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Raise Your Hand If You Have a “Work Husband”


By Erin Meanly, Glamour magazine

Working in magazine publishing, my colleagues are 95% women. Everyone is like a sister to me. But I was reading about work spouses in the Wall Street Journal and I was fascinated. It said that almost two-thirds of the white-collar work force have or have had a work spouse, which was defined as a “close co-worker of the opposite sex who shares confidences, loyalties and experiences.” People talk to their office spouses about work, yes, but over 50 percent also discuss health issues and at-home problems—and 35 percent talk about their sex lives! Holy Crossing-Professional Boundaries!

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If you have a work spouse and don’t keep things professional, your relationship could lead to an emotional affair or office romance. But if you keep the relationship healthy, an office husband can take a load off your real spouse—you can vent to someone other than him; plus, he knows that someone is supporting you 9-5 when he’s not there.

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The article pointed out several strategies for maintaining healthy, professional relationships all around:

  • Introduce your real partner to your office spouse. Encourage their friendship.
  • Double date with your real partner, office spouse, and his partner.
  • Conduct your office relationship out in the open. Keep things light and humorous.
  • Keep your real spouse in the loop about the office relationship. Don’t have secrets about the work husband.

Do you have a work husband? Does your partner care? Does he have a work wife? How do you keep everything healthy and above board?