"Meet my work husband"

Angeline*, 34, doesn't know what she would do without her colleague Dave*. He's her cheerleader at work, cheering her up when she's having a bad day and listening whenever she needs to vent about a project.

They're practically inseparable - they work closely and have lunch together on most days. " I look forward to seeing him every weekday morning. He makes me laugh," shares the corporate communications manager.

10 tips to having a work spouse
  • Is there someone of the opposite sex whom you have a close relationship with at the office?
  • He or she could be your work 'wife' or 'husband'.
  • But is it healthy to have such a relationship when you are married or have a steady partner?
  • A relationship expert said it is normal to build alliances at work.
  • However, it is important to keep it strictly professional.
  • If not, this may cause an emotional strain on one's real relationship.
  • Ask yourself: Are your telling things to your work 'husband' or 'wife' which you are not telling your real partner?

If yes, then it is extremely dangerous ground which you are treading.
This could mean you're switching allegiances, or worse, switching partners.
  • Do you tell your real partner about your work 'husband' or 'wife'?
  • This means that you're not sharing all the details in your life with them.
This could mean trouble if they find out from other sources what's going on at work.
  • It also means you're keeping a secret back-up plan.
  • What do you do when your partner gets jealous?
  • Do you start getting defensive and denying things or do you sit down with your partner and talk things out?
  • Try to adhere to the guidelines that your partner lays out for you e.g. no drinks together after work, lunch appointments only.
The relationship with your partner will work out better in the long run.
  • Do you prefer him/her to stay away from their work 'husbands' and 'wives'?
This is probably how they feel about you too.
  • Not only does it help one survive office politics, different kinds of thinking can benefit the working group.
  • Know what you want and draw clear boundaries where work ends and relationships being.

Dave is Angeline's office husband - co-worker of the opposite sex she's extremely close to.

They've got a special bond, are loyal to each other and care about how the other on is doing at work. It's like a marriage - but without the romance and sex.

"They've been rumours at work that we might be sleeping together, but that's not true," say Angeline. She has a long-time boyfriend and Dave, who is 37, has been married for three years.

"He's devoted to his wife and wouldn't dream of messing up my relationship either. "she draws the line at the meeting with Dave on weekends and never shares personal information about her relationship or family with him. When they are together, they mostly discuss work and trivial matters like food, movies, music and television shows.

A straw poll of 30 Singaporean women revealed that, like Angeline, 12 of them had an office spouse - and all said it was nothing to feel guilty about.

Having a work husband is a phenomenon that's been widely spotted in the last decade, especially in the US. No surprises here - with our 24/7 work culture, we're spending more time with our colleagues and developing stronger relationships with them.

A lot has been said about how a relationship like this can turn into an affair. But if you know how to draw the line, an office spouse can be your strongest ally in the boardroom, as these women tell us.

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