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Forty-hour work week? SMH. Does that even exist for ambitious millennial women? The answer is no.

Americans are working more than ever these days, spending almost twice the time working as they do with family and spouses. Yes, that does say something about our value system and the level of competition. More importantly, it reveals how much it means to enjoy your colleagues. But, how much is too much “enjoyment?”

Work husband is a term used loosely to describe (hetero and homosexual) male companions within a professional setting. He is often the turn-to guy for lunch dates, networking mixers and venting when you get screwed out of a promotion or hit a hurdle in your marriage. Basically, he is the guy at the office who knows way more about you than he should. Support is a great thing to have, especially because work can be stressful. But, at what point does the level of emotional support cross the line?

The gay work husband is very similar to (and possibly better than) a gay bestie and 100 percent non-threatening. Your husband does not have to worry about the potential for a sexual relationship, because he’s not interested. In the instance of a gay work hubby, your legal husband may even feel a sense of relief. With you having another male companion to chat up, he can stop keeping up with the Kardashians and DVR-ing the Real Housewives of Atlanta.

However, the smart, funny, strapping heterosexual work husband is a different sort of man. Sure, you may just be great friends but isn’t that how great romances begin? If you are at the point where you and others in your office refer to this guy as your work husband, you may be too emotionally invested. While it is not cheating, you want to be careful not to give reason for your real husband to be jealous. Men can be especially sensitive when it comes to their special lady, so try to be considerate. Straight work husbands are office-only. As a married woman, you really shouldn’t be having social, one-on-one lunch and dinner dates with other men. You don’t want to send the wrong message, so it is important to create and maintain barriers.

Women and men make up the workplace. Married people can befriend colleagues of the opposite sex just like everyone else. It is not cheating until it is cheating. Just be sure your real husband knows and approves of your “work husband.”

LaShaun Williams is a lifestyle and relationship advice columnist and blogger. Her work has been featured on popular urban sites, such as The Grio, and she has made appearances on the Tom Joyner Morning Show and Santita Jackson Show. She is also the founder of Politically Unapologetic, where she unabashedly discusses culture, life and love. Follow @itsmelashaun on Twitter or visit her on Facebook.

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