Years ago, when I first entered the workforce fresh out of High School I was shocked to hear so many rumors of affairs that had or were taking place at my company. At that time they mostly seemed to involve older people, typical secretary and boss stereotypes, but, unfortunately, over the years these seemed to start involving some of my own peers.
It was pretty easy to see how these came about. We were with our coworkers more than our own families. We worked shift work, weekends, holidays, overtime, normally there would be only 2 people working on weekends, any combination of male-male, male-female, female-female. We were there for marriages, births, funerals, all life-events, and we shared an understanding of our workplace society that spouses may not have.
Sometimes it was very easy for coworkers to pick up on the signs that something was a mist with others. There may have been a subtle physical attraction, or not, but the intimacy of being thrown together and obligated to communicate for the good of the cause brings on a common bond. Conversation is usually the first or sometimes the only thing that helps pass the time. This is the first line of prevention! Whether you share a physical attraction or not you may discover that you have a lot in common and truly enjoy talking to one another. You may even bring the conversation home to share with your mate. Time may pass before you work alone together again, but when it does happen, you’ll recall the good day you had working together and come to expect or look forward to this time again! I mean you have to work anyhow; you may as well enjoy it!
And so it begins!
At this point you’re feeling secure in your marriage and not even thinking in terms of an affair, so it is starting to sneak up on you! This is when you come away from a day at work feeling pretty good. You’re thinking nothing of it, but this is the time you should act to take precautions. You just know you’re feeling good and happy with that. You’re not examining why you feel good you just are, therefore your mind is not in a defensive mode. If it were, you’d go home and work on achieving this same sort of feeling from your spouse. You may be fortunate enough to already have this sort of relationship, but if you don’t and you find you are always making adjustments to make it work, you may gradually start navigating in thought as to how easy it is to be with so and so.
Here, again is an opportunity to act if you are alert enough to acknowledge it. Now remember, its early in the game and your thoughts are innocent and genuine, unsuspecting. But, enjoying having had a nice day at work is what you were focused on, not so much the person you were working with that made it nice and had you looking forward to it! If you recognized that, you would avoid working with this person again. Yep, don’t work with this person if you can help it, because each time the bond grows stronger!
True, in many cases other elements such as physical attraction need to be in place as well. If that’s there, watch out its even harder to fight and you may convince yourself that that has nothing to do with anything. Truth be known, it’s just a matter of time and circumstance aligning themselves and awaiting the opportunity. That day when you’ve had some difficulty at home, or even some issue you and your peer are experiencing in your work environment and are drawing together in defense on.
Perhaps, you should trade shifts to work with a buddy of the opposite sex than the one you’re attracted to in order to share with because eventually, you’ll start justifying why it is acceptable that you do such and such with this person you’ve been working and share an attraction with.
Now, I do realize that not all affairs may start out this way. I’m addressing the ones that start with innocent parties with good intentions that value their commitments and are striving to maintain them and avoid the hurt and turmoil an outside relationship could bring on them.
I once had a coworker tell me, ‘˜You can’t help who you fall in love with!’ Well, I say you can, you can try and avoid it, and act to curtail it before it happens by avoiding situations that may allow it to grow. Even if that does not work, you can practice restraint until the time comes when you are able to free yourself from the situation. You could also make your spouse aware of your attraction and ask for their help and support in curtailing it. This may be a rare sort of sharing for some partnerships, but hopefully the spouse will recognize the need for your immediate help and support to keep you and the relationship on the right course.
Truth is, like any other situation you will reach a crossroads, a point where you’ll need to acknowledge it and chose a course of action. It’s all in the mindset.