Friday, February 6, 2009

The Office Spouses --- Gateway to Extramarital Affair?

I have been hearing a lot about this office spouse relationship. I never thought there actually exists such a relationship in the workplace, since for one, I know that having a relationship outside the marriage is simply called having an affair. Period. Nothing more, nothing less. But, why is there a growing population of this so called relationship? And is it not a gateway to putting an end to your marriage?

An office spouse is someone you are constantly with in the workplace. He's there for lunch and coffee breaks. He knows your emotional needs in the office specially when the boss requires an overtime or worse, reprimands your work. He's there to celebrate with you when you meet the requirement, reach the quota and get a promotion. He's always there for you through thick and thin, very much like a spouse. But it only lasts for eight working hours, since after that, you both go back to your respective partners. Or do you really?

Is this something we really need in the workplace? Sure, we cannot avoid the fact that we do work closely every single working day with someone of the opposite sex. And sure, we cannot share the happiness, frustrations, rejections, concerns regarding work, specially in an instant, to that someone we are legally committed to because of different and far working background and experiences. But the affection, the security, the confidence we need, do we really have to get it from an office spouse?

This kind of relationship, no matter how platonic they claim it is, is surely a gateway extramarital affair. Most of the time, since you are together, you develop this honesty and openness, and these can lead to some conversations that matter outside even outside work. And this only means you can talk freely about anything, even your personal matters. You know someone from the office cares about you so you just pour your heart out with problems regarding your husband. It could also be that your office spouse knows some things, interesting things, about you that your husband does not know. It could be that you now can enjoy your french fries dipped in coke that your husband really hates, since the office spouse is there to join you with your craziness because he likes it to. You may now be comparing him with your husband. And you may now be confident enough to know that even without your spouse, there is someone in work that will take his place. And most of the time, the other is very much willing to be discreet about it too.

So can this be avoided? Surely if you want to. First off, if support in the workplace is what you really need, I strongly believe that you can get it from your workmates of the same sex. Okay, let's include the opposite sex here, but you can be in groups. No exclusively, one-on-one, lunch hours for you and the opposite sex. Always be in group to be on the safe side. Or if you feel like talking with someone because you are frustrated, why not call your spouse instead? Talk to him and tell him what's happening. He may not get the full details, of course, since he is not working with you, but I know he's there to listen and to give you some cheers. Or if you really cannot avoid to having a close connection with the opposite sex, maybe because all the girls are occupied or having their own office spouses as well, then try your best to remain it as it is and is supposed to be--platonic. Do not go the extra mile.


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