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Is It OK to Have a 'Work Husband?'

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I don’t know if this is a problem: is it ok that I have what some women call "a work husband?" Basically, this is a guy at work who I know has a crush on me. We have lunch together and hang out after work with other coworkers. Yes, I like the compliments and I flirt back, but I don't plan to take it any further.

Here's how this happened: my husband said he was going to try at get stationed in Hawaii at Schofield Barracks. I didn't really want to be that far away from home, but I said "okay" because I wanted the adventure. Then, he changed what he was saying and got my hopes up by saying he would stay at Fort Bragg. I was more excited because I'm from the Raleigh-Durham area.

All of a sudden he started getting mad at me saying that I was trying to take over his career. Now, please keep in mind, Ms. Vicki, he has only been in the Army for six years. I hardly call that a career. I've been in my career in finance for 10 years and I make quadruple what my husband makes, just saying.

Then, next thing I know, my husband volunteered to go to Korea unaccompanied! I was willing  to take leave from my job to follow him or I know I could have found another position in Hawaii or wherever. I was pretty mad and disappointed. And from the way his timeline looks on his Facebook page, he's pretty turned up in Korea and having a good time.

So is there a problem with me having a work husband? I know my husband has a "work wife."

-- Lonely

Girl, Boo, Bye!

Listen to what you are saying, please. This is a big problem! The number one problem is that neither you nor your husband wants to take the high road. It's this back and forth, tit-for-tat that is causing the problems.

My question to you is: who is going to be mature in this situation, you or your husband? In your defense, if your husband lied to you about going to Korea, he is wrong for that. Taking assignments and PCSing to different places are decisions that should absolutely include you, his wife. I get that.

Now, sometimes he will get assigned to a place where he has no choice, and you shouldn't get upset about that. I understand that this time is different because, according to you, he went behind your back and asked to go to Korea. Now what you're telling me is, you have a new Boo -- a work Boo.

My question to you is why are you playing with fire? You like this guy, you flirt with him and vice versa, and you hang out with him for lunch and after work. What in the hell do you think is happening? You are not crazy. You know you are having an affair, so stop playing with me. You are rationalizing your behavior by saying that "my husband is having fun in Korea."

Okay, so you're right -- he's cheating and you're cheating. So now what?

Perhaps your marriage was over a long time ago, right? Well, keep stringing along this guy and see what happens next. This letter truly gives credence to my findings that many affairs start in the workplace. My advice is to stop hanging out with this guy at lunch and at work. Stop flirting and passing compliments. And stop referring to him as your work husband. Let me know what you decide to do.

-- Ms. Vicki

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Contributor

Ms. Vicki is a native of Dallas, has been the Dear Abby for the military community since her column began in 2005. A licensed therapist and licensed clinical social worker, Ms. Vicki holds a Master of Science in social work and a Master of Arts in clinical psychology.

Ms. Vicki appears regularly on Military.com and in the Fort Campbell Courier. Her column has also appeared in the Washington (D.C.) Times and in the Heidelberg (Germany) Post Herald. She has been featured on CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC.

Looking for advice about your military life? Email Ms. Vicki here. Find Ms. Vicki on Facebook here.  Find Ms. Vicki on Twitter here.

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