Custom CSS of Section contains Conditional Preview for See Life Campaign Elements

The New Workplace Romance

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
The workplace is the No. 1 spot for married individuals to meet affair partners.

How budding workplace relationships are causing a “crisis of infidelity”

Today’s workplace has become the No. 1 spot for married individuals to meet affair partners. More men and women are breaking their marriage vows by engaging in office friendships that slowly become romantic relationships — relationships that would have been socially impossible just 30 years ago. As the boundaries that once separated the sexes crumble, so do the boundaries that protect marriage.

In her book Not ‘Just Friends’, Dr. Shirley Glass says, “The new infidelity is between people who unwittingly form deep, passionate connections before realizing that they’ve crossed the line from platonic friendship into romantic love. Eighty-two percent of the 210 unfaithful partners I’ve treated have had an affair with someone who was, at first, ‘just a friend.'” From 1991 to 2000, Glass discovered in her practice that 50 percent of the unfaithful women and about 62 percent of unfaithful men she treated were involved with someone from work. “Today’s workplace has become the new danger zone of romantic attraction and opportunity,” Glass writes.

Today’s careers offer more opportunity for extramarital affairs. Group interaction in coed workplaces, frequent travel and long hours create more opportunity and temptation than ever. Glass writes, “all of these changes and others allow individuals to mix freely where once they were segregated and restricted.” Studies published in the American Sociological Review and the Journal of Marriage and Family show that before 1985, divorce rates were about equal among working and homemaking women; however, “between 1985 and 1992, the annual probability of divorce among employed wives exceeded that for nonemployed wives by 40 percent.”

New Kind of Affair

A different work environment has spawned a different kind of affair. Glass says the old idea of workplace romance between a powerful company executive and his single young secretary no longer reflects today’s office relationship. The new infidelity occurs between peers who first become emotionally attached, having no thought of physical involvement. Men and women who work closely together under stressful conditions can quickly become attracted to each other. They often share interests and think nothing of spending time over coffee or lunch getting to know one another. Nevertheless, lunch between married friends, no matter what their intentions, can have unanticipated and dangerous consequences.

One researcher calls this new kind of affair the “cup of coffee” syndrome. Men and women begin with safe marriages at home and friendships at work. As they regularly meet for coffee breaks and lunch, these relationships develop into deep friendships. Coworkers come to depend on these coffee rendezvous, and soon they have emotional work friendships and crumbling marriages.

Oddly, men and women in these workplace romances believe it is wrong to have an affair. According to Glass, affair partners are usually happy in their marriages and have no plans to leave their spouses. Because of the gradual slide toward infidelity, partners do not pay attention to their behavior until they have already damaged their marriages, and sex is often the last sign that the marriage partner has been betrayed.

Protecting the Marriage

Though today’s workplace offers more opportunity for extramarital relationships, it is not opportunity that is causing the workplace to become such a hotspot of infidelity. Healthy marriages must have proper boundaries. “In a committed relationship, a couple constructs a wall that shields them from any outside forces that have the power to split them,” Glass writes. Referring to a particular couple, she adds, “The problem wasn’t that they were attracted, but that they began to act on their feelings as if they had no other primary commitments.”

Good intentions are not enough to protect a marriage from the temptations in today’s workplace, to which both men and women fall prey. It is natural to feel an attraction toward someone of the opposite sex, even in happy marriages. But when a man neglects his primary responsibility and allows himself to act on an instinctive attraction — even in his thoughts — he has already violated his marriage vows.

Though many factors can play a role in causing infidelity, it always requires attraction, opportunity and failure to follow precautions. Glass provides some basic rules to help avoid the new infidelity:

  • Don’t allow yourself to think about being with another person, because thoughts lead to actions.
  • Don’t flirt, because it tells others you are available.
  • Stay away from dangerous situations, because everyone is fallen and can be tempted.

Positive Friendships, Proper Boundaries

Boundaries should always exist outside the marriage relationship and never inside. One way to make sure that your boundaries are in the right place is to always be accountable to your partner. Use a shared e-mail address and contact each other throughout the day. Be open with your spouse about work friendships, and even invite work friends to your home for dinner. By maintaining openness inside the marriage and boundaries outside, you will help keep your marriage happy and healthy.

Friends can provide great encouragement and accountability in your marriage. All of your friends should be friends of your marriage, too. In an interview, Mary White, wife of The Navigators president, Jerry White, said, “We shouldn’t be exclusive in our friendships with our partners. A marriage is strengthened when you have other strong, supportive friendships in your lives.” White says she is concerned that too many Christian couples turn exclusively to their marriage for friendship.

No matter what kind of friendships you have, they should always help strengthen your marriage. When couples observe proper boundaries, their marriages are secure, open and comforting. Then, friendships pose no danger. Marriage, like a relationship with God, works best when it enters every corner of life. Secrecy and infidelity are impossible when we are completely transparent within our marriage. This transparency not only protects our marriage from harm on the outside, it keeps our marriage happiest on the inside.

Dynamic CTA Template Below

Your Teen Needs You Most of All

No parent of teens is perfect and even the best can learn how to better connect with their son or daughter. Get practical action steps to better connect with your teenager in 8 Essential Tips for Parenting Your Teen in this FREE video series!

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
Emerson-Eggerich4-840w

Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part online video experience. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional tools and resources to help spouses reconnect.

Next Steps: Marriage Assessment

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take the free Marriage Assessment from Focus on the Family to learn how to strengthen your bond with your spouse and get the tools to help you need to grow closer together. 

Next Steps: Fruit of the Spirit Devotionals for Couples

The Fruit of the Spirit Devotional is a free series of nine short videos to get you into God’s Word and inspire you to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in loving your spouse.

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

About the Author

Read More About:

You May Also Like

young couple laughing
Communication Styles

What Is the Definition of Intimacy?

What is intimacy? What is the definition of intimacy? Sometimes people will do just about anything to get close to someone they find interesting, intriguing or just plain irresistible. Is that being intimate?

husband comforts wife grieving loss
Emotional Intimacy

Coronavirus: Helping Your Spouse Grieve Loss

Whenever we experience loss, we become vulnerable to getting stuck in the grief process. We need to grieve to restore balance. A husband or wife can provide healing for a grieving spouse.

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 5: It’s Going to be Amazing!

After a couple has chosen life, hear the heartwarming stories of children that culture would have cast aside, yet are making tremendous impacts in their communities. Whether the diagnosis was adverse or the circumstances were difficult, these stories will inspire you to come along side of families who have chosen life!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 4: Sometimes the Choice is Hard

Hear real life stories of parents who have made the decision to choose life even though the circumstances were overwhelming. You’ll see why “ALL” life is precious to God and why choosing life is always the right decision!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

So, after all you’ve seen through the SeeLife ‘21 Episodic journey; what can you do now? We’ll share how you can partner with some amazing organizations that are making significant impacts in the pro-life movement! You want to Celebrate Life!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

Have you ever wondered what a baby looked like in the womb? With today’s technology, Moms and Dads can see the baby’s heartbeat, facial expressions, and movements! You’ll find out why more women choose life once they hear their baby’s heartbeat and realize it’s a real living human!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

Discover the amazing work our PRC’s Directors, Nurses, and Volunteers are making in their communities! You’ll see firsthand testimonies of a PRC in action, and that there are other options outside of abortions! You’ll also discover how your family can support your local PRC!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
say about Life?” You’ll discover and understand the stages of pre-born life and that babies are more than
just a clump of cells!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!