Penelope Trunk's resent blog posting: What to Consider when Considering a Workplace Hook-up hits close to home. My husband and I were a workplace-hookup.
I'm glad we met and all; we have now been married ten years, but looking back on the situation I see it was a stressful time. Also, I am sure our relationship interfered with my work performance at least initially. I spent an awful lot of time wondering if my new boyfriend was in the office, what he was doing, and who he was talking to. I went out of my way to find reasons to visit his department sometimes carrying around a stack of project files pretending I had questions. From the beginning, we both agreed to be discreet and keep our relationship a secret even if it meant attending the holiday party separately. I worked in accounting and was privy to confidential information including the company’s financial position, payroll and human resources. Even though I took the confidentiality aspect of my position seriously, I am sure senior management would have been more cautious sharing information with me if they had known about our relationship and may even have thought twice about promoting me to manager.
My future husband was a consultant with sales goals he needed to meet and projects he had to manage under budget. After we had been dating a couple of years, I was promoted to Controller. I then had to sit through uncomfortable meetings and had a few awkward moments as my future husband’s performance was reviewed and critiqued in front of me. I left the company a month before we married. After our marriage was made public, my former female co-workers claimed they had been on to us for quite some time; whereas senior management, all of whom were male, had been completely taken by surprise. My husband left the company three years later.
In retrospect I believe we were fortunate our workplace-hookup worked out as well as it did. We had been good friends for a year and a half before we started dating which I am sure made a difference. Also, I have never regretted our decision to be discreet and to keep our relationship a secret.