Do You Have A Work Spouse?

TGIF Chiquitas!! That means 20/20 tonight, after Friday night dinner with my family. I LOVE Friday nights.

As I read back yesterday’s blog post, I realized, geez, it was quite heavy. As you know, I always like to switch things up, so I came across a funny topic that I hoped would soften the mood today.

A girlfriend of mine asked me if I knew what a “work spouse” was, to which I replied “Yes,” only because I had seen it a few weeks ago on Grey’s Anatomy. Adele accused her husband, the Chief of having an affair with Baily, and Callie stepped in only to explain that Baily is the Chief’s “work wife.”

work spouse

I remember all too well, my two old bosses. They were definitely work spouses. This was the neglige and sherry boss and her male boss.  Completing each other’s sentences, knowing how the other liked their coffee, gossiping together in his office about this one and that one. Uch, it was so annoying. Mind you, she was the Cougar because she was in her 50’s and he was in his 30’s at the time. But they were definitely married at the office. Like an old married couple, I tell you.

So, what is the real definition of a work spouse? And do you have one? Does your boyfriend have one? Does your husband have one? And most importantly, has it progressed beyond just a work spouse?

A work spouse is a co-worker (usually of the opposite sex) with whom one shares a special relationship, having bonds similar to those of a marriage; such as, special confidences, loyalties, shared jokes and experiences, and an unusual degree of honesty or openness. The work spouse is a potentially key relationship when one’s actual spouse or boy/girlfriend is not able to understand the nuances of the workplace. As people work more and more and spend less and less time at home, these hybrid relationships have begun to spawn more and more. While it is not unusual for the relationship to contain elements of flirtation, this relationship can be threatened rather than enhanced if it becomes sexual. (Wikipedia).

Whoa!! If my husband has a work spouse, I’m gettin’ a little nervous. He’s pretty cute, my hubby. I don’t like the idea of him hangin’ out at the water cooler with another woman flirting, and sharing intimate stuff about himself, or me for that matter. Me no like that one little bit!

work spouse

So what are the 7 signs you have a work spouse (CareerBuilder)? Please, don’t blurt out laughing.

  1. You depend on a particular co-worker for office supplies, snacks and aspirin.
  2. There are inside jokes that you and a specific co-worker share.
  3. You can be bluntly honest with this person about his or her appearance, hygiene or hair (and vice versa). You’re comfortable enough to point out that the other’s hair is sticking up — or that someone’s fly is down.
  4. When something eventful happens at work, this co-worker is the first person you seek out for a de-briefing.
  5. At breakfast, lunch and coffee breaks, your closest co-worker knows what to order for you and how you like your coffee (and vice versa).
  6. You and your co-worker can finish each other’s sentences.
  7. Someone in your office knows almost as much about your personal life as your best friend or real-life spouse does.

Wow. But studies really do show that those with work spouses have much higher job satisfaction than those without. At the end of the day, everyone needs a confidante, a sounding board, and a safe place to vent. It’s true, we cannot empathize with our mates about their jobs as much as a fellow co-worker can. We are far removed from their work inner circle, which is where they spend the majority of their time.

So ladies, I ask you, what are your feelings about your boyfriend or husband’s work spouse? Are you cool with it? Do YOU have a work spouse? When did you realize the relationship changed from co-worker, to spouse? Do you have any stories?

I’m definitely not on the fence here. I say, if it’s platonic, and this person is supporting my husband in time of need, then go for it. AS LONG AS SHE HAS HAIR GROWING FROM HER CHIN AND A THIRD NIPPLE.

Until next time,


  1. This blog post is hilarious. My husband definitely has a work spouse but she looks like the hairy person you described so I don’t worry! Keep up the great work. I love your blog.

  2. I had a work spouse and I miss him dearly!! We were often spotted at events and were known as a work husband/wife. I was single and he gay so there was nothing untoward — only fun and a shoulder to lean on in a volative workplace. I’m married now but a lonely single in my work life …

  3. I have a coworker who fulfills all 7 signs listed above. Unfortunately he’s my Dad so calling him my “work spouse” is a tad creepy. We’ll just call him my “work parent” and leave it at that!

  4. I definitely believe this is a bigger issue than people realize. The lines blur to easily.

  5. I have a work husband, I’ve worked with him for almost 3 years. He’s married, and I’m single- I’m not at all the hairy girl with 3 nipples. I know he finds me attractive, he’s told me many times, even in front of his wife (which was awkward!) however; his wife is very beautiful, he loves her to death and I too have the utmost respect for her. I’ve even started working with his wife helping her on the side with a small business she has.
    My problem now is that I have actually fallen in love with him, I mean he tells me he loves me all the time and it used to be just friendly banter. I am just trying to forget this because I think if anything happened where we crossed the line it would be the end of this incredible friendship we have.
    I am just trying to forget this, these feelings can never be realized ad I don’t want to ruin what we have.

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