Got a work spouse? Well, you certainly aren't alone. A recent study by Office Pulse finds that 70 percent of business professionals have or have had a workplace spouse, a 5 percent increase from 2010 and a 38 percent hike from 2006.

As you might have guessed, work spouses typically serve as confidantes, giving those that have them sounding boards to complain about the boss, their workloads, or even fellow co-workers. The survey also finds work spouses can make employees more happy, with 68 percent indicating their work spouse contributes to their happiness at work.

But when do they become a threat to a marriage? That's just part of what Annette, Megan and Toniann talk about in the latest Forever 39 podcast (post continues below podcast player):

Not surprisingly, work tops the list as the number one conversation among work spouses, with 81 percent of those surveyed indicating they discuss work. They also discuss other co-workers, social plans, friends, current issues, and their real life spouses, with 41 percent admitting to that being a topic of conversation in the office.

And while most of these relationships stay in the office, a small percentage don't. The survey finds that 17 percent of work spouses get together outside of the office at least once a week.

These relationships, while mostly harmless, can lead to trouble. Seven percent of those surveyed admitted to crossing the line with their work spouse, and 6 percent said they may have crossed the line. Men more than women admitted to crossing the line with their work spouse.

So how can this happen?

A Huffington Post article from 2012 reported about this very subject and found that things can get tricky if the work spouses find themselves attracted to each other, or if those conversations between the involved parties go beyond work.

So how do you know if you have a problem? According to the Huffington Post article, there are a few things to watch out for:

  • You start hiding how much time you spend with your work spouse from your real spouse.
  • You share more information with your work spouse than your real spouse.
  • You complain about your real spouse with your work spouse.

In an article published in the Daily Mail in May, other signs include: your spouse doesn't want you to meet their work spouse, or when you do meet them, the work spouse is cold toward you.

And real life spouses can get jealous of their partner's work spouse. The Office Pulse survey finds that 7 percent of male business professionals admitted their real spouse is jealous of their work spouse. Only 2 percent of women professionals reported the same thing.

Do you have a work spouse? Has the relationship ever gotten too close?

Also from this week's Forever 39 podcast — Coping with Bridezillas. PLUS: Childhood summers in NJ. Click on the podcast player above to hear the entire episode.

Share your thoughts on all of them below, on Twitter, on Facebook or at

— Annette and Megan, Forever 39

Join us for next week’s podcast when we chat about couples sleeping in separate beds, summer chores for kids, and putting age restrictions on smartphones.

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