues and he said he hadn't and would never cheat on his wife. It wasn't let's make a pact not to cheat.

And before I get hung for this conversation, there were two other guys talking about their divorce, it was a general conversation.

[This message edited by ninebark at 2:19 PM, November 6th (Wednesday)]


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
Razor
Member
Member # 16345
Default  Posted: 2:18 PM, November 6th (Wednesday)

From what I understand the work place is a very common source of affairs (both pa and ea). Because of that I believe extra effort needs to be made when dealing with the opposite sex at work.

VERY strict boundaries regarding any talk of current relationships and subjects beyond anything work related.

I love him to death and if we were both single I would go out with him.

This is a huge red flag because it seems to indicate that your BF is not your real first choice as a partner.


Forgive and forget = Relive and regret.


Posts: 3418 | Registered: Sep 2007
ninebark
Member
Member # 24534
Default  Posted: 2:25 PM, November 6th (Wednesday)

Razor I have no problem discussing this but I do take great offence at that assumption. If my BF was not my first choice I would not date him.

I did not say I wanted to be single and date my friend, I was trying to establish that we would be compatible if that was the situation.

I am sorry but you cannot work with only men and just discuss only work. There are 40 guys, we discuss our kids, the gym, our parents...the list goes on. If the conversation was too intimate or personal I would stop it.

[This message edited by ninebark at 2:26 PM, November 6th (Wednesday)]


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
clralb
Member
Member # 17185
Default  Posted: 2:26 PM, November 6th (Wednesday)

At work, I have colleagues, not a spouse.
The very term "work husband" makes me cringe. That alone crosses boundaries

I wholeheartedly agree. It even seems a bit childish to me.


BS Divorced.

They were right about you.


Posts: 676 | Registered: Nov 2007 | From: southeast
Jrazz
Guide
Member # 31349
Default  Posted: 2:54 PM, November 6th (Wednesday)

I am sorry but you cannot work with only men and just discuss only work.

Maybe yes, maybe no. The thing is, this argument has absolutely nothing to do with your "work husband." We're not talking about chatting about little league. We're talking about Wayward thinking and words. This is so textbook right now I don't even know what else to say.

I love him to death and if we were both single I would go out with him.

Indicates emotional and physical attraction. Your coworkers wouldn't "kid" about you being bf & gf if you weren't acting like it. Period. And then you try to argue with us that all you talk about with him is little league and we don't "get what you're saying."

You don't need to clarify anything. You have told us in ZERO uncertain terms that you are having an EA with a married man at work. The only person out of the loop is you.

This is far to triggery for me. Crazz and COW talked all the time about how if he wasn't married they'd totally go out. Nothing wrong, because it was only an "if", right? Till they got drunk at a work party and fucked behind a dumpster.

The choice is up to you, nine. I just would have thought you would know better than to fight and fight and fight for an emotionally close relationship with another woman's husband whom you would "go out with if you both were single."

I'm out.

[This message edited by Jrazz at 2:54 PM, November 6th (Wednesday)]


If you can't learn to enjoy your life when you have problems, you may never enjoy it because we'll always have problems. - Joyce Meyer

Posts: 16861 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
StillGoing
Member
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 3:22 PM, November 6th (Wednesday)

To answer the question, no I would not have the same relationship at work with another guy. That is what made her my work wife.

So do you have a work husband?

I don't see the place where a professional relationship with a woman is somehow inherently different than a professional relationship with a man beyond potential sexual tension. Unless we're doing the homophobe thing and saying it's not the same because madeupreasonhere.


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

Posts: 7419 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
circe
Member
Member # 6687
Default  Posted: 3:31 PM, November 6th (Wednesday)

How do you deal with spousal work relationships that span 2,000 hours per year, are intimate, emotional, yet not physical...

I'm sorry, my skin just crawls reading this. It's not spousal! What makes a coworker who is a whiz at doing work stuff and someone you've put in a lot of work hours with "spousal"? Why can't they just be a good coworker and team mate without it being compared to a committed romantic marriage?

I don't even think "triggery" is the right word for this because although my FWH had an A at work with all the attendant "she's such a good friend" BS that preceded it, I'd like to think that calling a coworker you're not married to your "spouse" is completely out of line no matter what your affair history is.


Posts: 3187 | Registered: Mar 2005
Holly-Isis
Member
Member # 13447
Default  Posted: 3:44 PM, November 6th (Wednesday)

There's power in words. MrH called me "the spouse". No gender, no affection...basically the least affiliation possible. Calling someone a work wife or work husband implies an intimacy that you don't have with other coworkers. Not a better working relationship, but an intimacy.

Coworkers should be just that, coworkers. A professional relationship needs no other name than coworker, IMO. You can be friendly and still have boundaries.

If anyone entertains the thought of a relationship beyond those boundaries, they're dancing along the slippery slope to an A. If you begin the wayward self talk that intimate feelings are ok because...or a touch here isn't a big deal because....
From what I've witnessed, that's where the trouble begins.


"Being in love" first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. *CS Lewis*

Posts: 11113 | Registered: Jan 2007 | From: Just a fool in limbo
Truly
Member
Member # 40715
Default  Posted: 3:54 PM, November 6th (Wednesday)


I'm sorry, but I work with men and women in a professional environment and if I ever heard myself or any member of staff referred to as 'work husband/wife' I would be appalled.
The lack of respect indicated to your work colleague as well as the lack of respect to your spouse is abhorrent.
On staff there are a number of married couples, their relationship status is NEVER mentioned. Each is treated as a professional individual.
We all are.
I now thank the fates for allowing me to work very closely with a like-minded, intelligent, respectful group of people.
I gather it's unusual. So very disappointing.


There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast.
Charles Dickens


Posts: 257 | Registered: Sep 2013
Stillstings
Member
Member # 36549
DOH!  Posted: 9:29 PM, November 6th (Wednesday)

I first read about this work wife/husband nonsense on another site a few years ago. First thing that came to mind is pretend boyfriend or girlfriend, like when you were in preschool. DH's reaction was how cheesy and childish this sounded and why would any normally functioning person find such a concept to be cute.

I too work in an office where the staff is mostly men in a male dominated field. We are a very tight knit, supportive team but I can't imagine taking it any further than that, due to the ick factor. Shitting where I eat does not sound like a good time, and besides they're co-workers. Some things are just off limits and a no brainer.

I love myself, my marriage, my job, and career too much to go mess it up by playing kiddie games.


Love yourself. You're worth it. Face your self. You need to do it.

Posts: 356 | Registered: Aug 2012
tryingmybest2011
Member
Member # 32584
Default  Posted: 9:41 PM, November 6th (Wednesday)

This term didn't bother me before DD, but it sure as hell does now. I realize now that I had loose boundaries myself, by way of sharing too much personal info at work. I have since changed that behaviour.


BS: me - 37
WH: him - 37
DD: 8
DD: 11 mos

Married over 9 years, together for 18.

DD#1: 12/12/10 - LTA of 3 years, 2 mos.
DD#2: 02/02/11 - 2 EA/PA with coworkers, a month after the LTA was ended (by OW).

In limbo.


Posts: 323 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: Ontario Canada
ninebark
Member
Member # 24534
Default  Posted: 6:11 AM, November 7th (Thursday)

I had to take a break from this thread because I was getting pretty hurt that people assumed I don't know what an EA is and that I am in one.

Here is why I was upset. I am friends with a guy, we spend maybe 30 minutes a day talking, half of it work related, half of it joking and talking. We do not talk outside of work, we do not hang out. Our conversations are something that can be repeated to our SO's. I put the comment about not cheating on our So's because I was trying to illistrate that we both understand what boundaries are and you can have a friendship with a member of the opposite sex.

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. I am also not wishing I was single or that he was my bf. In fact I started dating my BF at a time that my friend and I were both single, so it was a choice I made. I also don't want to date anyone I work with, things like that get messy.

The whole little leaque comment was unnecessary because I was responding to a comment someone made about only talking about work things at work. Sorry I don't do that, men or women, people talk about their lives.

What pissed me off was the comment about BF and GF because I don't like those titles either. The guy that made the joke was teasing me because my friend was on vacation for a week, and he was like "oh look your bf is back". I told him why that bothered me and he apologized and agreed it probably wasn't that funny. But I work in a trades shop, they live to torment and tease the crap out of each other. They also like to call me a cougar and tease me because my BF is younger than me. If they can find something to pick on they will.

So yes I am sure you are going to say I am defensive and I am sorry if this triggers people, not the intent. 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.


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
Stillstings
Member
Member # 36549
Default  Posted: 8:52 AM, November 7th (Thursday)

Of course people get attracted to others, nobody is saying it doesn't happen. Waxing deep emotions over someone who is just a co-worker? Yuck. I'd be creeped out if one of my male colleagues spoke about how deep he was into me. I'd also be very disappointed and not trust him too if that were to happen.


Love yourself. You're worth it. Face your self. You need to do it.

Posts: 356 | Registered: Aug 2012
ionlytalkedtoher
Member
Member # 39802
Default  Posted: 9:41 AM, November 7th (Thursday)

no totally not funny.

my husband had a few close friends from work--but those women were kind and reached out to me and we all 3 were friends...they respected boundaries and the fact he was married. Those that didn't--alarm bells went off right away and he and i both acknowdeledged the wrongness. One girl--same name as me...so it was a joke that they were having an affair. I didn't find it funny...but others in the office accused him of having an affair with her and he was all shocked...probably he was overly fliratatious. Well, he got fired soon after and this same woman, texted him multiple times--r u ok??I love you!!! I flipped out and f-bomed her back immediately who the f r u and why are you texting my H...she never texted him again.


Posts: 262 | Registered: Jul 2013
sisoon
Member
Member # 31240
Default  Posted: 10:02 AM, November 7th (Thursday)

The spousal contract is way different from the colleague contract, and IMO using the term 'work spouse' is a step on the slippery slope.

I used to be a road warrior doing medium term projects out of town on teams that included men and women. We shared lunches, dinners, drinks, and we talked about things that mattered to us on our off hours and breaks. Some of the women were attractive, IMO. What counted, though, was whether or not we were good colleague material - pulled our weight on the project, got our stuff done on time, protected each other appropriately, etc.

Project work can be incredibly intimate in many ways. The elation of successful completion brings the team very close to each other. (I always wanted to celebrate, and sex is the best celebration I can imagine.)

This means only that it's especially important to keep boundaries strong at work. Referring to a colleague as a 'work wife' or 'work husband' breaks down one very important boundary.

Remember - in a text or e-mail, you'll probably want to refer to a work wife as 'WW', and a work husband as 'WH'.

[This message edited by sisoon at 10:03 AM, November 7th (Thursday)]


fBH (me) - 70, fWW (plainsong) - 65+, Married 45+, together since 1965
DDay - 12/2010
Recovered, not yet fully R'ed
I share my own experience because it's the only experience I know, not because I'm a good model.

Posts: 9947 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
Whalers11
Member
Member # 27544
Default  Posted: 11:07 AM, November 7th (Thursday)

I have heard the "work spouse" term a few times before, but in the instances I've heard it used, it was clearly being used in a facetious manner...as well as I believe all parties were single. But that's neither here nor there.

Even as a BS - I can't say the term bothers me. It's a label, words. Inappropriate behavior at work is inappropriate at work - whatever you call it or don't call it.

If my SO referred to someone at work at his work wife, I'd probably ask why she was called that to determine if there was an inappropriate relationship happening. But I wouldn't automatically freak out if he said he had a work wife...he could call her that because she does his lunch dishes at work for all I know.


Me: BGF - 33
Together 11+ years - not married, no children.
D-Day: 2/9/2010
OC Born: 10/9/2010
Status: He chose OW/OC and left immediately.

Posts: 2211 | Registered: Feb 2010
Razor
Member
Member # 16345
Default  Posted: 11:23 AM, November 7th (Thursday)

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.


Posts: 3418 | Registered: Sep 2007
circe
Member
Member # 6687
Default  Posted: 11:28 AM, November 7th (Thursday)

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: 3187 | Registered: Mar 2005
ninebark
Member
Member # 24534
Default  Posted: 11:30 AM, November 7th (Thursday)

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)

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 4yrs, together 7yrs total

DD(21), DS(18, PDD-NOS)
6 Furkids (4 Dogs, 2 Cats)

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

Note: I edit often for clarity/typos.


Posts: 6294 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: California
ninebark
Member
Member # 24534
Default  Posted: 12:13 PM, November 7th (Thursday)

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)

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: 443 | Registered: Jun 2013
justdoit
Member
Member # 25898
Default  Posted: 3:31 PM, November 7th (Thursday)

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: 155 | Registered: Oct 2009 | From: Rocky Mountains
omgnome
Member
Member # 36888
Default  Posted: 4:01 PM, November 7th (Thursday)

@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: 213 | Registered: Sep 2012
ReunitePangea
Member
Member # 37529
Default  Posted: 4:04 PM, November 7th (Thursday)

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: 472 | Registered: Nov 2012
MoreWould
Member
Member # 37982
Default  Posted: 4:23 PM, November 7th (Thursday)

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)

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)

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: 3187 | Registered: Mar 2005
Mousse242
Member
Member # 6330
Default  Posted: 8:27 PM, November 7th (Thursday)

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)

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)

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)

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 you can't learn to enjoy your life when you have problems, you may never enjoy it because we'll always have problems. - Joyce Meyer

Posts: 16861 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
StillGoing
Member
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 12:06 AM, November 8th (Friday)

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: 7419 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
ninebark
Member
Member # 24534
Default  Posted: 3:17 AM, November 8th (Friday)

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)

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: 2744 | Registered: Jul 2010 | From: Australia
circe
Member
Member # 6687
Default  Posted: 4:43 AM, November 8th (Friday)

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.


Posts: 3187 | Registered: Mar 2005
nomistakeaboutit
Member
Member # 36857
Default  Posted: 5:34 AM, November 8th (Friday)

Leopold,

...back to your original post, which I just reread.

You said this:


I miss my work wife because we were a great team and everything is so much more difficult now. But I can understand that our spouses might have viewed the work environment as a threat or potential train wreck in the future.

Do you see that YOU are the one that needs to do the "viewing" and then take immediate action to address the situation?

Dude, listen up. My wife left me, our 2 year old and our 5 year old daughter because she allowed herself to get too close to her "work husband". It happens a lot, as you may noticed on SI. With respect, please, please start to see and understand the huge risks of not having appropriate boundaries in the workplace. Can you see it from a different perspective now, after reading all,of these posts Can you see that just because DR. Phil maybe have used the terms "work husband" and "work wife" and may have "had" one himself, that doesn't make it OK?


Me: BH 56.........Her: WW 43
DD: 6..........DS: 4
Married for six years.
DDay: 12-25-11 Divorced: 7-15-12
...................................
"It's like a nightmare within a nightmare, which in and of itself is a nightmare!"

Posts: 935 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: U.S.A.
StillGoing
Member
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 7:42 AM, November 8th (Friday)

Ninebark:

However there is one. 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. But it is because we have very similar senses of humor. I love him to death and if we were both single I would go out with him.

In consideration of where we are I saw that as cavalier.

That you and your boyfriend are open and honest with each other is awesome. I am not accusing you of an EA. I am not even commenting on standing at the edge of boundaries and toeing that line.

What I am saying is that was delivered almost flippantly, in a crowd of people who were betrayed in very similar circumstances. I am about as absolutely sure as I can be about anything that you weren't trying to be and that it was not calculated at all - but really look at that statement and think about how many stories start that way.

FWIW I was in exactly the same place your BF is, totally trusted my wife. It wasn't until she started to hide those off color jokes and inappropriate comments that it became a problem, and it's a very, very, very short hop to doing that from where you are.

Now, that aside and this not directed at anyone in specific, what I personally find ridiculous and borderline insulting is the few people implying they can dance along that edge and never fall over it, as if there is somehow an inherent superiority to their boundaries vs those of others who failed at maintaining them. While I have never crossed those lines and like to think I could be blackout drunk in a whorehouse with thousand dollar bills tied to my dick and still not cross that line, I acknowledge that the best way to be sure of that is not test those boundaries. Because after being here this long what I am just as sure that anybody can get sucked into this shit. I do mean *anyone* - and while I think my personal morality is solid I don't even trust myself dancing along an edge.

Good boundaries are only those that are not tested IMO.

[This message edited by StillGoing at 7:44 AM, November 8th (Friday)]


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

Posts: 7419 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
refuz2bavictim
Member
Member # 27176
Default  Posted: 7:52 AM, November 8th (Friday)

what I personally find ridiculous and borderline insulting is the few people implying they can dance along that edge and never fall over it, as if there is somehow an inherent superiority to their boundaries vs those of others who failed at maintaining them.

YES! I would like to join you in this sentiment. Flirting with that line is not a sign of strength or good boundaries. I consider it foolish.


BS:ME DDay: 7/18/09 Last of TT 7/11/10
MOW's EA/PA all were my "friends" but one


Posts: 2372 | Registered: Jan 2010
ninebark
Member
Member # 24534
Default  Posted: 8:18 AM, November 8th (Friday)

Fair enough Stillgoing. I just didn't want you to feel that I don't find this a serious subject. Nor do I feel I am perfect or above making mistakes.

Hey I can sit here all day and claim to be a pink bunny and be totally convinced of it until someone holds up a mirror and says "are you really sure about that?" I think having these discussions does help you to take a look at things closer where you may not have previously. Which is why I value SI. I wonder if someone would have had this conversation with my STBEXH would he have done what he did.


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
SisterMilkshake
Member
Member # 30024
Default  Posted: 8:19 AM, November 8th (Friday)

I am an executive admin asst. I have been/am the work wife.
Really, Mousse? You are a professional executive admin asst. and you want to be seen and described as the "work wife"?

On the flip side of the coin, I find it very aggravating when my dear FWH treats me like I am his secretary. I would lose it if he called me his "home secretary" or "home executive admin asst.".

As a BS who's FWH's affair started as a workplace "friendship" (I haven't asked if they were known as "work husband and wife", don't think I want to know) who himself now is appalled that this "friendship" so very insidiously slipped down the slope, I have to agree with SG's quote

what I personally find ridiculous and borderline insulting is the few people implying they can dance along that edge and never fall over it
My FWH insisting that it was never his intent to have an affair with this employee when they first started their "friendship" (although I am sure it was always the intent of the OW) is one of those people who felt he could dance along the edge and never fall over it.


BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


Posts: 9514 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
Holly-Isis
Member
Member # 13447
Default  Posted: 8:44 AM, November 8th (Friday)

You are a professional executive admin asst. and you want to be seen and described as the "work wife"?

Good point. Not only is the term insulting to those in committed relationships, it's insulting to professionals, women especially. Females have fought long and hard to gain equal footing in a workplace and to water her skill set, knowledge, talent and (hopefully) professionalism down to the term "work wife" denigrates the professionalism of her job. Performing tasks for another person within the confines of your job does not make one a quasi-spouse. It makes you good at your job, period. I'd resist allowing anyone to blur that line and make my skills into a punch line.

I'm a SAHM, but in the field of education I've mainly worked with other women. If I have a level of interaction with someone on my job, they are still coworkers. If I interact outside of work, they might eventually be considered a friend. At no point would I call one of those women a work wife. Why would I do so just because the coworker is male? Why would he be any more worthy of trying to create a special connection with, using a special term?

Only if boundaries are slippery, IMO. It undermines my professionalism and my M. Why even go there...or fight for the right to go there?

I've been talking a lot to DD about the roles of people in our lives. She used the term frienemy. I told her I didn't believe in it. Either someone is a friend, who might make a mistake but does not intentionally cause harm or they are an enemy. There are friends, acquaintances, classmates, neighbors, coworkers, close friends, best friends, colleagues...the list goes on and on.

There are so many words that can clearly define relationships and by extension boundaries that there is no need to combine terms from two different roles unless those lines are intended to be blurred. Terms like frienemy and work spouse serve one purpose, IMO. That's to make acceptable the unacceptable. To normalize the blurring of what should be strong boundaries (friends vs. enemies, work vs. home).

[This message edited by Holly-Isis at 8:46 AM, November 8th (Friday)]


"Being in love" first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. *CS Lewis*

Posts: 11113 | Registered: Jan 2007 | From: Just a fool in limbo
7yrsflushed
Member
Member # 32258
Default  Posted: 9:19 AM, November 8th (Friday)

Stillgoing's last paragraph pretty much summed it up for me. This is a sore subject for me since my STBXW had a 3 yr LTA with a coworker. I am sure they started off as "friends" as well. I really wish I could add more to this topic but I can't, not because I am angry but because so many people in the working world don't realize or don't even care about the boundaries they cross everyday. They don't even think about the impact, real or percieved, that it has on the spouse they leave when they walk out the door in the morning.

My STBX likely had a "work-husband" or something similar in name and all it cost her was her M and 50% of her time with our children. Maybe if companies actually enforced theire Code of Conduct more often this wouldn't be such a problem.


D-day 5/24/11
BH = Me
2 children
The first true sense of calm I felt in YEARS was when I filed for D...
D hopefully official any day now, off to check the mail again.

Posts: 1884 | Registered: May 2011 | From: VA
Holly-Isis
Member
Member # 13447
Default  Posted: 9:26 AM, November 8th (Friday)

Maybe if companies actually enforced theire Code of Conduct more often this wouldn't be such a problem.

Not really. It all comes down to boundaries. Children need parents to teach them boundaries and enforce them. Eventually those children grow up and should be setting their own boundaries. If the companies are babysitting then those adult-children don't have to own their choices or actions.

Just like a spouse isn't a parent and shouldn't have to create boundaries for their spouse, so it is for companies.

You should remain faithful because that was the agreement when you got into a relationship. At work you should act professional because that's what you're paid to do.


"Being in love" first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. *CS Lewis*

Posts: 11113 | Registered: Jan 2007 | From: Just a fool in limbo
ReunitePangea
Member
Member # 37529
Default  Posted: 9:44 AM, November 8th (Friday)

Now, that aside and this not directed at anyone in specific, what I personally find ridiculous and borderline insulting is the few people implying they can dance along that edge and never fall over it, as if there is somehow an inherent superiority to their boundaries vs those of others who failed at maintaining them. While I have never crossed those lines and like to think I could be blackout drunk in a whorehouse with thousand dollar bills tied to my dick and still not cross that line, I acknowledge that the best way to be sure of that is not test those boundaries. Because after being here this long what I am just as sure that anybody can get sucked into this shit. I do mean *anyone* - and while I think my personal morality is solid I don't even trust myself dancing along an edge.

In all of the heated debate on this thread I think the discussion has turned into a very interesting topic to understand.

My first question to the above statement is who gets to draw the line where that edge exists? And do you think that edge is really the same for everyone? Do you really think that you have the answer as to what that line is and how it should apply to ALL people?

I think if you sent a questionnaire on where the edge line exists you would get a variety of different answers from those on SI. You will have various people on different extremes - some think it is possible to have an EA with the cashier at a coffee shop that you spend 2 minutes talking to everyday while others don't even consider the act of sex as cheating in some situations (there are people from open M on here). I caution those that want to paint a line that they think ALL should follow as I think they are the ones acting ridiculous and bonderline insulting and a clear demonstration of some inherent superiority.

We all are different, have had different experiences and have different opinions on what is betrayal & cheating. I know some of my views may be extreme as to what I think is cheating and many may not agree with my viewpoints, but I certainly don't throw them in peoples faces and blindly brand them a cheater without a better understanding of the situation and the people involved.

I can understand the BS who has been cheated wanting to go to understand where it all began. Wanting to go to the point of where it turned into a bad decision in an effort to prevent it from ever happening again. I am not suprised that some feel that if they set the boundaries for their WS such that having a personnel conversation with someone of the opposite sex is crossing the line that it will prevent future betrayal from even happening. That may work for you - for me I would rather my WS fully regains my trust such that she knows what the things are that will hurt me again and have a strong desire to never want to do that again. I do not feel the need to set her world up such that she does not find herself in a situation that might require a choice.

[This message edited by ReunitePangea at 11:15 AM, November 8th (Friday)]


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: 472 | Registered: Nov 2012
SisterMilkshake
Member
Member # 30024
Default  Posted: 11:28 AM, November 8th (Friday)

This is an interesting subject to debate here at SI.

Reunite, you bring up some good questions.

My first question to the above statement is who gets to draw the line where that edge exists? And do you think that edge is really the same for everyone? Do you really think that you have the answer as to what that line is and how it should apply to ALL people?
To these questions I believe the very simple answer is that the "dancing close to the edge" for everyone is when you know you don't want your spouse to see or hear what you are doing with your "work spouse" even if you haven't stepped over the edge and down the slope.

eta: I feel that SG was saying just the opposite of him being "superior", btw.

[This message edited by SisterMilkshake at 11:40 AM, November 8th (Friday)]


BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


Posts: 9514 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
ReunitePangea
Member
Member # 37529
Default  Posted: 1:12 PM, November 8th (Friday)

the very simple answer is that the "dancing close to the edge" for everyone is when you know you don't want your spouse to see or hear what you are doing

Sister - I am in complete agreement on that. It is a simple answer, but figuring out where the line is for each of us is still complex. What is even more difficult is that over time people change their opinion on where they feel that line should be. That is why my advise to ninebark was the following:

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.

On the previous page someone posted a reply to that which I did find interesting.

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.

I don't think I have an answer that some will agree with but it is how I feel. I feel I can really only control myself. I can set boundaries for my spouse that she can choose to follow or not but I can't control her to make the decision I want her to make. I feel that expecting me to be aware of what someone else is doing who is not my wife and then go beyond that to consider what their SO feelings may or may not be is beyond my level or reach.

To illustrate my point further consider this example. This is probably true for many here but since finding out about my WWs infidelity, I feel like I have a hightened awareness to other forms of likely cheating going around me. If you don't have that, consider this instead, it doesn't take me more than a few clicks of the mouse to get to web pages where I can clearly find cheating going on. When I see likely cheating in action - should I be taking down their names or getting their license plate numbers to report the information to their SO? My guess is very few if anyone have done that here. Why not?

How is the above example any different than what you are suggesting? Just because it is easier for me to get their names because my SO may know them I have an obligation to report it or work to prevent it?

Infidelity, cheating, betrayal will always happen. There is nothing we can do to create a world where it will not exist.

eta: I feel that SG was saying just the opposite of him being "superior", btw

I agree - those that were labeling a BS as a WS without first trying to understand more were though.


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: 472 | Registered: Nov 2012
SisterMilkshake
Member
Member # 30024
Default  Posted: 2:04 PM, November 8th (Friday)

RP, I was explaining what I feel is the edge for each individual person. And, for each person, that edge will be different. Some may be comfortable with hugging people, others not, for instance. Only you know what actions and what kind of talk to other people your spouse wouldn't approve of. If you feel you need to hide any of your behaviour from your spouse, thats the edge for you.

Nowhere did I say I was the cheating police. What I will say is I know what professional and business behaviour looks like. If two people seem to have an intimate relationship and are referring to themselves as "work spouses" or the office gossip is calling them that, I feel it is legitimate to at least suspect that something more is going on than a strictly business or professional relationship.

Of course, we can't make our WS's have boundaries. We can have boundaries and my boundary is that I expect my FWH to have exemplary boundaries.

some feel that if they set the boundaries for their WS such that having a personnel conversation with someone of the opposite sex is crossing the line that it will prevent future betrayal from even happening.
If the WS has done the needed work on themselves they will set this boundary themselves. As StillGoing pointed out:
I could be blackout drunk in a whorehouse with thousand dollar bills tied to my dick and still not cross that line, I acknowledge that the best way to be sure of that is not test those boundaries.
Because, really RP, why would you want your WW to test her boundaries? (BTW, love the image SG! )
I do not feel the need to set her world up such that she does not find herself in a situation that might require a choice.
I don't feel anyone here was suggesting this RP. In fact anyone who feels they can do this with their WS is doomed to failure and will become exhausted by trying to do this.


BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


Posts: 9514 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
No12turn2
Member
Member # 40996
Default  Posted: 2:09 PM, November 8th (Friday)

This same concept exists in some video games such as MMORPGs like Warcraft or the game my WW played, Dark Legends. There were a lot of teens and lonely people on there I guess. And my WW ended up getting caught in the trap. She is still hung up on the guy.


Me/BS 35
WW 32
M 12 yrs 2 Girls 10 & 7
Phone/Cyber Affairs (3 D-Days)
Status: DIVORCED 4/24/2014

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.


Posts: 525 | Registered: Oct 2013 | From: United Staes
Sal1995
Member
Member # 39099
Default  Posted: 2:44 PM, November 8th (Friday)

There are no such things as "work husbands" and "work wives", just husbands, wives, and everyone else in the world including those you happen to work with.

These terms are inappropriate, insulting, and hurtful.


Me (BS)-45, WW-42
PMs with men only, please
DDay 2/17/13, 9-10 month PA/EA
Final NC late Feb. '13
M - 18 years, 4 children
Reconciling

Posts: 1351 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Texas
StillGoing
Member
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 3:46 PM, November 8th (Friday)

My first question to the above statement is who gets to draw the line where that edge exists? And do you think that edge is really the same for everyone? Do you really think that you have the answer as to what that line is and how it should apply to ALL people?

Well, yes, I do think I get to decide what I consider to be poor boundaries and apply them to whomever I wish. We can discuss the subjectivity of morals and circumstances but at the end of the day I get to make the call on what I consider to be over the line.

Some people think sucking ain't fucking. I have an opinion on that one too, and I apply it to everyone equally as well.

I am not suprised that some feel that if they set the boundaries for their WS such that having a personnel conversation with someone of the opposite sex is crossing the line that it will prevent future betrayal from even happening. That may work for you - for me I would rather my WS fully regains my trust such that she knows what the things are that will hurt me again and have a strong desire to never want to do that again. I do not feel the need to set her world up such that she does not find herself in a situation that might require a choice.

I'm not even sure what this is supposed to mean. Are you trying to say I have set boundaries for my wife and kept her in a box so she resents me?

I don't set her world up, I set up mine. Do not imply I play some stupid fucking game with my wife and treat her as less than an equal, because that has nothing to do with this discussion whatsoever.


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

Posts: 7419 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
JanaGreen
Member
Member # 29341
Default  Posted: 3:52 PM, November 8th (Friday)

what I personally find ridiculous and borderline insulting is the few people implying they can dance along that edge and never fall over it, as if there is somehow an inherent superiority to their boundaries vs those of others who failed at maintaining them.

Amen. This is deluded thinking IMO. When my husband was in craniorectal phase, he asserted that it was perfectly fine for him to spend time with and drink alcohol with a woman who BY HIS OWN ADMISSION he found attractive, because he had self control. Please bear in mind that he had already cheated on me once while drunk at this point. Then he told me that my intentional avoidance of close situations with men who I found attractive indicated that I had no self-control.

Then my head, it exploded.


We're both in our 30s. One awesome 4-year-old daughter.

Posts: 6649 | Registered: Aug 2010 | From: Somewhere in the South
Sal1995
Member
Member # 39099
Default  Posted: 4:37 PM, November 8th (Friday)

When my husband was in craniorectal phase...

Pure gold. The rest of the sentence was great, but you had me at "craniorectal phase."


Me (BS)-45, WW-42
PMs with men only, please
DDay 2/17/13, 9-10 month PA/EA
Final NC late Feb. '13
M - 18 years, 4 children
Reconciling

Posts: 1351 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Texas
RippedSoul
Member
Member # 40055
Default  Posted: 12:20 PM, November 18th (Monday)

All of us are so diverse and our strengths and weaknesses are so different. The terms "work husband" and "work wife" give me the creeps. Nothing professional about it. And as someone who works at an elementary school (as opposed to a law office), I realize even the word "professional" can be interpreted in varying ways.

I would be uncomfortable telling anyone other than my spouse how friendly he/she could be with another coworker. After being married to my SAWH for 22 years of marriage and experiencing a multitude of his EAs or near EAs (then, in the last half of 2012, a PA, a prostitute, 2 escorts, and trolling on hook-up sites), I've learned that some people simply can't have safe friendships with members of the opposite sex. I've stood next to him as he speaks to mere acquaintances and have watched him "groom" them: a casual touch here, a compliment there, a total focus on what the other person is saying. I feel very detached--like I'm in the midst of a social science experiment.

When he is more aware--as he has been before when he's stopped being friends with someone on FB because he felt it was too dangerous for him or when he stopped taking his administrative assistant out for lunch on Secretary's Day and instead gave her (and her spouse) a gift certificate for dinner at a nice restaurant--he is careful about boundaries. But when he's not sober . . . then I'm happy when his travel includes a lesbian engineer or a fellow female scientist who is 20 years his senior. If she is tolerably attractive or anywhere near his age (20 years younger to 10 years older), then, yes, I worry.

With anyone who fits into that latter category, I believe his convos should be limited to work, work, and only work. If he needs to share personal stories, he has male colleagues who are his friends, he has female friends-of-the-marriage (my two bffs) to talk to, and he has family members who know his situation. He is NOT denied a female point-of-view. But (this may change, but it's doubtful) I don't think any contact with any woman (in that above-mentioned danger zone) about any non-work subject is "safe" for him.

Not all men (or women) might need such strict boundaries. I wouldn't. I'm not being obtuse; I'm simply aware of the "line" in my life being more of a wall. My SAWH has been my only sexual partner. One of my major fears, back when D seemed more of a conclusion than it does now, was being alone the rest of my life because I truly didn't feel like I could ever be intimate with anyone else. He is my only. Imagining myself with someone else--even divorced, when it wouldn't be cheating--leaves me repulsed. I can look at a gorgeous man and appreciate his beauty but I have never felt an iota of lust, or even attraction, for any of them. So could I go to a handsome male colleague and pour out my heart and soul to him and still keep my marriage safe. Probably. Thing is? I wouldn't.

Navigating this journey we're all on, this one called life, demands that we learn to understand ourselves, learn to communicate with others, learn to love those around us despite their weaknesses, and learn to accept who we are. We are not all alike and there's beauty and strength and comfort in that knowledge.


BW: 49; SLAWH: 46; M: 23 yrs
DD#1--11/30/12 (prostitute #1)
DD#2--1/29/13 (AP, escorts #1 & #2)
DD#3--9/13 (trolling MILF site)
DD#4--10/8/13 (EA with AP cont'd)
DD: 20; DD: 18; DS: 16; DS: 14
PS: I've NEVER NOT edited my posts

Posts: 433 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: California
GabyBaby
Member
Member # 26928
Default  Posted: 12:35 PM, November 18th (Monday)

Here's another way to look at this:

For those with children, would you be ok with another man/woman (such as a teacher or a babysitter) calling themself your child's "Extra Mom/Dad" simply because they spend a lot of time with your child during the day?

I doubt it.


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

DD(21), DS(18, PDD-NOS)
6 Furkids (4 Dogs, 2 Cats)

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

Note: I edit often for clarity/typos.


Posts: 6294 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: California
HormonalWoman
Member
Member # 29265
Default  Posted: 2:24 PM, November 18th (Monday)

Nine bark, your statements totally contradict each other;

I love him to death and if we were both single I would go out with him. BUT, we are NOT. He has a wife and I have a boyfriend. He has said to me that he has never and will never cheat on his wife and I told him that I would never cheat on my BF.

Fair enough I can see where it would seem that way. Btw the conversation on the not cheating actually took place when we were both single and I was talking about my divorce.

If you were both single there were no partners to discuss your not cheating on.


Together 13 yrs
BW - Me
WH - Him
3 Children
DD 20th June 2010 actual affair was early 2008 for roughly 10 wks.

Posts: 243 | Registered: Aug 2010 | From: UK
LeopoldB
Member
Member # 40606
Default  Posted: 7:39 PM, November 18th (Monday)

So... a lot of folks apparently have work spouse relationships - - some realize they have a work wife or work husband, and others are oblivious... although most of their colleagues would identify them as a work spouse and they may just be the last to find out.

I guess the question is whether it is possible to have a work husband or work wife and for it not to be 'ipso facto' inappropriate... such as has been stated by several people earlier on this thread - - just a normal everyday workplace relationship that mimics the best features of a real marriage with none of the family responsibilities.


Posts: 193 | Registered: Sep 2013
heartbroken0903
Member
Member # 27879
Default  Posted: 7:51 PM, November 18th (Monday)

just a normal everyday workplace relationship that mimics the best features of a real marriage with none of the family responsibilities

Remove the word "workplace" in that sentence (or even without removing it) and the description sounds an awful lot like an affair.

I have read the whole thread. I don't work in the corporate world and never have, so I don't claim to know anything about these types of workplace interpersonal relations that get to the point of seeming like spouses. That sentence from your post just stood out to me.


Me: WS, 30s
XH: BS, 40s
No kids

Married 2.5 years
D-day 3/6/10
Divorced 5/14/10

Reconciled after divorce

"Someday you'll look back on all these days
And all this pain is gonna be invisible." - Hunter Hayes, "Invisible"


Posts: 2090 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: the cat's meow
sisoon
Member
Member # 31240
Default  Posted: 8:08 PM, November 18th (Monday)

So... a lot of folks apparently have work spouse relationships - - some realize they have a work wife or work husband, and others are oblivious... although most of their colleagues would identify them as a work spouse and they may just be the last to find out.

I think that misconstrues the feedback - my reading is that the bulk of the feedback is that considering a co-worker a 'work spouse' is dangerous at best and downright wrong at worst. I'm not sure anybody has a work spouse without realizing it.

workplace relationship that mimics the best features of a real marriage

See, that's the problem - in most cultures one of the best features of M is sex. Calling a work colleague a 'work spouse' ipso facto puts you on the slippery slope. JMO, of course.


fBH (me) - 70, fWW (plainsong) - 65+, Married 45+, together since 1965
DDay - 12/2010
Recovered, not yet fully R'ed
I share my own experience because it's the only experience I know, not because I'm a good model.

Posts: 9947 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
StillGoing
Member
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 8:48 PM, November 18th (Monday)

I guess the question is whether it is possible to have a work husband or work wife and for it not to be 'ipso facto' inappropriate.

I would say it's fairly obvious that it isn't okay but if your job description is "Billionaire Playboy," "Liege Lord" or "Pimp" then I guess a normal everyday workplace relationship could mimic the best features of a real marriage with none of the family responsibilities.


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

Posts: 7419 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 12:22 AM, November 19th (Tuesday)

Invalidating. Extremely invalidating to the real spouses. For one person to enjoy the title that another person worked so hard to claim - calling another chick 'work wife' when your real wife actually built a romance with you and put in that effort - kind of cheapens the real process of earning the term, not to mention highlighting the intimacy that the two office mates share. It crosses boundaries. The terms 'work husband' and 'work wife' read more like a private joke between two people, one of whom is outside the real marriage. I probably would be less offended if both parties were single, because then the romantic implications of terms like 'husband' and 'wife' and the resulting sexual tension among those who are suckers for romances, wouldn't be compromising any anti-cheating morals I have (though it might lead to questionable professionalism in many cases). YMMV.


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus. Be mindful, compassionate, and responsible… Something valuable I learned on SI. :)

Posts: 3900 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
LonelyHusband
Member
Member # 34145
Default  Posted: 2:50 AM, November 19th (Tuesday)

just a normal everyday workplace relationship that mimics the best features of a real marriage with none of the family responsibilities

Someone has already said this, but I thought I would re-iterate it. Remove ONE word and the sentence becomes.

just a normal everyday relationship that mimics the best features of a real marriage with none of the family responsibilities

Sounds a lot like an affair to me. In fact it sounds precisely like the beginnings of an affair. You get the highs of a relationship without the worries about the kids and mortgage. I can see such a small step from "we work great together" into "he just understands me", "She finished my sentences", "I couldn't manage without her", and boom, you've stepped off the cliff.

People say the term in commonplace, but in the UK I have never heard it. In fact I had never heard it until I came to this thread.

Calling someone my work wife in the UK would result in one of two things. If they had healthy boundaries they would probably complain to HR about me NOT having healthy boundaries. If they didn't have healthy boundaries then my wife would quite rightly go nuclear because it would be seen as flirting or at the very least flirting with stepping over the boundaries we have in place to protect our marriage.

If she came home and laughingly called someone her work husband it would set off a massive alarm bell.

At work I have colleagues. I have employees. I go home to my wife.

The very concept of work husbands and wives makes me nauseous.


BS ( me) 41
fWS (OktoberMest) 35
D day #1 29/10/2011, D day #2 15/112011, D day #3 15/03/2012
Reconciling.
“It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”, is inadequate consolation when you vacuum up a child's hamster'

Posts: 1290 | Registered: Dec 2011 | From: UK
nomistakeaboutit
Member
Member # 36857
Default  Posted: 5:34 AM, November 19th (Tuesday)

Leopold,

mimics the best features of a real marriage

...and what would these "features" be?

...commitment
...loyalty
...trust
...respect
...communication
...shared history
...uncommon understanding of each other


Yes. All of these can and often do exist, but the appropriate relationship is a business friend relationship, but not a work wife relationship. Love and sex are still missing. Also, it's the "team" versus "family" differentiation that makes it different.


Me: BH 56.........Her: WW 43
DD: 6..........DS: 4
Married for six years.
DDay: 12-25-11 Divorced: 7-15-12
...................................
"It's like a nightmare within a nightmare, which in and of itself is a nightmare!"

Posts: 935 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: U.S.A.
somanyyears
Member
Member # 26970
Default  Posted: 1:22 PM, November 21st (Thursday)


..It did not become inappropriate in part because we chose not to cross that line (there was borderline joking about it), in part because of circumstances, and in part because of lack of opportunity

..who chose NOT to cross that line? her or you?

..who was doing the border line joking? her or you?

..what were the 'circumstances' you speak of?

..had this so called 'lack of opportunity' been remedied, who would have taken full advantage of the 'opportunity'??? her or you ??

..hhmmmmmmm

smy


trust no other human- love only your pets
She isn't and never was who I thought..I can't believe who I married and what she did to us.
Me 67
Her 63
Married 42 yrs (together 47)
18 yr LTA with bf


Posts: 4117 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: the sad state of affairs
Truly
Member
Member # 40715
Default  Posted: 4:41 PM, November 21st (Thursday)

Some people have Personal Assistants, or Legal Secretaries or staff or colleagues.

No one has a 'work wife' or 'work husband' although I do believe some people have 'work horses'. Just like a real horse but...

Some inappropriate, damaged, entitled, pompous ass made the terms up, let's ditch them, please.

I am now off to 'work' to work collegially with my 'work colleagues'. I will later return home to my husband, almost like a real husband only...oh no wait, he IS a real husband.
I know this because he lives with me and I get to see him naked


There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast.
Charles Dickens


Posts: 257 | Registered: Sep 2013
Topic Posts: 109