If you’re a male boss who has fallen hook, line and sinker for your PA or another office worker and are contemplating jettisoning your long-standing marriage to set up home with your “bit of on the side”, I urge you to read the rest of this blog before embarking on a divorce that could rob you of half your wealth, your children and – in the long term – your social and psychological equilibrium.
A study published this week reveals that almost six in ten women have had a secret affair with a colleague. Even having a relationship with your boss, once seen as strictly taboo, is now widely acceptable. Nearly three-quarters of women would consider it, according to the survey on working women and relationships commissioned by the magazine More.
It suggests bars, clubs, dinner parties and internet dating sites are being forsaken by women who face ever-increasing hours in the office.
I can suggest another reason for a certain breed of women – I dub them the “office piranhas” – forsaking bars and the like, and it’s less about enforced longer working hours and more about setting their sights on the type of man they deem “suitable” candidates for their affections (and motherhood dreams).
Single women of a certain age (35+) are starting to panic that their knight in shining armour has passed them by, so they sharpen their razor teeth and sink them into the next best thing – an older, successful businessman with a proven track record in marriage and fatherhood who also happens to have a bulging bank balance. Someone like you, in fact.
Men of a certain age are particularly susceptible to flattery, especially from much younger women, and can all too easily be prised from their long-standing wives and families by an over-attentive, eager secretary. I have sat in front of many powerful, rich and clever men who have been rendered powerless, significantly poorer and looking and feeling pretty stupid because they embarked on what they imagined was a “harmless fling” with their PA or temp along the corridor and ended up in the divorce courts.
The problem doesn’t stop there, either. Even if such men go on to marry their piranha, they often find that the grass is not greener on the other side. A new relationship requires a lot of effort, the age gap means there’s no shared history, second-time-around fatherhood can be exhausting and frustrating and estrangement from children of the first marriage can cause long-lasting anguish. Not only that, when such a man whose attraction was based on power and success is no longer either of those things, it’s likely the piranha will sharpen her razor teeth again – and move on.
So if you are a high-flying executive who is dallying with a colleague, believing that it’s just a bit of fun, my advice is to stop right there. End the liaison now, before it sets in motion a potentially catastrophic chain of events that could result in you losing everything – and everyone – you hold most dear.