Workplace romances are destroying more marriages than ever. Identify the traps and avoid them.
The workplace has recently become the latest hotspot for infidelity. It has transformed into a sexy place. With more women obtaining positions in ‘Corporate America’ in record numbers, more men and women have been placed in direct contact with one another on a daily basis. After eight long hours of light conversation and frequent interaction, many things are bound to occur. In time, an innocent proposal for lunch can turn into a lunch ‘quickie’.
Since the initial advancement of women in the workforce, Carol Tavis and Susan Sadd, reporting on the sex lives of one hundred thousand women, found that forty-seven percent of wives employed full-time had been unfaithful by the age of forty—compared to the thirty-three percent of housewives. Literally one out of three women finds a secret lover in the workplace.
During an intense interview, one woman admitted that she frequently comes to work with no underwear on which teases and drives her lover wild. The woman states: “Sex at lunchtime can be not only exciting but romantic. The only problem is figuring out where to have it. Doing it behind the photocopier, on top of your boss’ desk, in parking lots, inside cubicles, in elevators, in empty stairwells, and in other areas in the office can be very risky. But the risk of getting caught can make it the best sex you ever had. But the best part is having sex during lunch and coming back to the office acting very professional and businesslike.”
The reasons why people cleverly turn boardrooms into bedrooms vary. Couples often work inordinately long hours apart from each other from the moment they leave for work until the time they crawl into bed. They may work different shifts. While one partner is snuggled in the comfort of a bed, the other is burning the midnight oil on the job. There are many relationships that endure the burden of excessive travel. While one partner is home sleeping in an empty bed, the other is somewhere far off in a hotel room. These awkward circumstances leave a lot of room for infidelity.
Many people cheat with a purpose. Some women cheat for professional or social advancement. A woman admits, “I guess I was sleeping my way to the top. I knew it was wrong, but at the same time, I felt I would never get my career going if I didn’t. What I didn’t expect was the effect it had on other parts of my life. I thought my husband would never suspect. Unfortunately, he did, and he was so angry he filed for divorce.” Though troubling, women are not alone.
Businessmen who frequently travel attending conventions say that this temporary homes-away-from-home, with their abundance of alcohol, corporate-sponsored social gatherings, and pampered surroundings virtually amount to a petri dish of passion. Meanwhile, the wife is at home allowing another man to help her keep her sheets warm until her husband returns.
Out of the thousands of responses to an informal Travel & Leisure magazine travel survey, more than one in five said they had a convention fling. That’s just those who admit to it. “People think of business conferences as a summer camp for grown-ups,” says Pepper Schwartz, a sociology professor at the University of Washington. “They’re thrown together in a kind of semi-holiday mood. There is a lot of intimacy-building moments, like going out to dinner and talking about work you care passionately about. Seeing somebody whose expertise makes you admire them, makes you want to know them better.”
While many people are having sexual rendezvous in corporate offices, others are going on sexual excursions at conventions. Some are glued to their seats initiating two-timing exchanges over a keyboard while their real-life romances suffer. Internet infidelity is far more widespread than ever. People are involved in online affairs for the same reasons people engage in extramarital affairs: they are trying to meet needs that are not being met within their relationships.
The Internet has made infidelity more easily accessible. A person no longer has to creep out of the house and fear being seen by friends, family, colleagues, or church members. Though there is no physical contact, two individuals can still engage in sex online. It’s cyber sex. Sharing erotic thoughts with another person resulting in masturbation is what makes these exchanges adulterous. It’s amazing how the Internet has become a growing threat to the stability of relationships. Though the affair may never progress beyond the keyboard, most spouses feel betrayed. While men limit the experience to an innocent sexual daydream shared with another person, the unbearable feeling of jealousy grips the hearts of women.
The workplace can be a major danger zone if the proper personal and relational boundaries aren’t discussed and put in place. Take the necessary steps and job-proof your marriage from the threat of an affair.