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The Work Husband: Harmless Fun or Something More?

Oct 4, 2012 at 4:00 PM Chime in now



Having a close ally at work can create a more productive work environment, increase job satisfaction and motivate you to spend more time at the office. This may explain why 65 per cent of professionals admit to having a work spouse, a non-competitive business companion with whom you share everything work related...and sometimes more.

The concept of a work spouse goes beyond having a friendly co-worker with similar interests. Chemistry is what separates your your work friends from the special connection you share with your work spouse. You click in a unique way with this person and feel comfortable expressing a range of emotions including some degree of vulnerability. You’re attracted to them on several levels and though the appeal may not be sexual from the onset, many admit that it often develops into physical desire. Work spouses also give you an ego boost, a dose of excitement and a sense of being appreciated for who you are as opposed to what you do.

If you respect and share similar boundaries and are mindful not to blur personal and professional lines, sharing everything from coffees and gossip to lunch dates and relationship advice may be entirely harmless. Many professionals relish in their relationships with their work spouses and seem to maintain a healthy balance.

Amy*, a sales representative, is totally open about her relationship with her work husband Jeff*. Her real husband Simon* is on-board with their tight friendship and even jokes about her office marriage. “He actually appreciates that I have the extra support at the office,” explains Amy. “And I think he’s happy that I have someone to laugh with and get stressed out with at work. That way, I don’t bring as much of the stress home.”

Others, however, admit that their relationships with their work spouses have eventually crossed the line. Though the transgression may not be sexual, there are a few warning signs to look for that indicate that your work marriage may be causing more harm than good.

Next Page: When You've Crossed the Line

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