Why you shouldn’t have a work wife/husband
I met with a client who was continually distracted by the going ons of two colleagues who sat near her. It was daily whisperings, giggles and flirtations. They were a pair referred to affectionately and not so affectionately as Mr. and Mrs. A work wife and a work husband.
They were both about the same age. He was unremarkable and she was blonde and willowy. Though it isn’t fair to say he was unremarkable. He is getting married in three months. At first it looked innocent and fun. Work can be boring and they giggled the day away. There was even some jealousy in the office that they had such a deep friendship. They had someone who would always watch their back.
It got sticky when she broke up with her boyfriend. She would often break down in her cubicle. But he was always there offering comfort. Explaining to her how wonderful she was and how she deserved better. At this point I had to comment my surprise that all of this took place out in the open and very publicly
It got messy when he started to compare his fiancée to his coworker out loud and his fiancée was on the losing end. He had never seen his coworker without make up She had never let her cherry office mask slip except to lean on him to cry over her break up. He never saw her in sweats or any of the daily less attractive ways that you see the person you love in. He knew his fiancée very well. And all her flaws were dissected and compared to Mrs. She.
In a few weeks, she was dating and he was dissatisfied with his relationship at home. He was now doubting whether he should be getting married. He began to say sarcastic things about his fiancée. Mrs. She continued dating and now there was a tension in the office, the gossip began to grow and bets were placed about the upcoming marriage. There were too many people watching the soap opera that had been created. And office gossip can be cruel. She is actively dating and he looks miserable I think he is comparing the two women and questioning his choice of a wife.
My client doesn’t think the two have ever dated. But infidelity of the heart is a real and dangerous thing for a relationship because your rival is just a fantasy. And not a reality. A fantasy is an illusion that that looks a lot more enticing than an everyday relationship.
Don’t turn to a coworker out of anxiety or boredom. It may start out as fun but it may intrude upon your personal world without you even noticing it. My client doesn’t know yet if the marriage will take place in the fall. And she is not sure that she is hoping it will