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Friday, February 03, 2006

Do You Have an Office Spouse?

I was listening to Neil Boortz this morning while attempting to work (it's Friday, how do you think it's going), and he started talking about the idea of an "office spouse." According to John Intini, "A good office spouse can read your mind and your mood -- almost as well as your real husband or wife." This is a relationship that is totally platonic--sex never enters the picture. Belinda Skelton, Neil's producer, observed that it sounded like a friendship to her, but according to Intini it is a relationship that runs deeper. An office spouse is your closest confidant at work, and is, at the same time, someone you can comfortably introduce to your spouse.

As a single woman, this is an interesting concept. There has been lots of discussion over the years about whether or not men and women can be "just friends" and not have a sexual relationship. Initi says that an "unwritten code of ethics that governs office marriages demands that never, under any circumstances (like, for example, after too much booze at the office Christmas bash) can sex enter the relationship." The only problem that I can see is if the code is broken, which apparently rarely happens. The office spouse relationship seems to point to the idea that men and women can be just friends--very close friends, but just friends. I have some experience with this kind of friendship. As of now I have a couple of guys that might qualify as "office spouses." We go to lunch, help each other out, talk office politics, and hang out (although not outside the workplace). They are both happily married and much older than me. We hang out because we are hall neighbors and we share a common sense of humor. I also appreciate them because I know if I have a work problem, I can go to them and deal with it in confidence.

It's almost a comfort that we can have relationships like this. There's no pressure and no problems that come with an office romance. When the relationship ends, there's no real fall out.

So think about it--do you have an office spouse? If so, how does your relationship work and what makes you close to that person?


  • At 10:23 AM, Blogger CTD said…

    Wow, Jess; I love listening to Neil (some of the time). Very interesting.

  • At 5:34 PM, Blogger richard2006 said…

    Hi I am working on a story at CNN about the concept and potential benefits of office spouses. I was wondering if you or anyone else that reads this blog wouldn't mind talking to me about your current office spouse. We are making a light-hearted piece about the idea of office spouses, focusing on the potential professional benefits of such a relationship and would like to speak to some individuals currently involved in an 'office marriage/relationship.'

    If you or anyone else is interested, please email me at producercnn@yahoo.com (using a yahoo account to help filter the mail from my work account).


  • At 2:20 AM, Blogger Sush said…

    Interesting trend...in India even the media is starting to pick it up which just reflects that it is on a high. Yes, one of the benefits is that it can boost one's morale at workplace and do wonders. If it does benefit, the spouses' interests both career and personal growth, then why not..after all one spends more than 10 hrs of the day within office!


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