Ask Jennifer Aniston – Are "Work Spouses" Good or Bad?

Ask Jennifer Aniston - Are "Work Spouses" Good or Bad?

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“Work Spouses:” Good or Bad?

Just ask Jennifer Aniston!

-Mary Beth Sammons

Brad Pitt Angelina JolieFor years, psychologists and love doctors have said that “work spouses” are a leading driver of adultery. Now a new study says that it can actually help your marriage if your spouse is popping out of his cubicle, flirting with his office “significant other” or sharing dirty little secrets with that special woman at the office.

Oh, really!! Tell that to Jennifer Aniston.

I’m no Dr. Phil, but let me just say that whatever side of the love triangle you find yourself on, this office spouse thing is a LIVING NIGHTMARE.

Whether you’re the wife at home who has to listen to the daily litany of the great accomplishments of Ms. Perfect at the office, or an employee trying to deal with the “office wife” – the person on the team who reads his e-mails (i.e. your correspondence), laughs at his stupid insider jokes and sucks up to him so much that NO ONE else at the office has a chance – it is nightmare, nightmare, nightmare. Oh, and try being a competent, single female in the workplace when bossy selects you as his go-to girl and you don’t want to be the “significant other.” Not fun when the staff starts sucking up to you because they see you not as competent professional, but the women Mr. Big-Man-on-the-Board has chosen as his corporate conquest. Again, NIGHTMARE!

But guess what? According to this study of 575 employees, 23 percent said they did have a “work husband” or “work wife.” Gag me. They claim these office spouses served to provide both mental and emotional support to each other. Well, I’m sorry, is it a good thing for your spouse to find emotional support and put all his energy into the other woman at the office? Or for you to be fleeing the home front for an extra hour at the water cooler? Duh!

Having been married to a hubbie who had “Susie;” been a vice-president at a company where the boss had not one by two office wives (who literally almost ripped each other’s eyes out competing for his attention, and turned the women’s movement into a Stepford-at-the-office-spoof) and having been on teams as the only female where the overtures for thus had to be beaten off daily, I do not see anything positive that comes from the work spouse concept.

So, when the wife of a guy I work with smiles and tells me how cute she thinks it is that her hubbie has an office wife, I’m thinking Murder She Wrote, because that’s she is going to do when her denial is shattered. For these women, ones who obviously haven’t been to the movies lately and are seemingly clueless to the concept: “He’s just not that into you; he’s into HER,” I just want to, well, gag.

But, now to the rescue, CNN.com has created some points to ponder when you’re sitting at the dinner table alone at 9 p.m. sipping Chardonnay and he “has work.” Or if you’re the one “stuck at the office,” despite laptops, iPhones and Web cameras. Here you go: Are you usually flirtatious, or is this behavior developing only at work? And/or is hubby always “friendly” with other chicks, or is he only blushing when you bring up HER?

I’ll just say it again. Ask Jennifer if having a “work spouse” works, in the movies, or real life?


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0 thoughts on “Ask Jennifer Aniston – Are "Work Spouses" Good or Bad?

  1. K S says:

    At least most of us don’t have a spouse who makes his living by acting in love scenes with gorgeous women. : )

    In a law office environment, the typical “office marriage” that I saw involved a male partner and his female secretary or legal assistant. The “elephant in the room” that isn’t mentioned in this article or the links is sexual harassment. The person in a higher position risks having a sexual harassment claim against him/her if the office spouse becomes dissatisfied.

    Having close platonic friends in the office makes life a lot easier, but there have to be boundaries.

  2. Fern says:

    I think having emotional support at the office is important. Otherwise life would be so miserable and dull. From kindergarten on we have an instinct to buddy up — same applies to the office. I think this comes down to security and trust in your relationship with your spouse — and trust in yourself. There are many gradations of male-female relationships and if it makes your work day smoother and more enjoyable — why not?

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