Workplace Infidelity – The Company Christmas Party

It’s the time of year for good cheer, and one aspect of that cheer is the office Christmas party.  Apparently, these parties are quite a popular time for workplace infidelity to occur.

I’m almost certain that the two biggest reasons for this are the presence of alcohol and the absence of the cheater’s spouse at the party.

I had no idea that holiday parties were such a hot bed for infidelity.  But now that I think back on some of the school Christmas parties I’ve attended, there definitely were some flirtatious activities at most of them.  Certainly the rumor mill was flying after each party.

Below are some statistics that were mentioned in a recent Examiner article that may surprise you.

Christmas Party and Workplace Infidelity Statistics

  • In a survey conducted by Men’s Health magazine, 44% of the males said they’d had an affair with a co-worker at a holiday office party at least once in their life.
  • In a survey by Trojan Condoms, 49% of the employees expressed their willingness to “go all the way” with a fellow employee at the Christmas party if the opportunity presented itself.
  • Almost 33% of those in the Trojan survey said they’d previously had sex with a colleague during or after an office Christmas party.
  • A survey conducted by Canon revealed that 1/3 of the workers either kissed a co-worker, or ended-up going home with them after the company Christmas party.
  • 16.4 % of people in the GMTV office party survey said they became intimate with a colleague at the office Christmas party.
  • In a more recent survey, 33% of the males said they were interested in getting more ‘personal’ with their colleagues at the office Christmas party.
  • Almost 25% of the female employees in that same study said their boss has made a pass at them during such events.
  • In Party411.com’s survey, 20% agreed that many extramarital affairs begin at office Christmas parties.
  • 64% of the office workers in the OfficeSMART survey said they personally knew of affairs that started at their office Christmas party.
  • In an online poll conducted by Tickle.com, about 41 percent of employees said they would flirt back if a co-worker hit on them during a holiday party .
  • 1 out of every 4 people in the CareerOne.com.au office romance survey said they hooked up with someone at the office Christmas party.
  • 41% of the 18-30 year old office workers in another study admitted getting together with a co-worker at their annual Christmas party. 13% said they’d actually had sex at the event, but only 6% of them got caught.
  • 1 out of 5 women in the WorldWIT survey became romantically involved with a colleague at an office party.
  • 33% of the above mentioned women admitted to having an affair following their office party fling, and a year or more later, 13% of them were still romantically involved.
  • A London survey found that 1 in 10 respondents started a relationship at the company Christmas party. 25% of those questioned said that’s how they met their future spouse. Read full article here.

 

I think I read somewhere that workplace infidelity is the most common, and since so many affair partners are indeed also co-workers, it is imperative that the betrayed spouse accompany his/her mate to any work holiday parties.

As a betrayed spouse, it can be tough enough to deal with the emotional issues that this time of year brings.  You don’t want to have to sit around worrying about what’s going on at the company Christmas party too. So either you go to the party too or your spouse doesn’t!

 

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26 Responses to Workplace Infidelity – The Company Christmas Party

  1. Notoverit December 19, 2011 at 7:53 am #

    My H has his EA with a co-worker but she got herself fired (for other reasons but it didn’t disappoint me – LOL). Even so, we did not go to his Christmas party. I thought I could. Then it came the date and I just did not want to face all those people who knew about the affair and had said nothing to me (I have known these people for 16-18 years). I understand that they didn’t want to tell on him since he is one of the bosses but it still angers me that no one said a word. If someone had called me, even anonymously, I could have stopped a lot of this mess before it got really rolling. I just didn’t want to deal with it or them.

    As an aside, one of our employees got caught with his co-worker this year. Her husband was at the party, saw them dancing together (way too close and way too familiar). Needless to say fireworks started. I am glad I didn’t go and get to witness this (probably would have been a BIG trigger). Their affair has been going on for months and everyone but the spouse knew. Guess it was good that he went with her. At least it’s out in the open now. So, I agree – if you don’t go with your spouse, then he/she doesn’t go.

  2. ifeelsodumb December 19, 2011 at 3:35 pm #

    My H has never gone to a office party by himself…I’ve never known of an office party where the spouse wasn’t invited…that’s just weird if you ask me…an employee only party? Not happening in this house…EVER!!

  3. Jessica December 19, 2011 at 4:20 pm #

    This rule should apply to all off site company outings. My H attended a summer function without me due to commitments our kids had. This won’t happen again. Either we both go or no one goes.

  4. DJ December 19, 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    Well, here’s one household where it’s employees only at the party. My husband works at a place where Christmas is the busiest time of year, so they have a New Year’s party instead. It is held during business hours at their factory with catered food, so there is no booze but also no family. It has seemed tame enough – no worse than a regular work day.

    My own company party is also held at lunch and family could go, but since it’s lunch, none of them do. A colleague did indeed make a pass at me this year. I almost punched his lights out. He’s never trying that on me again, that’s for sure.

  5. Norwegian woman December 20, 2011 at 6:07 am #

    All the social events at my husbands work is without spouses. Barbeque party, Trips into the blue (they travel somewhere and it is a surprise where) and so on. They haven`t had a christmas party with partners for some years, but the company has now invited them on a week-end-trip to another country on a SPA-hotel. A SPA HOTEL!!!! Without partners!!!! You got to be kidding me!!!!
    I said NO. I feel like a witch denying him that, but i still say NO. After hours of arguments, he finally gave in and told them he couldn`t go.
    I was shocked when I saw the programme for the trip. The one in charge of the trip sent a request to the hotel if it was possible to get alcohol served in the bubble bath when they arrived. It is go-cart and dinners and dance, only interruptet by a two hour meeting about team-building. 40-50 men and women, married and singles. You couldn`t make a better recepy for something to happen!

  6. E December 20, 2011 at 9:18 am #

    Spouses always welcome at the parties, but this point definitely hit home with me. Same applies to out of town work-related trips. I realize for some it cannot be avoided but in my H’s line of work it certainly can. Never happening again. I was certainly capable of going along on that trip – now wish I would have.

  7. mona lisa December 20, 2011 at 4:35 pm #

    I retired from a career in law enforcement and one of the biggest reasons I did retire was due to the raging infidelity that was happening in our agency. My husband and I had so many conversations about affairs and how it made me sick at my stomach to watch what was going on at my job. I had always told him that doing that would be a “deal breaker” for me. We didn’t even go to the parties because when you mixed alcohol and hormones, the result was disgusting.
    Then a year and a half after I retired, my H had an EA. Now I am thinking that I should retire from this JOB too!

  8. DJ December 20, 2011 at 6:49 pm #

    My husband’s company parties may be tame, but he conducted most of his affair from work. And several of his co-workers have actually told me that he is the best looking man in the whole company – including the international offices. Just great.

    I think that the media downplays the devastation caused by an affair. Office affairs are often even winked at. Maybe there should be a public awareness campaign of some kind.

  9. Paula December 20, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

    Well said mona lisa. I’m not sure if I like my JOB anymore, either, lol!

  10. Jessica December 20, 2011 at 7:36 pm #

    DJ
    So true, they even have a name for it work wife/spouse.
    At work people go around saying and acting like a couple and calling each other their spouse.

  11. ClearEyes December 21, 2011 at 9:29 am #

    Spouses are not invited to any of my H’s work “socials” either. Retirement parties, Christmas parties/lunches, etc…most are held during the day, but some are off-site.
    H’s former OW sometimes shows up for the retirement things – even tho she doesn’t work there anymore – she’s in the same building and still has friends in the company.
    I guess I should be glad he tells me when he sees her – and says he doesn’t talk to her. I can only assume he’s telling the truth about that – no way to know, of course.

  12. SamIam December 21, 2011 at 9:46 am #

    Well, it was at the office Christmas party (also known as our D-day!!) that I caught my H in several very intimate moments. Nothing like an up close and personal view of betrayal. His excuse “I didn’t want to be rude to A*****e,” (oh heck yeah~ let’s be rude {gross, crass, mean, and cruel} to your wife!!) I was devastated and humiliated in front of people I had known for years. I still wonder if some of them knew? I think I will always be attending the part with him~ and I will probably hate every minute of it. I am dealing with this the best I can today and it is not very well.

  13. Still struggling December 21, 2011 at 9:07 pm #

    SamIAm I concur. Even though mine wasnt revealed in the same manner.
    My H, his AP and I all worked for the same hospital. He and her worked in same department. He left before the ea started (But they remained “friends” which was kept secret from me as they grew closer ) Anyway she and I worked in different departments but the departments were closely intertwined.
    After Dday I had to go into work humiliated, wondering who all knew and what they must think about me in addition to wondering if my path would cross hers.
    I know the humiliation of spending time with the other people in the office.
    Fortunately for us Dday was catalyst for a change of scenery that was gravely needed. We have moved to a town 1 1/2 hours away from ” home”. Each with new jobs that are much better than where we were. In addition our kids ( there are four) have blossomed in their new surroundings and schools.
    If the affair didn’t happen and was not discovered we probably would have been stuck in the same place.
    We have good days and bad days but his realization has helped me to swallow the pill so to speak.

  14. Still struggling December 21, 2011 at 9:09 pm #

    Oh I forgot to mention that she showed up at his cousin’s wedding 6 days after Dday. The she proceeded to flaunt herself in my face.

  15. JS December 22, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

    My H met the OW at the employee-only Christmas party two years ago. They immediately started an EA that lasted for 10 months and included three D-Days for me. They still both work at the same company. Last year, he insisted he was going to the party because he needs face time with the boss and that I’d need to get over it. He went and we had a huge fight afterwards. I really hoped this year he’d skip it, but no chance. He went to the party where employees spent the afternoon drinking and singing karaoke. I think the worst part is that the way I know he’s going is that he sticks it on his work calendar that I am “free to view any time,” and to him, that’s transparency. I asked if he was going and for weeks he said he didn’t know. The day came and I texted him 15 minutes after the start time of the party asking if he was at work and he said he was at the party. No ownership of or accountability for his decision and no balls to sit me down to tell me he was going and ask what it would take for me to be ok with it. He came home that night the same belligerent a-hole he was the whole time he was with her and, of course, we fought again with him telling me to just get over it, etc. I suggested at one point that night that we just call it quits and divorce, and he said fine. His mother got very sick right afterwards so it’s just the elephant in the room not being discussed now. It boggles my mind why he chooses that party over my wishes knowing how much it hurts me that he goes, but I guess what matters to me hasn’t been much of his priority for a while. I hate these parties. Hate them, hate them, hate them. And I’m beginning to hate this time of year bc I dread this stupid party that is so important to him.

    • Truly Sorry December 23, 2011 at 11:52 am #

      JS,
      I am so sorry you are involved in all of this. “Just get over it!” should not be a response in the human language. It is far too damaging. I am the cheater in my situation and yes it was with a coworker. I will forever have to live with the hurt I have brought on my wife. I had seen/heard so many stories of workplace infidelity in my industry that I am disgusted to now be one of those a-holes. It’s not even that alcohol+coworkers=problems, it’s also that employees should be pressing for their spouses to attend these events. Why can’t spouses go? Really, why? My previous company (with yearly revenues of $4B!) had events within 30min of everyone’s home and still didn’t accept spouses. It’s not the company but the employees that are to blame. My wife just had her company holiday party (on my birthday) and she allowed me to go. At first I didn’t want to go because I thought it would be a trigger for her and also she’d enjoy her work friends better without her a-hole cheating husband. Truthfully I had the best time there. The venue was great, the food was fantastic, her coworkers are hilarious and genuine and I got to see happiness in my wife’s eyes at least for a few hours. Unfortunately any kind of relationship between coworkers of the opposite sex will forever be a trigger for me and I assume my wife too. I understand your ‘elephant’ and hopefully in time your husband does too. Wives are too precious to give up.

  16. SamIam December 23, 2011 at 10:37 am #

    JC~ I hate the parties too! My H would skip them completely but I know this would not be good for his job (as the CEO is the biggest jerk on the whole face of the earth!!) so we are going ~ but with boundaries. Luckily the OW no longer works for this company as she will not be there! woohoo.
    Odd thing though, my H was sending company gift baskets and I just had to ask if he sent one to her~ he said “no” and I know he shouldn’t (because she is not really a client but works at a satellite of the company but she does bring business to his company)~ shouldn’t have felt the need to ask~ I knew better! when will this end. Such odd dynamics.
    I wish you luck, JC. That total transparency thing is so misunderstood by the CS! we had a total transparency blow-up earlier this month. 🙁

  17. JS December 30, 2011 at 6:33 pm #

    Truly Sorry-
    It sounds like you really are truly sorry, and that you understand the pain your wife is in. I think it’s wonderful that you two enjoyed her party together, and I hope for you both that your marriage will get stronger and stronger. Thank you for acknowledging the feelings and the elephant. 🙂 It’s been a tough Christmas in many ways, but 2012 is just around the corner and I’m looking forward to a new year and living a life of happiness and contentment – whatever that looks like. I hope the same for you and your wife.

  18. JS December 30, 2011 at 6:43 pm #

    SamIam –
    I agree with you. Transparency is not simply putting something on a calendar or leaving your iPhone unlocked. It’s proactively communicating with the spouse you betrayed whenever you know trigger events are going to occur. It’s having the balls to say guess what, honey, I’m going to this party and what can I do to make you OK with that decision. I asked him to promise to tell me whenever, if ever, they needed to communicate for work, and he promised he would. Apparently, a reply all 6 months after D Day to 3 person joke (she being one of the 3 in on the joke) doesn’t count, in his mind, nor does an email where he is speaking to her but other co-workers are cc:ed. When I found those in his emails, his reponse was that he didn’t know the work email situation counted. On the reply all joke, he actually deleted it from his inbox, his sent folder and his trash because he knew it would upset me. That’s his definition of transparency?? Delete what pissed off your wife? Please, this man is an attorney. He’s smarter than that, and I’m not as stupid as he’d like to think I am. I only found that email because he failed to delete one of the other reply all responses from his trash. Yeah, I think they understand the transparency needs, they just choose not to meet them. The kicker of it all is that his secretary and the OW are friends, so the secretary pulls him into communication with the OW, even though she knows what happened between them. It’s a tough fight for me when I know she’s not helping matters any and has no respect for our marriage, probably because he sees that he had no respect for it, and his response when I bring that up is to “talk to her if you have a problem with it.” So supportive. I guess I not only hate the company parties, I hate the company!

  19. nessw December 15, 2012 at 8:39 am #

    My husband just went to his Xmas do exactly a year after he started his ea there. His former ea partner was there. I do not think they have started up again but have no assurances since my husband has said he cannot make me promises at the moment. The do is an alcohol-fueled over-night affair with no spouses. I’ll admit that by 3am I was texting him in a very undignified manner. I wish he could make more allowances for my state of mind.

  20. rachel December 15, 2012 at 9:31 am #

    nessw,
    What kind of place does he work for? Alcoholed, overnigt????? And no spouses??? Shame on the ones that went to this party. So Sick!!!

  21. nessw December 15, 2012 at 10:31 am #

    It’s overnight because they all work from home….so they travel to get together. They are great people doing a great job and I’m sure no one but my husband and his erstwhile ea partner have ever done anything but have a lovely time. It’s unfortunate that my husband couldn’t adapt to my sensibilities this year at least. I suspect the woman will not be there next year, but I’m not sure I’ll still be around either.

  22. Surviving December 15, 2012 at 11:06 am #

    Even if you don’t attend the party why can you go with him?

    It’s horrible this company wouldn’t include spouses
    Your husband should have stayed home

  23. nessw December 15, 2012 at 3:30 pm #

    If it wasn’t a week night and therefore work for me in the morning and if we didn’t have children I could have stayed with him. I don’t think many work dos include spouses… Yes I would have liked him to stay at home but then I would have liked him to have done a lot of things differently in the last year.

  24. nessw December 15, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

    They also have a big meeting for the whole day then move into the Christmas meal. He would have to go to the meeting then excuse himself from the party. Of course I wanted him to do this even though it would be awkward. We are not currently at a point where he would do that just because I asked though….so I didn’t ask.

  25. Kim November 19, 2014 at 8:16 am #

    Christmas may not be the happiest time of year if you suspect your partner is cheating on you far from it..Dont just sit back if you do take action and check them out you have the right to know if they are playing around and also the right to be happy too!

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