Have you been in a compromising situation at work with a co-worker or boss, and secretly thought about cheating on your mate? Has your office set-up made it easy to have an affair, even if you didn’t act on it? Forty-three percent of workers in the United States say they’ve dated a fellow employee, according to a CNN poll, but exactly how many of those have been married people is not as well understood.
So many more hours are dedicated to the office these days. It makes it much harder to nurture what we’ve got at home with our mates, and to take care of the relationships we already have. Because we spend much time in an close environment like work, there is much more opportunity for work-based relationships to become personal, and then to develop into intimate or sexual relationships. If we end up spending more time in the office than in the home, the rift that separate spouses becomes greater, which encourages infidelity.
But here’s the key: the drive to have a sexual relationship is most often an expression of what’s missing in the original relationship or marriage. We’ve got to fix the problems in the marriage, because this is the foundational solution.
Office affairs are disastrous times three: your job is compromised, your marriage is compromised, and you have to experience the inner hell everywhere you go – work and home. Something has to give, and it’s bound to until some action is taken, by you or someone else.
Here’s four tips to help prevent yourself from getting into an office affair in the first place:
- Diagnose the problem in the first place: is there something missing for you in your marriage or relationship? Are you able to hunt down the problem with old-fashioned honesty and self-reflection? Would this require a hear-to-heart with your beloved, before you act on any impulses that you might regret later?
- Recognize emotions as they are: if you are feeling attracted to someone at the office, make a note of that in your mind. Attraction, or lust, is normal, and everyone experiences it, but when you act on it, it becomes something else.
- If you love him or her, put yourself in their shoes: Develop empathy for your mate, and ask yourself what they would do or think about any planned infidelities.
- Get help: seek out professional counseling, either couple or individual. Choose someone you feel most comfortable talking with and can confide in with your secrets.
Jason Fierstein, MA, LPC, is a counselor for men and couples, and practices in Phoenix. As “the man that men will talk to,” Jason works with guys who want to make their wives and girlfriends happier, and simply be happier themselves. He is currently accepting new clients. Please call him at 602.309.0568 to set up an appointment, or visit www.phoenixmenscounseling.com for more information.