Work Spouse: Why Your Co-Workers Affection Doesn’t Belong To You

by Linda Dominique Grosvenor It must have been two years ago when I first heard the term “work spouse,” but I was familiar with the concept long before that. I knew it to mean the kind of woman or man who gets all of the perks and benefits that a spouse gets except, they only get them from 9-5 or whatever hours they both work. I mean, they can get anything from a muffin and a steaming hot cup of coffee dropped off at their desk every morning that their spouse doesn’t know that they’re buying for someone else, they get their dreams heard and get to vent about home or work life too or they can take it all the way to a lunchtime rendezvous at an out of the way restaurant or motel that really gives them a chance to get loose, let their hair down and get their sexual needs satiated until their toes curl.

Let’s face it, you spend more hours with the people that you work with than the person you’re married to and that’s how affairs start. To prevent the temptations that can come from co-workers you may have to work too closely with, you’ll have to set boundaries. Couples normally agree on these boundaries. Agreeing on the boundaries is one of the building blocks of a good marriage. However, because people don’t want to offend other people and make them feel like there is a lack of trust or an uneasiness with how they now have to operate, they may forgo setting up the boundaries at all, and so, they “wing it”. Before you know it months and years of working together “too closely” develops into something neither is willing to define or perhaps a joke is taken the wrong way–it’s too late to correct things–they’re touching you–you’re touching them–it’s an all out affair.

I remember discussing this with a girlfriend at length and telling her that my husband can pour his own coffee, because nobody and I mean, NOBODY needs to become that familiar with the way he likes anything in his life–except me. I’m the wife and there is only one–period! Incidentally on the relationship network my husband and I host, we began discussing this whole “work spouse” topic and it did get a bit heated because the general consensus was that whether you are married or single your co-worker’s affection doesn’t belong to you. It doesn’t. We can’t come to work in the hopes that someone you aren’t in a relationship with will make your day. It doesn’t matter if it’s a new sweater, new hair cut or perfume–someone else’s is not there to flirt or flatter you.

When it comes to love and relationships many of us have falling apart relationships that are often disrespected because we are often found disrespecting the relationships of others and we wonder why happiness continues to elude us. How we behave with other people is normally the culprit.

One woman on our relationship website had a very real experience with a “work spouse” situation that could have destroyed her if it were not for her faith in God. She said, “When I read the topic and everyone’s thoughts, it brought back a painful memory from my first marriage. My ex-husband now has a child with one of his former co-workers that he swore up and down was nothing more than someone he worked with. The truth of the matter was that every time we had a problem, he would run to her for comfort. I strongly believe that if you are married, any emotional attachments that you have with someone else is cheating your spouse and yourself out of wonderful possibilities that you can have together. As far as the lunch goes, I personally believe that all relations with the opposite sex should be in an environment where there is no question as to what the situation is. If this means group lunches, then so be it. Linda talked about the way things look vs. what they actually are in her book, The Plural Thing: Spiritually Preparing for Your Soul Mate. This really helped my husband see my point. It’s really not about trust, we can totally trust one another, that doesn’t mean we put ourselves in questionable situations.”

We had a male member come out and be shockingly honest about how he made a mistake at work by giving his affections to a female co-worker too. He tried to make it right with his wife, but it was too late. He said, “All this summer my wife and I argued and could never get past the incident long enough to be civil towards one another. So after building up the courage and strength to walk away from my co-worker, I came home wearing my wedding band, kissed my wife and handed her 2 dozen roses and expressed that it was over and I needed to do right by her. It’s pretty much over for us [my wife and I] and I am hurting for two reasons: I didn’t live up to the standard God has set forth and hurt my family. Outside of my actions I have and will continue to be a good man. I just messed up big time.”

It would be a moot point if we lived in a society where we could take things at face value, but the fact of the matter is that even as an articulate man we know that some women will see your sparkling wedding band, hear you tell her “No,” and still see a green light to GO! People who don’t care about the covenant of marriage have 8 or more hours a day to attack your marriage by sending you emails, calling you to chat for no reason, stopping by your station to shoot the breeze–all while you are away from your spouse. That mean that you are standing alone to be the watchman of your marriage. You have to be on guard–you must be accountable. You must discern what these people are up to and make sure that nothing that your spouse would find disrespectful is said or done in their absence–not even in jest.

People have a way of putting on masks and facades and unless you can read minds you really have no idea what someone’s motive is. I’ve heard people say, “Well she’s married” or “We’re both married”, but in this society what does that mean? There are plenty of unhappy men and women who are seeking after a new kind of attention–yours. My husband and I are no different. Even with what we do with assisting people to learn to love better it’s still difficult to get people to understand that we have made it a rule to set boundaries and not sit and talk individually about relationships with people of the opposite sex. Just like my husband’s ear is not going to be inclined to hear a woman be it alone in a corner by the water cooler, on the phone or in a secluded cafe, I won’t do it with a man. It can get either one of us into trouble. Either the women speak with me and the men with my husband or they talk with us both together. If that doesn’t work for them then it won’t work, because we won’t and can’t compromise our marriage for what will make them feel comfortable–those are our boundaries because we want “our” marriage to last.

Lastly, our purpose at work is to work, friendliness and friendships may develop but we aren’t there to stroke egos. Women need to understand that their male co-workers aren’t there to make them feel pretty just because their husbands don’t at home and the same goes for the men. You shouldn’t be fishing for compliments at work. You stir up things and ignite fires that are dangerous to put out once they get started and do irreparable damage to not just the covenant of marriage but children and families as a whole. Clock in, put in your hours, clock out and bring the flattery and flirtation home for your spouse. Single people are no different, find single co-workers to have lunch with and let the married people work on creating a lasting marriage without making things more difficult for them. One day you’ll be in their shoes.

Linda Dominique Grosvenor is the author of The Plural Thing: Spiritually Preparing for Your Soul Mate (Feb 2010) that has been called, “unadulterated spiritual relationship guidance for modern times.” Her expertise on dating and relationship issues have been used in articles for publications such as Modern Bride, BlackandMarriedwithKids.com and MORE Magazine. She is a blissfully happy wife married to her soul mate Calvin and enjoys writing books that help assist people with having the best relationships of their lives. You can reach Linda at LindaDominiqueGrosvenor.com, on her discussion board at ThePluralThing.com or find her on facebook at http://Facebook.com/lindadominiquegrosvenor.

Married Couples Who Survive An Affair Fall Into 3 Kinds Of Groups

by Aiyana Ma’at Have you ever wondered whether a marriage can truly heal after infidelity? We know of many people who have survived an affair but what is their relationship like? Is their connection the same? Can their relationship be even better or is it forever torn apart? Well,  Esther Perel, M.A., author of Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence and marriage therapist, wondered the same thing. She contacted couples whom she had successfully treated years prior for infidelity to determine how they looked back at the event and its impact on their marriage. How they viewed the infidelity and the impact it had on their marriage was very interesting to say the least.

After completing interviews with the couples, Perel found they fell into three general groups:

Living in the Past

These couples stay married, but never successfully move past the affair. Forgiveness is not truly given. The offending couple may not take any responsibility for contributing to relationship problems. “The affair has become the narrative of their union,” says Perel, who adds, “It’s a black hole trapping both parties in an endless round of bitterness, revenge, and self-pity.”

The Survivors

These couples revert to a fairly peaceful marriage, similar to what they had before the affair. They stay in the marriage because they honor the values of commitment and loyalty, and they don’t want to break up their families. They may lack passion in their marriage, but they want to do the “right thing.” They see the affair as a painful mistake. They don’t transcend the affair, but they do move beyond it.

The Explorers

These couples use the infidelity as a catalyst for change, transcending the experience to bring their relationship to new heights previously not experienced. They reinvent their relationship, learning from their failures and past hurts, and each take responsibility for their part in the marriage’s deterioration. The infidelity becomes an impetus for a transformative experience.

The most successful couples shifted from talking about “you” and “me” (what you did to me) to reflecting on “our life” or “our crisis”. So, what does that tell us? When we stop thinking in terms of “I” and move to “we” we radically shift path that our relationship is on. When we think about what’s best for the marriage instead of just what we want we change the course that we’re on. We must see the pain, anger, and conflict as an opportunity for us to individually go within and grow instead of the end of all hope. Don’t live in the past. Don’t just be a survivor—-Thrive and Explore the endless possibilities for your relationship to be richer, tighter, and better than ever before.

Anyone Can Cheat…Even You: Gospel Artist Tye Tribett Talks About His (And His Wife’s) Infidelity

by Aiyana Ma’at Tye Tribbett recently sat down with the Associated Press and shared some of the details of the infidelity that threatened to destroy his marriage. In the interview Tye talks about the fact that there doesn’t have to be “lack” in your marriage for lust to take hold. I think this is so important to acknowledge and be mindful of. We are all human beings and no matter how fabulous and secure you’re relationship is—we need to remember that what you don’t defend is susceptible to attack. If there are gaps or weak spaces in your relationship you need to pay attention to them and address them. For example, let’s say there’s a core group of your co-workers that you are friends with and hang out with at work. You all eat lunch together, have your inside jokes, do happy hours and the whole nine. You would count them as good friends and they would do the same for you. However, you begin to notice that there is some “interesting” energy/chemistry between you and one particular co-worker. What do you do? Ignore it, acknowledge it and talk about it with your spouse, take note of it for yourself and begin to limit the amount of one on one contact you have with that person or minimize it….it’s not that serious, right? Well, my husband and I have found that the best rule is to ACKNOWLEDGE & AVOID.

ACKNOWLEDGE: That means you admit the attraction or the chemistry and not just to yourself—yep, you tell your spouse about it. If you’re not used to doing this then it will probably be extremely awkward to do at first. But, when you do you’ll more than likely feel relief after the uncomfortable feelings because you don’t have this little secret you’re keeping from your partner. Do you open up the possibility for your spouse to be a little alarmed—maybe. It depends on the couple. But, you also open up the possibility for there to be real talk in your relationship that in the long run builds a more solid connected couple.  You can talk about it and 9 times out of 10 your relationship will be strengthened as your partner gains confidence in your commitment to be honest with them.

AVOID: So, this means what is says—Make a concerted effort to minimize your one to one contact with this person. Be cordial and keep it moving. Just save the “I would never cheat on my husband/wife.” and “That’s not necessary to do.” comments. Invest more in being smart then trying to seem as if you are. Plain and simple.  Lee Bailey’s Electronic Urban Report shared Tribbett’s interview and we have an excerpt for you below.

The Associated Press: You and your family have been through a lot of drama. How did you fall into the trap of cheating on your wife?

Tribbett: I thought it was something that’ll never happen. I saw infidelity with my mom and dad who was a pastor, which made them split. I told myself that I would never do that. So when it happened in my marriage, it was like “Whoa.” God broke down my self-righteousness, my pride.

AP: How did you feel when she did the same to you?

Tribbett: As a husband it is PARAMOUNT to be there for your wife emotionally, and I blew it and I wasn’t there for her, which opened her up to fall into the same trap and commit the same sin as I did! I’m just so grateful that it wasn’t the end for us!

AP: What led you to cheat?

Tribbett: (Televangelist) Joyce Meyers gave the best explanation of what my situation was about. She said lust has no conscience. It doesn’t care if you’re married, doesn’t care about your responsibility, doesn’t care if you’re a pastor. It wants what it wants when it wants. It doesn’t have to be because of lack for lust to take hold.

AP: How was it for you when you and your wife took a break from each other?

Tribbett: When I was between my house and mom’s home, I was contemplating suicide — almost every day.

AP: Like any other gospel artist, you preach against what you and your wife have done to each other. Does your approach change on how people should live their life through your beliefs?

Tribbett: I still have to say the same thing as before because it’s a sin. I still say it’s wrong. But my approach is more compassionate. It’s not as militant. It’s easier to preach against something that’s not your struggle. Through this situation, this humiliation has made me walk in humility.

AP: How do you expect people to listen to you now?

Tribbett: I don’t know. It’s been very difficult to face people who look up to you. … But this situation made people see that leaders are not above what they teach. I’ll never choose this again, but I’m grateful that it happened.

AP: How much has your relationship with your wife changed?

Tribbett: Every second, it’s like we are texting each other. We’ve been married for 13 years, but it’s kind of like we are dating again. Personally, this is a fresh start for me as a husband and a father.

AP: What type of advice would you give to someone who is toying with the idea of cheating?

Tribbett: Don’t trust yourself. You’re thinking to yourself, “We’ll just text.” Your limits are going to keep getting broader and broader. That’s how we deceive ourselves. You need to flee. Run!

AP: How about the ones who have followed through with the act?

Tribbett: I will say it’s tough, but restoration is possible. … God is able to restore your marriage and bring it back to life. I’m a witness to that. I thought it was a wrap! I wasn’t concerned about my career. It’s all about total submission, total surrender. The temptation will come back only to show your deliverance.

Ok, so B Intentional Family, what do you think about this? Could ACKNOWLEDGE & AVOID work in your relationship?

Some Women Want To Get With Married Men…… Why?

VIDEO: What’s the attraction in messing with someone that doesn’t belong to you and messing up their relationship? There are a lot of woman out there that intentionally go after married men. Where is the respect ? Some folks are so focused on satisfying their own needs that they ignore the sacredness of marriage and the communal consequences of engaging in this “me first” behavior. This ain’t good!

Stephanie Modkins, an associated content.com writer, offered up her thoughts in an article she wrote with the following 5 reasons she thinks women date married men:

#1 The sex is hot. Just like a lot of men, many women crave sex. As a result, when some women meet a man that they have an undeniable sexual attraction to, they rush forward and pounce. Although it’s not always admitted to, this is one reason why some women just can’t let a married man go. They love the sex and, as a result, refuse to end the relationship.

#2 She doesn’t think it’s hurting anyone. Have you ever heard the saying ‘what you don’t know won’t hurt you?’ This is a statement that some females who play the role of the other woman live by. They feel that as long as nobody knows (especially the wife) what they’re doing, it’s okay. As a result, this woman will never stop seeing the married man until things blow up.

#3 She loves the money. Some women barter sex for money. This exchange is as old as the bible. As a result, if a man has a lot of cash that he’s willing to spend on her, the other woman will go for it without any regret. It’s not that she want’s to hurt anyone or even be the other woman, she just needs help paying her bills.

#4 She believes all men are dogs.You’d think that a woman who thinks so lowly of all men wouldn’t wind up in a dirty affair. However, this idea is wrong. Because she thinks all men are dogs, she expects very little from them – including faithfulness. So it seems natural to her that a married man would cheat since that’s what all men do anyway. If you ask her about the wife, nine times out of ten she’ll tell you about the number of times she’s been cheated on by a man. It’s her justification for her actions.

#5 She needs to feel powerful. This point is where I believe Monica Lewinsky falls. Sleeping with the President of the United States probably lifted her self-esteem and made her feel powerful. It’s a trap women fall into who like to sleep with high-profile men. They get their energy and life from an accomplished man instead of finding other ways to build themselves up.

In conclusion, the other woman might just be holding onto a married man for reasons outside of love. She has her own agenda and unless it’s upset in some type of way, she will never let go. Monica Lewinsky capitalized on her infamy by writing a book and starting a business.

What do you think B Intentional Family? Why is it so easy for some women to go after another woman’s husband? Leave a comment or submit a video response letting us know what you think.

Can A Habitual Cheater Truly Change His Ways?

VIDEO: Cheating is not a new phenomena….it’s been happening for a long time by both men and women. In nearly every situation when cheating occurs….someone almost always gets hurt whether the couple is married or not.. How do you deal with the pain that habitual cheating causes in a relationship when you are the one that has caused the heartbreak? Usually the person that causes the pain wants to rush through the anguish, get beyond it, and go back to normal happy land as soon as possible. However, that’s unfair to the person whose been hurt. You have to respect the process and know that if you want the relationship to be right you’ve gotta GET RIGHT and really B Intentional about closing the gap that now exists between you and the one you’ve hurt.

What does it really mean to GET RIGHT? Does it mean that you instantly pledge to never hurt or be dishonest again? Does it mean that you plead and beg for forgiveness so that your loved one can see that you understand the error in your ways? Perhaps it means that if you’re not married—you should propose and attempt to now get married so that the other person can see that you are dead serious about living right and being committed now—NOT! None of these are true and genuine ways to GET RIGHT. The only way to truly GET RIGHT is to put on the cloak of self-awareness and submit to the pain-staking process of self-examination. Until you truly look at yourself for who you are (and perhaps who you’ve become) real change will be elusive and hard to maintain. You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge and you can’t maintain what you don’t understand. Therefore, it stands to reason, that you must acknowledge that something is not right inside of you and endeavor to understand exactly what it is. The habitual cheater almost always has an unbearable bottomless hole within themselves that they are desperately and unconsciously trying to fill. Until you do the work to find out where the hole came from in the first place and then learn how to fill it the right way—from within permanently—you will be stuck in this vicious cycle of bringing hurt to the one you say you love because you haven’t dealt with the hurt that’s inside of you. What’s your take on this issue? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment or submitting a video response.

Is It Too Late For A Habitual Cheater To Change His Ways?

VIDEO: Cheating is not a new phenomena….it’s been happening for a long time by both men and women. In nearly every situation when cheating occurs….someone almost always gets hurt whether the couple is married or not.. How do you deal with the pain that habitual cheating causes in a relationship when you are the one that has caused the heartbreak? Usually the person that causes the pain wants to rush through the anguish, get beyond it, and go back to normal happy land as soon as possible. However, that’s unfair to the person whose been hurt. You have to respect the process and know that if you want the relationship to be right you’ve gotta GET RIGHT and really B Intentional about closing the gap that now exists between you and the one you’ve hurt. What does it really mean to GET RIGHT? Does it mean that you instantly pledge to never hurt or be dishonest again? Does it mean that you plead and beg for forgiveness so that your loved one can see that you understand the error in your ways? Perhaps it means that if you’re not married—you should propose and attempt to now get married so that the other person can see that you are dead serious about living right and being committed now—NOT! None of these are true and genuine ways to GET RIGHT. The only way to truly GET RIGHT is to put on the cloak of self-awareness and submit to the pain-staking process of self-examination. Until you truly look at yourself for who you are (and perhaps who you’ve become) real change will be elusive and hard to maintain. You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge and you can’t maintain what you don’t understand. Therefore, it stands to reason, that you must acknowledge that something is not right inside of you and endeavor to understand exactly what it is. The habitual cheater almost always has an unbearable bottomless hole within themselves that they are desperately and unconsciously trying to fill. Until you do the work to find out where the hole came from in the first place and then learn how to fill it the right way—from within permanently—you will be stuck in this vicious cycle of bringing hurt to the one you say you love because you haven’t dealt with the hurt that’s inside of you. What’s your take on this issue? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment or submitting a video response.

Do Something Different.Do Something New. Do Something For Your Relationship. Do Something For You!

Basic Training For Couples Registration is happening now. Will you be there? Let’s predict the conversation….

Partner 1: You know that Basic Training class…the couples class I was telling you about? It starts September 28th.

Partner 2: Oh, yeah? What’s the point of it though? Isn’t it for people who have alot of problems?

Partner 1: I think it really doesn’t matter. You can be having no problems or be on the verge of divorce.

Partner 2: We’re fine. I mean, what they gon’ tell me that I don’t already know? Most people know what they need to do they just don’t do it, ya know?

Partner 1: Yeah, I know….that’s exactly why I think we should go.

This is just one of how many conversations will go between couples when talking about taking a relationship class. There is usually one person who is curious or feels they need it and there is usually one person who thinks it’s just not that serious. If you or your sweetie is unsure about whether this class is for you drop us a line or give us a call at 1-888-307-7970. We won’t hesitate to answer any and all of your questions. Do something different. Do something new. Do something for your relationship. Do something for you! This is the perfect opportunity for you to Stop Playing & Start Pushing.

Click here for frequently asked questions and here for registration information.

How To Avoid A Jerk/Jerkette Registration Has Begun!

Jerks, losers, men and women who ain’t about nothing…call them whatever you want—we will show you how to avoid them and find “the one” that’s right for you. This class will help you break destructive dating patterns that have kept you from finding the love you deserve! Are you ready to start the journey? Mark your calendar! This class begins Sept. 30th!

Click here for details and registration information

Man To Man–“Stop Cheating!”

VIDEO: I want to make sure we’re straight on this. All Black Men Do Not Cheat!!! However, for the men who do I challenge you to step up to the plate and be a real man. Take responsibility in your relationship by showing commitment, integrity, love, patience, and discipline. If you ain’t ready for it then don’t step into it. It’s time to get grown….It’s time to give your woman all the loving she deserves.

BASIC TRAINING FOR COUPLES REGISTRATION HAS BEGUN!

This class is not what you think and more than you expect. No matter what your thoughts are about a “relationship class” you have never experienced anything like Basic Training For Couples. It is one of the most effective and respected relationship curriculums in this country.  You’ve also never experienced the kind of clarity, honesty, and laughter that Ayize and Aiyana bring to each of their classes and their couples—Never.

I wish I could explain to you what these classes can do for your relationship and for your own personal development. I wish you could understand that it’s not only the classes but it’s the process in and of itself. The process of coming together with other couples, sharing, being real, stretching, and growing with your partner and with each other is what will change you and your relationship forever. Click here for frequently asked questions about our class. Click here to register.