Some guys have more than one wife, but not in the polygamy sense – in the work sense.
If your husband has a work wife or a work spouse as it’s also called, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Some guys spend more time with a female colleague than they do with their real wives, and as a result, form a spouse-like bond with them.
If you think – or know – your husband as a work wife, here’s how to handle this situation.
What Is a Work Wife or Work Spouse?
A work wife or work spouse is a colleague – usually of the opposite sex – with whom you have a close relationship.
It’s someone you confide in, share your triumphs and defeats, maybe even socialize with outside of work, and generally rely on them as a sounding board and support system.
The reason they’re called ‘work spouses’ is that you probably spend about as much – or more – time with them than your actual spouse.
This is the reality of working 40+ hours a week in close proximity to someone that you get on well with.
It’s not the same as having an affair, as a work spouse in the true sense of the word means there is no physical relationship.
These types of strong relationships can often lead to an emotional affair, however, which can be just as damaging to a relationship.
Related – 21 signs of work spouse flirting.
My Husband Has a Work Wife – Should I Be Worried?
If you’ve discovered that your husband has a work wife, it’s normal to feel a little jealous or threatened.
After all, he’s spending more time with her than he is with you.
However, before you start feeling too insecure or accusing him of cheating, it’s important to understand what a work wife actually is.
Most likely, your husband’s work wife is simply a colleague that he has a good relationship with.
He may even be joking about it himself, which is how you found out about it.
It’s a tough space to be in for a lot of women, but if you push back and act jealous, it’s only going to make the situation more uncomfortable.
You shouldn’t be worried though, a work spouse is innocent by nature and doesn’t mean much more than a good friendship.
However, if your husband keeps talking about her it doesn’t make it any less annoying and I can totally understand if it’s frustrating for you.
Why Do People Have Work Spouses?
There are a few reasons why people – men and women – have work spouses.
The first is that they spend more time at work than they do at home, so it’s only natural that they form close bonds with the people they see every day.
It’s also a way to cope with office politics and the stresses of work in general.
Having someone to confide in and rely on can make going to work a lot more bearable.
Finally, some people simply don’t have the best relationships with their spouses, so they form close bonds with someone at work instead.
While this isn’t the healthiest way to deal with marital problems, it’s not uncommon.
If you’re going through some issues with your husband right now, you should certainly be focusing on resolving those issues and not blaming his work wife.
Related – Signs your partner is having an emotional affair and why emotional affairs hurt so much.
How to Handle Your Husband Having a Work Wife
If you want to stay sane, it’s important to remember that your husband’s work wife is not a threat.
They are simply colleagues that have formed a strong bond due to working closely together.
The best thing you can do is try and form your own friendships at work. Or if you’re not working, keep your social life busy.
This way, you’ll be in the same situation as your husband having things to talk about in regards to what you’ve been doing with your friends.
Keeping busy will also give you less time to dwell on what he’s getting up to, too!
If you’re even the slightest bit uncomfortable, you should also talk to your husband and tell him how you feel about his friendship – without coming across as a crazy, jealous spouse!
Is Having a Work Wife the Same as Cheating?
No, having a work wife is not the same as cheating.
Your husband may spend more time with her than he does with you, but they are just friends.
There is no physical relationship involved between a ‘work wife and work husband’, so you shouldn’t worry about him cheating on you.
This is, assuming that they are just ‘work spouses’.
I’m not trying to make you suspicious or paranoid, but I can’t tell if they are just work colleagues and friends.
The issue is that when two people are close at work, there is always the risk of an emotional affair blossoming – or even a normal affair.
This is why work spouses make a lot of people nervous, and a little jealous.
I mean, why should another woman be spending so much time with your husband, right?
You’d rather (at least most women would) be spending more time with him. But unfortunately, your husband has work and this is the situation he finds himself in.
Image credits – Photo by The Connected Narrative on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.