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Work wife?

(194 Posts)
Strugglinghere Sun 02-Mar-14 00:29:39

I've just been out with my dh for dinner with one of his colleagues and her dh. She tells me she is his 'work wife'. Would this piss you off?

EBearhug Sun 02-Mar-14 00:40:35

You mean she's saying she's your DH's "wife" in a work context?

I think I would be deeply unimpressed, and I'm not a jealous/possessive type.

Custardo Sun 02-Mar-14 00:48:51

i'd act normally, ask her to accompany me to the toilet ( like us girls do for some unknown reason) then bog wash her

WhotheWhat Sun 02-Mar-14 00:51:54

Ugh - wrong wrong wrong. And creepy.

What's the dynamic?

Hix Sun 02-Mar-14 00:57:35

It would depend on a heck of a lot of things.

BumPotato Sun 02-Mar-14 01:31:39

I would be pissed off.

Chloerose75 Sun 02-Mar-14 01:35:28

I would be pissed off, she is trying to imply some kind of intimacy with him which is not on

Gomez Sun 02-Mar-14 01:35:52

Mmm. I know many folk who have work wives - it is in all cases harmless. An affectionate way of referring to a colleague who they have no intention of shagging but whose company they enjoy and who means a lot to them. A work friend nothing more.

Stripyhoglets Sun 02-Mar-14 02:02:04

by saying that she is marking her territory as not just an ordinary colleague. It would annoy the hell out of me.

Wrapdress Sun 02-Mar-14 02:03:36

Referring to a co-worker as a work spouse is fairly normal around here.

NatashaBee Sun 02-Mar-14 02:06:56

It would only annoy me if my DH referred to her as his 'work wife'. I would just laugh and ask if she was going to wash his work underpants.

deXavia Sun 02-Mar-14 02:29:58

I had a colleague who would occasionally call me his "work wife". We had desks next to each other for almost 4 years as well as worked on many similar projects. It was a term of endearment but as an acknowledgement of how well we knew each other - not that he wanted to shag me. To me it would all be about the context - how did your DH and her DH react? If you went out for dinner with them I'm assuming a fairly close relationship all round.

kickassangel Sun 02-Mar-14 02:41:27

It would depend very much how she said it. If it somehow felt like she was laying claim to him it would be deeply inappropriate. If it was done in a jokey look what I'm stuck with every day style it could be funny or insulting.

Assuming that you aren't jealous and possessive it sounds slightly like the former. Talk to your dh, what is his reaction?

MrsLion Sun 02-Mar-14 03:14:51

Is this the first time you've met her, and the first time you've heard that expression? In which case I understand why you're pissed off.
But it's actually a pretty common expression and in most situations wouldn't bother me at all if someone said that about DH.
Given that you're all out for dinner together I don't think you have anything to worry about, or that she's staking any claim. What was your DH and her dh's reaction?
How was she for the rest of the dinner?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 02-Mar-14 06:48:09

It wouldn't piss me off if I felt secure in my relationship. It's a poor-taste joke but that's all.

TDada Sun 02-Mar-14 06:51:37

Yes depends on context and how she behaved otherwise

Cyclebump Sun 02-Mar-14 06:57:43

I was called an ex colleague's work wife for ages. It was a running joke because we were good friends but worked very closely so had snitty exchanges a lot. I was also the person who ended up sorting things out ir him if things went awry. My then DP (nw DH) knew all about it and thought it was funny. I dont know if I'd have introduced myself as such to the guy's wife if he'd ever had one though.

Lweji Sun 02-Mar-14 06:58:20

It seems that it's a fairly new term to describe a close relationship at work, which may not even involve being best friends in some descriptions.
She could have said they were joined at the hip or something else, or even if they were the same gender.
I have seen it mentioned in American TV.
I wouldn't think too much about it. Unless you had other reasons to be worried.

russianfudge Sun 02-Mar-14 06:59:17

I've never heard "work wife", sounds a bit insulting to the woman in question like women in the work place can't just be an accountant or project manager or whatever but rather they need a wifely use too. So on that basis I would find her a bit dim at worst.
But, I have heard of "professional marriage" being used which can also refer to two men or two women who are committed to each other, loyal, and who work as a close team.. and has never had any sexual undertones in my experience so maybe she's just using it like that.

Lweji Sun 02-Mar-14 07:06:16

The term can have the two meanings, as being in a close relationship, or as doing subservient tasks to another person (usually of higher rank).
This time it just sounded like they work close together.
I don't think it's necessarily derogatory. Unless one thinks that wives are automatically in a lower rank instead of in an equal footing.

BusinessUnusual Sun 02-Mar-14 07:11:53

I've had a colleague use it about me. He meant nothing by it but did have a bit of form for saying slightly casual things - telling student drinking stories in a professional group, for example. So it wouldn't piss me off

Logg1e Sun 02-Mar-14 07:20:35

I've never heard the term before. I think it sounds patronising and derogatory to the woman and I can't imagine for a second my partner ever being comfortable with one of his colleagues being described (by anyone) as such.

I wouldn't feel threatened though, but I would find it pathetic and pitiful.

AthelstaneTheUnready Sun 02-Mar-14 07:26:42

It's not that new; 10 years ago I had a work wife - he was actually a 'he' and much younger. It was commonly used, and commonly understood to mean 'the poor sap who has to do the routine, boring crap you've forgotten to do because you're off doing something more interesting'.

Not a flattering description of a wife's role in a marriage, but certainly nothing to do with claiming, intimacy, or anything going on between the two people concerned.

BitOutOfPractice Sun 02-Mar-14 07:30:29

I think "work wife" or "work husband" means someone at work that you work closely with, that you rely on, that you spend a lot of time with. It's just a harmless term. It wouldn't piss me off at all.

russianfudge Sun 02-Mar-14 07:36:56

But do people use "work husband"?

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