No matter how it ends - with the discovery of a wife he hadn’t mentioned, the realization that the relationship just wasn’t going anywhere, the subject of bitchy office gossip, amicably, or with bitter words and cold glares – continuing to work together after the end of your office affair is hard. This is our guide to ending the affair without nuclear results.
Easier said than done, remaining civil after a relationship comes to an end, even if you’ve parted on good terms, is hard for even the most saintly among us. We recommend doing your best to stay away from your ex-paramour if at all possible, being polite and friendly if you do need to speak. Most important of all is to always be professional – especially if your ex is your boss or a close colleague; is your career really worth that stinging one liner you’re dying to deliver?
The average office is a hotbed of gossip and intrigue and it’s a fair assumption that no matter how secretive you think you’ve been about your office fling, your colleagues have their suspicions. Don’t add fuel to the fire now by confiding in the sympathetic receptionist or that quiet guy in IT and under no circumstances start giving out those titbits gleaned during post coital pillow talk – giving out your one time lover’s vital stats might be funny at the time but in the long term you’ll be the one that’s branded the bad guy.
Some men, stung by being kicked to the curb, will go on the defensive without a second thought. No matter how your relationship developed and then died there is no excuse for harassment, so if his hurt comments, inappropriate teasing or tendency towards TMI gets you down, we recommend keeping a diary of all those jokes and gestures and holding on to nasty or suggestive emails. Likewise if your ex starts to overlook you for promotions, undermine you in meetings or take credit for your work, you’ve got just the same legal rights as you had before you got naked. Keep this in mind.
After a relationship ends most of us forget pretty quickly that our ex is still the same person he was before, that he hasn’t suddenly grown devils horns and cloven hooves. If you’re finding it hard to work with him now make the effort to connect with the heart you won in the first place again. We’re not saying you should go back to flirting or storeroom sex but be honest with him about how you feel, ask for his support and take the opportunity to discuss how the two of you can make working together work.