Affairs in the workplace

The greater Minneapolis area is home to 12 Fortune 500 companies, St. Paul has 6 and Minneapolis is home to the largest privately held company; not to mention that Minneapolis and St. Paul are economic hubs with thousands of smaller business. This is important because most extramarital affairs happen at work!

How do office affairs happen?

Office RomanceWorkplace affairs are very common, roughly half of all affairs happen at work. It starts innocently enough, you and a coworker are working together on a project. You and your colleague have a common goal and similar pressures. Perhaps you and your colleague have to travel for work and end up having dinner together and/or working late hours. The two of you have dinner and talk about your work, then the conversation changes and you start to share more personal things, such as your desire for a different job, or your dreams about your future or even about your personal life. You become aware that your co-worker is really listening to you because he or she really takes an interest in what you are saying. This seems different than your spouse, because your partner is busy with the children and schedules. You find yourself noting that the your colleague is attractive. Then you and your colleague exchange text messages about work and slowly these text messages become clever, funny and slightly flirtatious. Or it could happen a different way, perhaps one of you touches the other’s shoulder or knee in a playful manner but the touch is like glimmer. The seed is planted and takes root.  It can take some time to blossom from an emotional affair to a physical affair. Some affairs stay at the emotional level, but the effect on the marriage is the same.

Workplace affairs forge a strong bond because of common interests, admiration and work stress. Often people who have affairs at work report that their marriage is a good. The reason office affairs are on the rise is because people put their life energy into their careers, especially in this economy, many people feel fortunate to have a job. Once they get home to the children, people feel tired, drained and depleted.

Another contributing factor to office affairs is that couples need to learn how to be intimate about other things than their children.  We live in a child centered culture and many well meaning people are too focused on their children’s activities and running the busy household rather than sharing emotional intimate conversations with their spouse.  The most important relationship in the home is between the couple not between the parent and the child.

Water Cooler AffairsHow to prevent cheating:

  1. Establish boundaries around friends of the opposite sex. Do not share things with people that you haven’t shared with your partner. If you are having marital problems do not share it with someone of the opposite sex. Check yourself by asking, “If my spouse was here, what how would they feel about me saying this about them?” Another good question to ask is “Does this person know more about my personal thoughts or inner world than my partner?”  If that answer is yes, then you are on a slippery slope.
  2. Do not put yourself in situations where you could be tempted.  That means if you are traveling do not go into the hotel room of someone of the opposite sex.
  3. Do not keep secrets from your husband/wife or partner.  Extramarital affairs are fueled by secrecy, you can put out the flames by telling your loved one about feeling attracted to another person.
  4. Above all make time to talk to your partner, have date nights or times at home which are sacred between you and your loved one.

Remember that affairs are about emotional connection. Affairs are rare when couples are emotionally connected to one another. Share your intimate feelings with your loved one and be ready to listen, really listen when your spouse wants to share their feelings with you. Emotional intimacy is about listening and sharing.