It is a great thing when people really enjoy their workplace, their job and their colleagues. You know you are happier when you feel supported by management and appreciated by your co workers. Of course you want this kind of experience for your spouse or partner as well. But how much fun and support is too much at work? Do you worry that your mate is sharing a little more than a great strategy to win the next account with his or her boss? Are you concerned that your sweetie is a little more into something — or somebody — at work than what you have going at home?

From the moment the love of your life applied for the job there was a risk of competing affections. With dozens of applicants presenting the same credentials there was something that set your mate apart from the crowd. And that “something” might have ignited an unexpected spark. When co-workers work many hours together or a boss and assistant hunker down to push the company to the next level the emotions involved can get complicated.

The excitement your partner’s team feels when they solve a problem or land a major client can turn from jovial to frisky after a few post-briefing drinks. Likewise the bond your baby develops with a supervisor may start with frank work-based admiration and take an amorous turn. The inequality of that relationship may be a major turn-on for either or both. And it can take a huge toll on your cozy, connubial cocoon as well because you are just not that kind of exciting anymore.

The warning signs

Don’t be blindsided by a simmering shop talk that has turned to sweet nothings. Some warning signs of a workplace relationship that has transformed into a risk to your household bliss include:

  1. Constant, surreptitious checking of texts or emails by your partner
  2. Late night phone calls taken away from your hearing, perhaps with your mate saying “It’s just about work!”


  1. Frequent late nights at the office, particularly where she or he comes back energized rather than drained
  2. Weekend trips for business, especially where it is hard to get in contact with your partner
  3. Admiring comments about co-workers or the boss
  4. No comments about co-workers or the boss — really worrying when your partner used to share lots of stories
  5. Lack of interest in intimacy with you
  6. A business-like approach to intimacy that leave you feeling hollow
  7. Attempts by your partner to keep you from office festivities. “I’ll just go to the Christmas party alone because I know you hate these things.”

office-party8. Nervousness by his or her co-workers if you do attend a work-related event

Know too that even if your partner has not jumped into a frankly sexual relationship with a boss or colleague an emotional relationship that oversteps the bounds of purely work affiliated areas can drain a lot of joy from your marriage or pairing. If your spouse or partner looks to other for his or her affirmations and to share important events at the exclusion of you a problem is brewing. It may not result in an affair but it surely will drive the two of your further apart.

Maybe your partner is just a devoted worker. However, do not ignore your instincts if you feel like you are getting leftovers while the main course is being served at the office. Take the time to have the hard discussion. Then plan, hopefully together, how to reposition your relationship first and foremost in your partner’s life.