By: Vicki Tidwell Palmer
Discovering that your spouse had an affair is painful enough. But finding out that the affair partner is a co-worker, supervisor, or employee can be doubly devastating.
Imagine your spouse leaving each day to go to work, and the feelings of powerlessness—knowing that he will spend the majority of his day with a former affair partner?
Affairs in the workplace raise many questions for betrayed partners:
The consequences of workplace affairs are profoundly triggering and traumatic to betrayed partners. Because each situation is unique, and the issues can vary widely from situation to situation, there are no black-and-white or cookie cutter answers to these complex and hurtful dilemmas.
Here are a few of the many requests a betrayed partner may make in situations of workplace affairs:
This last option may seem severe or extreme, but sometimes leaving is the only option. If your unfaithful spouse had an affair with the owner of the business where he/she works or had multiple workplace affairs over many years, there may be few options other than to leave the organization or sell a business.
If you’re the unfaithful spouse you will need to make some difficult—yet potentially relationship-saving—choices. You’ll need to decide what is most important to you, and avoid the temptation of thinking of yourself as a victim if you agree to a request made by your partner, or if you decide to make a change in your employment situation to repair or salvage your relationship.
They can be a component of the trust rebuilding process, and in the end are a very small price to pay to ultimately salvage your relationship. And even if the relationship doesn’t survive, you will need to address the underlying issues and reasons you are seeking sexual partners in the workplace—a practice that is at best distracting, and at worst a legal matter.
Because workplace affair situations are so complex and impact betrayed partners on several levels, I recommend that betrayed partners have at least one—and preferably several—trusted advisors to help assess any potential risks (financial, reputation, or health), sort through options, and determine any specific requests you’d like to make.