Everyone has a bff at work, the one with whom you spend most of the time, have lunch with, share all the inside jokes and gossip and even give a heads-up on the boss’s mood. You feel that you have found your soul mate at work. When this soul mate is of the opposite gender, he/she is your work husband or work wife. The term first appeared far back in 1930 in Faith Baldwin’s book ‘The Office Wife’ and is now a common norm used in almost every workplace.
Well, the BBC says it right, “the best fake marriages are the 9-5 kind.”
Who is a work wife?
Some people are married to work and some people have work wives. A work wife isn’t your actual wife with whom you take wedding vows in front of a priest. She is just a close colleague with whom you share a strong bond and do things together that usually married couples would do. But the relationship that you share is a non-sexual and non-romantic one. You can’t cheat on your actual wife with your work wife… well, if you are have an affair that’s something else altogether.
Signs you have a work wife
Having a work wife makes you happier and more productive in your workplace. Your morale goes up and it reflects in your performance. Many people already have work spouses without even realising it. If you share an exclusive bond with someone in the workplace then you’ve already got your match! Look at these signs to know that you had a work wife all this time.
- You have lunch with her every day: You never sit alone and have your lunch. Your work wife is there to accompany you every day
- You share inside jokes: You crack jokes only your work wife can understand. Sometimes a smirk is enough for her to get the joke
- She is always there to support you: When you are buried under a lot of workload, she is there for emotional and mental support. You can always count on her to make your day better
- You leave each other gifts on the desk: You both like dropping by small surprises on each other’s desks
- She knows everything: Be it your birthday or your marriage anniversary, she knows it all. You might even forget these days but she doesn’t
But all marriages have their downsides, even the 9-5 ones. Is your work marriage crumbling down too? Has your work wife crossed her professional boundaries into your personal life? Check out these signs.
13 signs your work wife is taking over your life
For people who are work-spouses, it is always the honeymoon period and the excitement never gets over. Gradually, it grows to the extent that you feel like you cannot function in the absence of your work-spouse. You may not even switch your job for the fear of losing your work spouse and may let better opportunities go by. An emotional affair surfaces in your life and you wonder if at all it is cheating.
Personally, you may be accused of not giving enough attention at home and family, and things may get complicated.
1. Your productivity takes a downward curve
While it is said that having a work wife increases productivity, it can also lower it. You tend to lose interest in your work and your motive for going to work slowly becomes spending time and gossiping with your work wife. Your boss too begins to frown whenever you leave the desk even for a cup of coffee.
2. It gets personal with the work wife
When you get too close to our work wife, your personal and professional boundaries start blurring without you even realising it. You share your deepest secrets with her thinking that she is your confidant and your relationship with her turns personal. She starts invading your personal life thinking that the feeling is mutual and before you know it, you have lost control.
3. She drags you down with her
When two colleagues have the same level of intellect, they mutually help each other to perform better in work. But if your work wife is the exact opposite of employee of the month then she also drags you down with her. Her influence on your life will turn you into an average performer like her.
4. You have closed yourself to other relationships
You have involved yourself so much with your work wife that the only relationship that you have at work is with her. You have left no room for any friendly relations with other colleagues and this has hampered your work relations. They don’t see you as their friend and when the time comes for favours, they will be reluctant or even mock you.
5. Calls don’t stay in the office
Your relation with your work wife doesn’t stay limited to the doors of your office. Both of you have personal conversations that are far from any office related stuff. By continuing your relationship with her beyond your workplace, you have given her the key to your personal life and it is not going to stop there.
6. She starts getting feelings for you
If you don’t set ground rules and work within your boundaries, a time will come when emotions will take over work and one of you gets feelings. When professionalism takes a romantic and emotional turn, things get over complicated. You then know that it’s time for a divorce.
7. She uses your personal information for office gossip
Your work wife may not think your relationship is that serious. She could use some of your intimate secrets for building up a good rapport with your other colleagues. She will not refrain from making you a laughing stock to bring your reputation down and keep hers high.
8. You don’t have a life of your own
By merging your work life with your personal life, you don’t actually have a separate life of your own. If your work wife is your superior, she could bury you in so much work that you may not have time to do anything else. You feel stuck with your work everywhere. You are practically married to your work and your work wife.
9. Office becomes a battle ground when she loses it
Your professional life has turned into a life where your work wife keeps mocking you with personal attacks every time things turn sour. You cannot concentrate on your work because she will ensure that you pay attention to her first. A work wife is worse than your actual wife because your office is no more the place where you can hide from your personal problems because there is no peace there too.
10. You don’t have anyone else to go to
Your life suddenly revolves around your work wife. You have lost contact with your friends because of your newly found best friend. Most if your activities revolve around her, from grabbing lunch together to watching a movie. Everything involves her. You think that she is the solution to everything but in reality, you have unintentionally blocked out your other friends.
11. Your actual partner feels threatened
Because of your close relations with your work wife, your actual girlfriend/wife feels threatened. She feels that a third person has come in to sabotage your relationship with her and ideas like cheating and affairs creep into her mind.
Well, you can’t blame her! See how close you two are!
12. Your work wife gets promoted with your hard work
Has your work wife ever asked you to help her in a big project? You agree to help and before you know it, you are doing it all. She takes all the credit for your hard work and maybe gets promoted while you are still stuck in the same old position in front of the same old desk. The promotion and new life that should have been yours, is hers now. And slowly, an office affair makes you a redundant employee while she shines.
13. She begins acting like a real wife
Once you start sharing every detail about you, the nature of your relationship begins to change. She will try to influence your tastes in terms of office wear and lunch and slowing, all your decisions will involve her opinion. She will try to control your life during work and outside it as well. You will soon find no breathing space in your relationship. Her behaviour will be like that of an actual wife and you won’t even know how to divorce her!
Having a work wife, though quite rewarding, can have a flip side too. It is very important to set ground rules and adhere to them so that your relationship stays within the boundaries of professionalism. If your work wife is taking over your life without even leaving room for other relationships to evolve, it is time for a divorce. Be careful with whom you get close to at work, because it can hamper the overall atmosphere of your workplace and can even lead you to lose your job. You know what is at risk here!