One of my pet peeves, is the work place husband and wife.
In fact, I had a rant about this subject matter on my Facebook account last month, and Facebook pulled the post! My opinion on this topic will not change, as I see the damage it causes. I challenge any therapist or individual to tell me a situation where a office romance was beneficial. Anyone who plays office “hubbie & wife” is quite simply selfish.
Wake up! Grow up!
People are creating a fantasy world outside of their actual marriage. With so much time spent at work one can easily become closer to a colleague over an actual spouse. There is no happy ending in this fantasy workplace marriage and people must not play silly games with their marriage and their careers.
I have found a few interesting articles in this area, but most of them will talk about “the office romance.”
Here is an article from Psychology Today(2):
Some of the advantages to having a work romance, clearly, can quickly become its worst disadvantages. Those positive feelings you have toward your workplace due to the feelings you have toward your lover can go south once the relationship ends. The fact that you’re still stuck together each and every work day (depending on the workplace) can lead you to become jealous and possessive of other workplace relationships that your partner has or wishes to have. If your work spouse becomes your ex-work spouse, you won’t be able to escape as easily as you could if you didn’t share the same workplace. Other complications can arise because forces outside of your control can determine what happens to your relationship. People get promoted, relocated, or fired, causing the relationship to end before it’s run its course.
Surveys indicate that between 38 and 47% of employees will say that they have been involved in a workplace romance. A further 20% say that they would be receptive to a workplace romance (1). In this survey, 1 in 5 say they have even dated the boss! Horan, S.M. (2013) Workplace romance motives, Psychology Today, 5th June.
Dr. Renee Cowan of the University of Texas at San Antonio conducted interviews of working adults about their experiences with office romances.
Dr Cowan identified four motives that appear to drive workplace romances:
1. Time: As individuals spend a lot of time together at work, it is only natural that relationships develop. Here, the time spent together was cited as the reason the romance developed. A participant explained: “You’re spending from 6:30-7 a.m. until at least 5-6 p.m.; 12 hours a day with these people learning [about] their lives.” Another person described: “That’s who you spend your time with [so] that’s the person you’re going to share the more intimate details of your life.”
2. Ease of opportunity: This motive is defined by individuals’ views that “the workplace allows and even promotes close proximity of coworkers.” One person detailed: “You travel a lot and you’re away a lot… you’re covering war stories and then there’s a colleague there that can share your same experiences.” Another reported: “I think cause it’s convenient, honestly. You meet people and if you’re working in the same environment, you have common interests in terms of what you believe in.”
3. Similarity: Within this motive, participants “believed people engage in workplace romances because of the similarities they uncover by being with coworkers in a comfortable environment.” As one person recounted: “I think it’s the similarity rather than initial physical attraction.” Another participant explained: “If you find that there are similarities or an attraction of some sort and you’re around them a lot, I think it’s very understandable that those things can eventually evolve into something romantic.”
4. The Hook-Up: As the name indicates, some workplace romances are driven by the desire to have a physical relationship. A participant described: “One three letter word: sex.” Another explained: “It is purely physical and it could go on forever as both people are willing participants.”
You cannot emotionally connect all day with a “spouse” at the office, have fulfilling conversation, achieving goals, sharing light meals and laughs, while looking your best, then head home to your “committed” relationship, and have the same level of emotional commitment. What is left for your real partner when you get home?
You owe it to yourself and your spouse to be committed to each other at work, just as you are at home.
Let me know your thoughts on office Hubbies & Wives. Do they ever work?