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Legalized Bigamy: Do You Have a Work Husband?

By HERWriter Guide
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Relationships & Family related image Photo: Getty Images

You wake up every morning and scram to shower, dress, grab some coffee and race out to the car. You kiss your spouse goodbye and tell him to have a good day. You leave him and rush to work - where another husband is waiting for you. A different kind of husband.

I’ve been hearing about work spouses for a while. As a freelancer, I don’t have this kind of relationship but I never did when in a traditional workplace either. Getting though the “office job” as a means to go through college lessened my interest in having a work husband, although I did have great fun with co-workers – of either sex.

Work "spouses" are close, professional and personal relationships that people have with a member of the opposite sex via their employment. While the relationship is definitely professional, a friendship is struck up with personal information and stories exchanged, lunches eaten together and even some after-work socialization.

Many people thrive on these relationships. They work well with their work “spouse” and also have a built-in ally. Obviously, a work spouse is platonic.

A survey of 640 white-collar workers done by Captivate Network, a digital-programming and advertising company in a Chelmsford, Mass., saw that about two-thirds of workers said they have or have had a work spouse. With longer hours spent at work, and even weekends creeping into the work week, a work wife or husband can be inevitable to some. In fact, some workers say that a third party like a work spouse can give a good perspective on careers, life and even marriage. These relationships can be the difference between a positive attitude toward one’s job, rather than getting through the week while hating the daily grind.

It’s important to note there need to be healthy boundaries with these “spousal” relationships. They must maintain a platonic form-not always easy in the work place. Work spouses telling each other things they don’t tell their own real husbands and wives become conspirators and secret-keepers – not a good idea. Verbally referring to your work spouse as such (to others) is not a good idea either, and a potential insult to the real spouse.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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