Why Your Office Sanity Is Completely Dependent On Your Work Wife

by Merylee Sevilla
Buena Vista Pictures Disney ABC Domestic Television

It is a known fact that we spend the majority of our time at work. That’s approximately over 90,000 hours.

In layman's terms, that means we see more of our colleagues than we do of our significant others. In my case, there was a time I worked with my partner. But there is a reason they say never to mix business with pleasure.

Recently, while I was at my favorite bar, I was labeled a "work wife." Then, without even being given a ring, I became a wife: a work wife, that is.

It was with this title that I realized the work wife relationship is one of the most meaningful ones I've had. So, what makes the "work wife" dynamic such a meaningful relationship, besides the fact that you see each other so often?

Imagine this scenario. It's one I'm sure many of us have found ourselves in: We're at our desks, buried in mountain high piles of paper and work, but our minds are just not in it. It could be we're dealing with a breakup, having trouble with a spouse or partner or having familial issues.

Your co-worker notices this, and makes the effort to come to you to say these five simple words: It's going to be OK. At that moment, a special relationship has been forged.

Your co-worker is that one person who can relate and empathize with the workload, but at the same time, he or she is privy to your personal life. This makes him or her uniquely insightful.

Why? Because congratulations, you’ve gotten “work married.” You now have a work wife.

Given that we're a generation that spends hours and hours on end working and making sacrifices in our personal lives to attain the American Dream, this work wife relationship has become more important than ever. The best part -- even though some would beg to differ -- is it's one that isn't based solely on physical and sexual connection. Rather, it's based on emotional and psychological support.

But how do you know if you’ve got that “work wife” relationship?” She is the one person in the office who truly and honestly gets you.

She is, in the words of Christina Yang from "Grey’s Anatomy," "your person." She's the one who understands when you're upset, or when you need space. There is an instant click that has resulted in her understanding of you, and you don't have to explain yourself.

In the same way you click with your actual spouse, you click with this colleague. The only difference is, your work wife relationship is platonic, and free from any romantic sparks. Having that work wife who knows what coffee you order at Starbucks and who can finish your sentences demonstrates the closeness and comfort you have between one another.

With my work wife, our relationship started off with small banter. But it progressed so naturally into more meaningful and personal conversations. Suddenly, I'd show up, and she would know what to get me. It would instantly cheer me up.

The work wife dynamic is unique in the fact that no effort is really made to maintain the relationship. In essence, the work wife relationship is based on trust, reciprocity and support.

The compatibility of your personalities means your skills and approaches to work complement one another. You both strive for the same goals and dreams (in the office, at least).

She is that one person in the office who you have inside jokes with, and who you can be perfectly honest with at the same time. Whether it's that ugly sweater she has on or that new 'do she is trying, you two are comfortable letting the other know when you don't approve of something. You’re so comfortable with one another, you'll even point out when her fly is down.

Your work wife is literally with you for better or worse. The support of a work wife is invaluable, but it also impacts us in more ways than we may realize.