7 Min Read
- Why Affairs At Work Happen
- Signs Your Husband Might Be Cheating With A Coworker
- What Kind Of Affair Is He Having With His Coworker?
- Dos And Don’ts If You Think Your Husband Is Cheating With A Coworker
- If He’s Cheating With A Coworker Should You Ask Him To Quit His Job?
- What To Take Away
Do you think you’ve seen signs your husband is cheating with a coworker? If you do, you’re not alone.
For many, the majority of our adult lives are spent at work. That means most of our time during those years is spent with co-workers. So, it’s not a huge surprise that when affairs happen it’s often between people who work together.
Feeling like your husband is cheating with a coworker is a common problem. In fact, the term work-wife or work-husband is often used when referring to certain people that play a big role in a partner’s daily life.
But spending a lot of time together at work doesn’t automatically mean cheating will occur. Before you start hurtling accusations, you need to be sure that what you’re seeing are truly signs your husband is cheating with a coworker.
Why Affairs At Work Happen
It might seem simple – they work long hours together, get close, and have a lot in common. Before too long a small kernel of attraction + opportunity = cheating.
Thinking of an affair with a coworker in these terms can make it more palatable for some. It doesn’t feel as personal. In short,
It just happened and it doesn’t mean anything.”
Occasionally it might be that simple, but most often affairs have more to do with the relationship at home than with the “other woman,” or even the ease and opportunity.
With very little exception, cheating is a symptom of problems in the marriage rather than the problem itself.
No, this doesn’t mean you drove him to it, or that it’s your fault. In a marriage responsibility for problems falls on the shoulders of both partners, not just one. And cheating is a choice, not an inescapable outcome.
So, if your husband is cheating with a coworker it’s likely there are problems making your relationship vulnerable.
Some of the most common culprits that can lead to instability in a marriage are,
- Lack of intimacy
- Poor communication
- Unresolved resentment
- Constant arguing
- Being too busy for each other
- Boredom and mindless routine
So, before you start assuming your husband is cheating with a coworker, consider the state of your marriage and ask yourself,
- Is my marriage strong?
- Are we both putting effort into keeping our relationship healthy and staying connected?
- Is it possible that I’m feeling insecure and neglected and worrying for the wrong reasons?
The answers to these questions can help you put things into perspective. Remember, unfounded accusations do their own damage.
Signs Your Husband Might Be Cheating With A Coworker
If after reflecting you’re still questioning whether your husband’s been faithful, take a deep breath and consider whether there are any clear signs that he’s cheating with a coworker.
Some of the most common and clearest signs of cheating, especially with a coworker, include:
- Sudden change in schedule. If your husband whose job has always been local suddenly includes travel, or the 9-5 has become 9-9, it could be a sign of an affair.
- Change in his behavior and appearance. Seeing your spouse take care of himself is great, but these changes are inspired by something. If it’s you or a need to get healthy that’s good. But sometimes these changes are to impress someone new.
- Disinterest in seeing or talking to you during the workday. Is he suddenly too busy to grab lunch, talk to you, or let you drop by the office? Maybe it’s the big project he’s working on – maybe not.
- Private calls and/or texts that he refuses to discuss with you. Unless he’s with the CIA or dealing with matters of national security, there shouldn’t be anything so private that he can’t share it with you (at least briefly). Taking calls outside, behind locked doors, or added security to email and text messages could be a sign he’s cheating with a coworker.
- Repeated mentions of a particular coworker. Hearing a lot about Jennifer from accounting lately? It’s possible she’s just really good at her job, but if he seems a little too impressed with her ability to run numbers, it’s time to keep an eye on his behavior.
- Intensified criticism or dissatisfaction with you or your relationship. Does he seem even more frustrated with you and your home life than before? This could be an indication of comparing what he has against what he thinks he wants.
- Guilt gifts or love-bombing. Conversely, if he’s started to shower you with praise, gifts, and other superficial signs of affection, it may be his way of trying to keep you from looking to closely at his other behaviors.
Keep in mind that seeing one or two of these signs does not mean he’s cheating with a coworker. Nearly all of these can occur organically for reasons that have nothing to do with cheating.
However, if you’re seeing a few of these behaviors creep in and you know your relationship isn’t as solid as it should be, it’s conceivable that your husband may be having an affair with someone at work.
What Kind Of Affair Is He Having With His Coworker?
The next consideration is what kind of affair might he be having – emotional or physical.
Often affairs with coworkers start emotional and never become physical. This doesn’t really make it better, although some men (and women) will justify things by saying,
I never slept with her/him, so it wasn’t really cheating.”
Dr. Kurt works weekly with couples affected by cheating. Many of these are dealing with affairs that began at work. When asked about it, he had this to say:
Affairs are always complicated and tricky. And when your husband cheats with a coworker this is especially true. The clear lines of right and wrong can be fuzzy when it hasn't gotten physical. The 'if you ever cheat on me I'm done' declaration is much harder to act on when it's happening to you. The expectation that he 'just end it' isn't always so easy either. I've worked with couples where he still had to interact with her every day as part of his job. And most people also can't just quit their jobs. So, dealing with your husband cheating with a coworker is tough, but it can be done. It's best to get some experienced help though, as the recovery path is a really hard one to navigate successfully on your own."
An emotional affair is as damaging – maybe more damaging – than a physical affair.
And emotional affairs can sneak up on people who feel like they’re just developing a friendship and cultivating their work relationship.
But sharing more,
with someone who’s not your spouse is how an emotional affair starts and it’s still cheating – even of there’s no physical contact.
Dos And Don’ts If You Think Your Husband Is Cheating With A Coworker?
Before we talk about what you should do, let’s talk about what you shouldn’t do if you think you’ve seen signs your husband is cheating with a coworker.
- Accuse him of things you suspect but can’t prove. If you’re wrong you’ll do damage to your relationship. If you’re right you’ve put him on the defensive and backed him into a corner.
- Call his boss. Yes, I’ve seen this happen – it doesn't go well.
- Ask his other coworkers for verification. Airing your dirty laundry at his workplace will d more damage than good.
- Approach the person with whom you think he’s having an affair. It can be very tempting to approach “the other woman” and assert your place, call her a homewrecker, threaten, or demand. But don’t.
- Reflect on your relationship first and how you ended up in this position.
- Consider what your role in this situation is and how your actions could have contributed to it.
- Make positive changes to yourself for yourself.
- Take charge of making positive changes within your relationship.
Once you've done these things you're in a better position to do the most important thing:
- Talk to him. This should be a non-accusatory, heart-to-heart, and honest conversation about the state of your relationship.
Even if he’s not cheating, the fact that you’re concerned about the possibility means this conversation is long overdue.
If He’s Cheating With A Coworker Should You Ask Him To Quit His Job?
If the signs your husband is cheating on you with a coworker are correct and he is, you’ll likely feel the impulse to demand he quit his job.
This is a normal feeling.
Wanting him as far away from the person who’s interfered with your marriage is understandable. But leaving a job is complicated.
Not only might his job be a primary portion of your financial livelihoods, but it can also be a very large part of his identity.
If your husband has studied for years, or worked diligently to get to his current position, asking him to give it up because he had an affair with a coworker could be too much.
Instead of demanding he quit, you’re better off (as is he given the complicated HR landscape today) ensuring he and the person with whom he cheated no longer work around each other, and are keeping clear and firm boundaries. What that looks like though depends entirely upon the industry he’s in and job he holds.
What To Take Away
If you believe you’ve seen signs your husband is cheating with a coworker it can be easy to jump to conclusions. Instead, keep these things in mind:
- Affairs are usually a symptom of problems rather than the true problem, so take a hard look at the state of your marriage.
- Be honest with yourself about your role in any issues that exist.
- Look closely for actual signs of an affair before you assume you know what’s happening.
- Refrain from rash actions like accusing him or contacting his coworkers.
- Plan for a conversation, have it in a calm, honest manner with the goal of making things better, not cornering him into a confession.
If he’s cheating on you with a coworker, make plans to begin marriage counseling immediately – with or without him.
Remember as well that signs your husband is cheating with a coworker can also have reasonable explanations.
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