Work is stressful.
We have to finish this article by this deadline. We have to buy this stock and sell this other one. We have to erect this tower of speakers in time for sound check. We have to pretend our souls aren't dying when our boss asks the same question for the eighth time.
No matter what our jobs are, the tensions are there. Even if you are incredibly passionate about what you do, it's hard to end the workday with your sanity completely intact.
But we find a way to persevere. How? We connect with a network of coworkers who are there for us to lean on. We need people we can vent to at the drop of a hat — people who will buy us a beer after a rough day or come along for a walk if we need a breather.
Enter the work spouse.
Your work spouse is that one person at your job whom you can count on no matter what. You have inside jokes. You can communicate an entire encyclopedia of information with only a quick glance from across the room. You always want to take a fro-yo break at the exact same time.
It's also important to note that in a work marriage, you aren't attracted to one another. It's completely platonic. You know, much like a long-term real marriage (kidding…).
These are the hallmarks of a work marriage. It's an essential relationship. It usually takes some time to lock down, but once you find that special someone, you're partners for life. Yet there are some who don't just strike gold once in the work spouse department. These are the people who find themselves with two work spouses.
But the awkwardness that ensues when you have two work spouses proves that two things are not always better than one. Here's what happens when your work spouse love knows no bounds.
You have to hide the fact that you have two work spouses.
Having two work spouses is really exhausting. You can't let either of them know the other exists. You're basically a work polygamist. Or maybe you're even worse: a work cheater.
Because the work marriage is such a special relationship, you can't risk losing it by admitting your cheating tendencies. I mean, what are you supposed to do when Karen from accounting sends you a passive aggressive email and one of your work spouses is in a meeting? The answer is simple: You need to turn to your other spouse so they can tell you that nobody likes Karen.
That privilege is something you can't risk.
You hear twice the gossip.
At my last job, I had two work husbands. (It's safe to admit this now since I no longer work at the company.)
Anyway, I found that when you have two work husbands, your pool of office gossip gets much wider and deeper. Having two discrete networks naturally brings in a better crop of information.
And since the best way to get ahead at your job is to know the ins and outs of the office, it really is an amazing perk. The more intel you collect, the easier it gets to maneuver and win people over.
Manipulative? Perhaps. Necessary? Absolutely.
You forget what you told one work spouse and didn't tell the other.
It gets really awkward when you assume that you told one work spouse about something, but the blank look on his or her face leads you to realize that you actually told the other work spouse that piece of info. You have to stumble and think of an excuse on the spot, and then it gets even weirder.
Having twice the gossip is good, but that power is best wielded when you can keep track of who knows what.
When they find out you're cheating, it can get ugly.
When my two work husbands found out about each other, things got dicey. Tempers flared. Arguments erupted. Legitimate questions were raised. Who was the original work husband? Who was the interloper?
It didn't come to blows, but the timeline disagreement did linger for the rest of my tenure.
Of course, if the truth does come out — and let's be real, it always does — you do have the option of entering into a polygamous work marriage. Maybe your work spouses are a future partnership waiting to happen.
It is possible for all work spouses to coexist peacefully — just don't count on it. Jealousy may run even more rampant in the workplace than it does in romance.