The damage an affair can cause to a marriage is incredible. Trust is broken, hearts are broken and the marriage itself may be broken for good. According to some studies, half of all affairs begin in the workplace.
Psychotherapist Renee Segal is a marriage counselor in Minneapolis. On her blog, she recently posted about workplace affairs, their causes and how you can protect your marriage from a workplace affair.
According to Segal, most workplace affairs begin innocently enough.
A shared project or a shared lunch with a coworker of the opposite sex aren’t wrong in themselves. The problem begins when that shared time becomes shared personal information and the glimmer of the thought that the coworker understands you better or appreciates you more.
The seed is planted and takes root. It can take some time to blossom from an emotional affair to a physical affair. Some affairs stay at the emotional level, but the effect on the marriage is the same.”
Segal offers these four steps to help you protect your marriage from a workplace affair:
1. Establish the boundaries.
Segal advises that you should never share things with a coworker that you don’t share with your partner, nor should you discuss marital problems with your coworker.
Check yourself by asking, ‘If my spouse was here, what how would they feel about me saying this about them?” Another good question to ask is ‘Does this person know more about my personal thoughts or inner world than my partner?’ If that answer is yes, then you are on a slippery slope.”
2. Do not put yourself in situations where you could be tempted.
This means you don’t go to a coworker’s hotel room when you’re traveling or for that matter a nightclub or other venue that is generally for romance and pickups. Working late in the office together, after everyone else is gone, is also a risky idea.
3. Don’t keep secrets.
Extramarital affairs are fueled by secrecy, you can put out the flames by telling your loved one about feeling attracted to another person.”
4. Make time for your partner.
Many workplace affairs are fueled by a lack of connection at home. Spend at least part of each day reconnecting with your spouse. Make time for date nights and making love.
A workplace affair may last only one month or one night, but the damage could last forever. Take these steps to protect your marriage.
marriage and family