Woman Stormed Out Of Baby Shower After Learning Her Boyfriend Has A ‘Work Wife’ And Pays For Her Meals

She felt betrayed after learning about their relationship.

woman sitting on couch with back turned to partner during argument Tirachard Kumtanom | Shutterstock

A woman admitted that she was left incredibly distraught after learning about the relationship between her boyfriend and one of his co-workers. 

Posting to the subreddit r/AITAH, she revealed that she felt extremely disrespected and angry after her boyfriend was exposed to having a "work wife."

She stormed out of a baby shower after learning that her boyfriend has a 'work wife' whose meals he pays for.

In the since-deleted Reddit post, she explained that one of her boyfriend's work colleagues was having a baby shower, and she agreed to be his plus one at the event. Everything started smoothly, and the party consisted mainly of three of her boyfriend's co-workers and the colleague's family.


"When my boyfriend went to introduce me to one of the women, his male co-worker jumped in saying, 'That's his work wife!' and they all laughed," she recalled. "My boyfriend didn't really laugh but [did it] coyly with his head down like he knew it wasn't right. I did not laugh at all and looked at both of them."


"AITA for walking out of a baby shower early because I found out that my boyfriend has a "work wife"?"

♬ original sound - BnB1980

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Without getting the hint that she wasn't enjoying this part of the conversation, her boyfriend's male co-worker continued, explaining that everyone knows her boyfriend and this woman are in a "work relationship" and are "practically married." She learned that if one of them misses work, the other one always appears depressed about it and that her boyfriend was even buying the woman lunch.

Her boyfriend's "work wife" tried to interject, smiling at his girlfriend and promising that he was in "good hands" before telling her boyfriend that she thought his girlfriend was beautiful and that he was lucky to have her. 

At this point, the woman didn't quite know what to say but just continued smiling politely because she didn't want to cause a scene or embarrass anyone. However, she ended up whispering to her boyfriend that she would be leaving, and he attempted to make her stay, but she refused.

work wife and work husband smiling at each other rilueda / Canva Pro


"He never mentioned having a 'work wife' to me and I don't like the thought of it at all. I guess people were asking where I went and my boyfriend felt awkward because he had to make up a lie for me leaving early when they could already tell the real reason why I left so abruptly. He wanted me to wait and talk it out later. I knew I was only going to get angrier if I did," she added.

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Most people have admitted to being split on whether or not they believe 'work marriages' are appropriate.

A poll conducted for Newsweek by Redfield & Wilton Strategies found that more than half of millennials disapproved of such relationships in the workplace. In a poll of 1,500 US adults, 57% of millennials, which the study categorized as 25-34-year-olds, said it wouldn't be acceptable to have a work spouse.

Only 18% of those polled in that age group said they thought work marriages were ok, 17% said it depended on the circumstances, and 8% said they didn't know. The study also found that most Gen Zers and boomers were fine with the relationships. Only 39% of Gen Zers and 40% of boomers said having a work partner was not ok.


Two professional business people working together in office StratfordProductions | Shutterstock

Of the total adults polled, 21% said they thought it was ok to have a work spouse, while 45% said the relationship was inappropriate. Despite most work relationships and "marriages" only being platonic and a more elevated way of claiming that your co-worker is your friend, it's still a line that shouldn't be crossed in the first place. Using the terms "work husband" and "work wife" when there's a real-life spouse or significant other in the picture is disrespectful to that relationship.

There's nothing wrong with forming friendships of the opposite sex with people at work, but the lines between professionalism and personal boundaries should be clearly established. For the woman who shared her story on Reddit, she felt both betrayed and rightfully angry at the nature of her boyfriend's relationship.


It would've been different if she'd been introduced to his co-worker as his friend, but insinuating that he has an entirely different relationship outside of her with another woman crossed that line. And it was only made worse by her boyfriend's reaction to the entire debacle, as if he clearly didn't see anything wrong with the situation in the first place.

It's time that we got rid of terms like "work wife" and "work husband" and instead simply refer to colleagues as friends, especially since such terms can blur the lines and cause unnecessary conflict. 

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.