My feed

to access all these features


The ‘work wife’

146 replies

GrannyBags · 19/12/2019 08:30

My boss sometimes refers to me as his ‘work wife’. For context, he is a vicar and I’m his PA. His wife is my closest friend and our families spend a lot of time together. I noticed on here a couple of posters objecting to the term but didn’t think anything of it until a person I know got very upset and said that it is ‘code’ for the people concerned having an affair! A
Cringing a bit now. AIBU in thinking it’s just a bit of fun?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

362 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
Dreamersandwishers · 19/12/2019 08:32

As long as you, he & your respective partners know it’s just a joke , then why worry.
It’s not very enlightened though 🙄

misspiggy19 · 19/12/2019 08:33

I don’t see an issue with the term. Just a bit of fun. But no doubt you’ll get someone on here soon enough moaning about nothing.

StCharlotte · 19/12/2019 08:33

It's not code for goodness sake!

Tomselleckhaskindeyes · 19/12/2019 08:33

My husband has a work wife. They have an extremely good working relationship and she gives him hell. He has said that we must never meet as it might get brutal! She seems a fantastic woman and I have every respect for her.

Finfintytint · 19/12/2019 08:34

I’ve always thought it to be someone you work well with.

thepeopleversuswork · 19/12/2019 08:36

It’s a bit retrograde and yuck but probably harmless as long as you don’t feel he has an ulterior motive and his wife doesn’t feel threatened.

Newmumma83 · 19/12/2019 08:36

It’s not code for that at all, I had a work husband it wasn’t because there was sexual chemistry far from it more because we made a good team .

Lagartha · 19/12/2019 08:37

It just means you work well together.

MysweetAudrina · 19/12/2019 08:40

I also had a work husband, just worked really well together and no chemistry just respect and friendship.

U2HasTheEdge · 19/12/2019 08:44

I had one at my old job. We just got on really well and balanced each other out. He is so laid back and I am not. If I was stressing he would bring me back down to earth and he only had to say a few words.

We worked well together.

Brimful · 19/12/2019 08:45

He has said that we must never meet as it might get brutal!

Seems odd he doesn't want you to meet, is your DH joking?

OP it's just a dumb term! I doubt anyone will be thinking anything into it :)

NameChangeNugget · 19/12/2019 08:45

Don’t have a problem with the term at all.

Iwouldlikesomecake · 19/12/2019 08:47

My husband’s ‘work wife’ is a married lesbian 🤣

Iwouldlikesomecake · 19/12/2019 08:47

Posted too soon- meant to say I’m pretty sure I’ve nothing to worry about on that score!

oncemorewithfeeling99 · 19/12/2019 08:53

I don’t think the vicar means anything more than you work well together. Unless you’re actually having an affair you have nothing to worry about. Tell Joan she has misunderstood the term and it’s all very embarrassing for her so you thought you’d tell her to avoid her making the mistake again.

montmatre · 19/12/2019 08:55

I think to refer to yourself or someone else as your "work wife" is very cringy but having a close, supportive relationship is acceptable.

MerchantOfVenom · 19/12/2019 08:56

I would assume that a 'work wife' is some sort of EA / PA type, who tends to his every need. Why else would you use the phrase?

TheFaerieQueene · 19/12/2019 08:56

I think I need to add this phrase to the ‘phrases you hate’ thread.

MerchantOfVenom · 19/12/2019 09:02

Sorry, have just re-read and seen that you are, indeed, a PA.

Proves my point. It's inherently misogynist.

The man uses it, because he sees the woman as serving his every need. Just like a wife.

🙄 x a million.

RuggerHug · 19/12/2019 09:02

As long as everyone knows it's a joke. I was introduced at my 'works husbands' wedding to people as his other wife by his actual wife because we were all that close and knew it was just a joke.

AltheaVestr1t · 19/12/2019 09:03

I would assume that a 'work wife' is some sort of EA / PA type, who tends to his every need. This. It’s horribly sexist and patronising.

chillykiwi · 19/12/2019 09:03

I wouldn't lose any sleep over it but I do think it's an unpleasant term if said by the wrong person - friendly, professional vicar who you work well with = tolerable but smarmy, can't keep his hands to himself git - totally intolerable.

Dozer · 19/12/2019 09:05


PapayaCoconut · 19/12/2019 09:05

I think it's got some pretty unpleasant connotations of intimacy and "wifework" but I guess other people might have more positive associations with the term. I don't think it's code for an affair, it's probably more that some people who have such a close colleague of the opposite sex may be at risk of developing an emotional affair. If there's attraction, of course.

Personally I would cringe if anyone who wasn't really attractive referred to themselves as my "work husband", as that would conjur up images of intimacy. Using the term seems to suggest that the people involved are not disgusted by that. But I'm probably over-analysing.

ChardonnaysDistantCousin · 19/12/2019 09:06

I hate that expression. It implies a continuation of wife work at work.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.