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Do You Have a Work Spouse?

I haven’t researched the subject, but I’ll bet infidelity has been on the rise ever since women flooded the workforce in the 1970s. It’s a perfect setting for forming intimate relationships. Where else can you spend such long hours together with members of the opposite sex?

And I’m not just referring to sexual infidelity. Emotional infidelity — as well as other inappropriate attachments among singles — can wreak havoc, too. calls them “work spouses,” which are close platonic relationships with co-workers of opposite sex.

Here are some signs from you should consider when examining your own behavior at work:

1) You depend on a particular co-worker for office supplies, snacks and aspirin.

2) There are inside jokes that you and a specific co-worker share.

3) You can be bluntly honest with this person about his or her appearance, hygiene or hair (and vice versa). You’re comfortable enough to point out that the other’s hair is sticking up — or that someone’s fly is down.

4) When something eventful happens at work, this co-worker is the first person you seek out for a de-briefing.

5) At breakfast, lunch and coffee breaks, your closest co-worker knows what to order for you and how you like your coffee (and vice versa).

6) You and your co-worker can finish each other’s sentences.

7) Someone in your office knows almost as much about your personal life as your best friend or real-life spouse does.

If you’re married, you should ensure you’re not singling out a member of the opposite sex with these types of intimacy. And if you’re single, you should be careful you’re not singling out a member of the opposite sex with whom you have no intention of pursuing.

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