It's easy to understand the appeal of a workplace affair — after all, you might spend more time with the people you work with than anyone else in your life. But at the same time, the consequences of an affair can be devastating. Recently, people in the BuzzFeed Community who've had affairs at work or caught a partner cheating at work shared their stories, and they were incredibly honest. Here's what they had to say:
1."It was my first job. I was 24. He was 42, and the guy who taught me everything. Literally. We stayed late to finish some 'projects.' And we didn't stop until the rumors started popping up. Ten years later, I still regret not going 100% for him, but I was intimidated by his wife."
2."We fell for each other over a period of around three months. The chemistry was unreal, embarrassingly so when we were in a group at work. We kissed one night after work, and our feelings just exploded from there."
"We left our partners soon after. It was a horrendous period of time, but there was no mistaking that we were supposed to be together. We could not have lived the rest of our lives wondering what could have been.
We now have a baby and a house. I know he is my person for life, and I have no regrets, but obviously I would have wanted to meet him under much different circumstances."
3."When I was a senior in high school, I used to fool around with one of my team leads. And then in college I used to have sex with both of the assistant managers at the mechanic shop I worked at. Not sure why; I just wanted to. I think it was also because my boyfriend at the time was not only cheating on me and made me feel VERY undesirable."
"He used to even tell me I wasn't pretty enough and that's why he cheated and that no one else would want to be with me. So I think another big reason I did it was because I wanted to prove him wrong.
The assistant managers were older, cuter, and were doing way better than him, so it was also to kind of prove to myself that what he was saying wasn't true. Frankly, I don't regret it, and I'm pretty sure if I had to go back, I would do it again.
And yes, they all had 'girlfriends.' I'm using quotation marks because they never quite claimed they had a girlfriend; however, looking back with a clear head, yes, they did have girlfriends."
4."I met him on a night out, and we had instant chemistry. The friend I was out with said he was a senior manager at our work, but I’d never even seen him before. We ended up kissing that night, and it was electric. I regret to admit that we were both already in relationships. That week at work, I got an email from him, and we arranged to meet for lunch."
"Lunch turned into exchanging numbers, and then we began texting, then sexting. I got such a buzz knowing he was in important meetings texting me. Pretty soon, we planned an afternoon out and took time out of work to be together.
After a few of these meetups, we extended it to overnight and had mind-blowing sex. All the while, we pretended nothing was going on while we were at work.
One weekend as I was heading over to meet up with him, I got a text that his girlfriend had found out and he had to cancel. It all stopped soon after that. I then left my job and cut all ties.
About a year later, I got a text out of the blue, and we rekindled things for a while. He was single at that time, but we kind of just fizzled out. I saw recently that he’s now married, funnily enough to someone else from our mutual workplace."
5."Long story short, we were both married and had an office affair for a year. We had decided to break up with our significant others so we could be together. I even bought him a car so he could make it to work on time. A little before my divorce became final, he brought my replacement to work with us."
"He denied it tooth and nail, but not only did I notice; EVERYONE we worked with did too. I had to see them every day, pretending like nothing was going on. Of course, we broke up.But wait! There's more. I got divorced, ended up alone with a lot of debt, and lost a job promotion to him. He still lived with his wife, who I later found out he never left and has yet another girlfriend — and his new girlfriend is now driving that brand-new car that I bought for him!! Talk about karma... I had it coming."
6."I worked with a guy, and we had an immediate connection. When I first saw him, I remember I thought about him the whole day and wondered where in the building he worked, even though we literally just said hi in passing. I later learned that he, too, thought about me all day, and he felt like he knew me when we’d never met. We were both married."
"About a year and a half after working together, I got divorced. It took about two months after that when we were texting about work, he said he’d love to talk in person. I dropped my phone because I was so stunned. We had never crossed a line, but I was SO excited. I was in love with him already.
We hooked up that night and basically never left each other’s side again (his wife lived a couple hours away). We have been together for two years now, and we are ridiculously happy. That stupid movie love that I always thought was fake. We are best friends.
I took a job somewhere else to make things less complicated. His wife found out. It wasn’t pretty. I felt bad at the time, but honestly — we were meant to be together, so what can you do?"
7."I am a nurse, and I work in a state hospital. When Charles (not his real name), a fellow nurse, started on my unit, I was immediately taken in by his wit, good looks, and charm. I was married to a man who preferred to play video games over giving me any attention. I found myself laughing and giggling more when I worked with Charles. He would flirt with me, and I would flirt with him back, knowing I would never do anything."
"About a week after he started, I was on a break in the break room, and Charles came in to use the microwave before he headed out (he always spent his break in his car). We got to talking, but this time we were very close. I leaned in, and I kissed him on the lips. He was taken aback, but then picked my up and sat me on the sink and we made out.
Every day, we would take our lunch breaks together and then find somewhere to be together, sometimes in a secluded area, sometimes at a motel, sometimes in my car. I knew I was cheating, but I didn't care.
Come to find out, he was married as well, and his wife found out after finding the photos I would send him. He ended the affair immediately, and I was heartbroken.
He doesn't talk to me anymore, and I have since moved units because seeing him every day was torture. I tell myself that I have moved on, but honestly if he ever called me again, I will answer and hope we do it again. I don't regret anything. And my husband continues to play video games."
8."I was an intern at a company, and he was one of my supervisors. I was 26 at the time, and he was close to his 40s. He always treated me nicely, and over time he started making really sweet gestures toward me. I knew he was married and had kids, so at first I kind of avoided it. But over time, it became nearly impossible to not fall for him."
"We ended up dating and have been together for about two years now. He told me he was leaving his wife, and that that was a decision they made a long time ago but hasn’t gotten done because of his kids.
I believed him even though I knew maybe I shouldn’t. I don’t want to sound selfish, but all I want is for him to get that done, and I feel horrible for thinking that way."
—Anna, Los Angeles
9."I've worked in the film and TV industry for nearly 10 years. Since we work long hours, I've seen many relationships either crumble under the pressure or fail to launch. A few years ago, I was working on a show and it was all night shoots for nearly six months (meaning we shot from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.). During the first few weeks, I noticed that one of the hair and makeup crew members was getting cozy with one of the members of the art team."
"I initially thought they were both single, and I thought, More power to them! They'd be cuddling in the glam trailer, sneaking off during lunch, and arriving to and from set together so everybody thought it was just another show-mance.
It was not until our wrap party when they both showed up with their significant others that everybody felt SUPER awkward. They avoided each other all night, and it was super surreal.
The guy had a wife and two kids, and the girl had a long-term boyfriend. Not sure if anybody let their partners know, but I've always felt so bad that we all knew."
—Anonymous, Los Angeles
10."I started working for a big company and met D (a thirtysomething married man) on the first day. We got along really well from the get go. He would check in on me and make sure I was learning new skills and making sure everything was going well outside of work. I was a lot younger (a 22-year-old female in a male-dominated workforce). After a while, we started talking on social media and would go out for lunches together."
"Then after a drunken a kiss on a team night out, it all escalated from there. I would get messages how he needed to be with me and wanted nothing more than to be with me. I put a stop to this, as it all got a bit much.
Then two years later, we started talking again and decided to take things more seriously this time. He would take time off work to spend the day with me and leave home early to stop by on his way to work. He would also spend work from home days at place so his wife would think he was at work when he was actually spending the day with me.
When his wife would go to work, I would drive over and spend time with him. He would make phone calls to me while she put the kids to bed just so I knew ‘he loved me.’ Now it’s over for some unknown reason, and I still have to work with him. It sucks, and I am looking for a new job."
11."I had been with my partner for a little less than a year, things were good but not great, and I started a new job. My training started, and on the first day we introduced ourselves and did some ice breakers — ya' know normal stuff. However there was this guy; he was so beautiful, and I still don't know why, but I caught his eye too. So fast-forward a few days and we've become completely distracted by one another, to the point that other people were noticing."
"I was so confused because I loved my partner dearly, but I felt like I'd suddenly found the other half of my soul. We were finishing each others' sentences. We switched shifts to see more of each other. We took our lunches together, sat as close as possible in meetings, and we did anything to steal a little extra time together.
We made plans to try to figure out if it was more than just this crazy attraction and to see if we actually had interest in one another, but then I found out I was pregnant. We still talked all the time. He bought me lunch every time I craved something spicy, and told me I looked nice all the way up to the point that I went on maternity leave.
When I returned from leave, he had left the company. He texted me shortly after and said he hated being there without me but knew that seeing me come back would probably be even harder. I think about him from time to time, and occasionally I feel like he may have been my soulmate, but that would have been too easy and made too much sense."
12."I had an affair with an older coworker. I was in an abusive and toxic marriage, and he was stuck in a dead bedroom marriage. I was 26, and he was 42. It started with some innocent flirting, and I didn't think anything of it. He would park his car next to mine, and we'd walk in together and chat. He would tell me how nice I looked and ask how I was doing and feeling."
"My spouse at the time was very inattentive, wouldn't show me any kind of kindness unless he wanted sex (which never ended well), and would berate me regularly. He didn't have a job, refused to even look for one, and wouldn't do anything at home.One day, this man asks me if I'd like to get lunch with him. I said yes, and we went to lunch that day. I found out he was in a dead bedroom marriage and he couldn't afford to get a divorce. He and his wife hadn't had sex in almost a year, and it wasn't from his lack of trying or personal hygiene or anything. He admitted that he thought I was incredibly attractive and he loved talking with me and that his interest was more sexual in nature.
He made it clear it was a friends with benefits situation and nothing more. At the time I had been heavily considering divorce, and to be honest, I didn't think twice. We exchanged Snapchat info, and it went from there. We hooked up a lot. He traveled a lot for his job, and I told my ex that I was his PA so I had to go to some of his meetings. We spent lunches together, hid in back rooms of the warehouse where we worked, and I would make excuses to go by his office just to tease him.He made me feel loved and beautiful. He made me feel like I mattered and my feelings mattered. It made me see that there was nothing wrong with me and I could be wanted by someone else and I wasn't the awful person my ex had convinced me that I was.
I ended up filing for divorce soon after the affair started. I wouldn't probably do it again. I am in a happy marriage now with another man, and I can't imagine cheating. I'm happy that I cheated at that point in my life, though. It got me out of a toxic and abusive marriage.
I do feel bad for the man I had an affair with, because in the end I believe he started developing real feelings for me, and he would tell me he wasn't sure when he could afford to divorce, but he promised he would. I was committed to the FWB situation and tried hard not to develop feelings.
I ended the affair because I couldn't deal with the secrecy and the unsure nature of anything with it. But I will always be grateful for that man."
13."We worked at a popular fast-food place together. He's married, and I was single. Since he was a manager and I was crew (and also worked opposite schedules), we'd never had much interaction. Once I was promoted to manager and started working the same shift as him, that's when things started to blossom."
"When we started working the same shifts, I noticed that he would look at me more than anyone else. I'd follow him like a puppy — asking all these questions about why we did things a certain way and how different machines worked.
Then I started to get to know him on a personal level. I knew he was married, so that was a great ice breaker for me. Eventually, we started texting each other outside of work.
It was PG up until Christmas time when we had a holiday dinner for the managers. It was my first time ever going to something like this so I asked him what he was going to wear to get an idea of how to dress. He had jokingly said clothes because no one would want to see him in his birthday suit. I (not jokingly) said back, 'I wouldn't mind seeing you in your birthday suit.'
For the next week until the dinner, we would flirt back and forth, at work and through text. His wife worked nights and happened to be working the night of the dinner. So we decided to go back to his place afterward and get to know each other a little better.
It was a bit awkward at first. It felt so natural being with him though, like we were meant to be this whole time. We eventually started carrying on a romantic relationship. When his wife was working and both of us didn't have to work nights at our job, we'd go on dates: out to dinner, go for drives, go to each other's houses, and have sex. It was amazing.
But like all fantasies, we both had to come back to reality. We still talk and are still very much in love with each other. He's still married to the same woman, and I'm now engaged with two kids of my own."
14."I started working with this amazing guy while I was separated from my husband. He was married and, although the relationship was rocky at best, he was a dedicated husband. We just instantly clicked. We were friends for the year that we worked together, flirting but never crossing a physical line. We both acknowledged the chemistry and our immediate bond but kept a respectful distance because of his marriage. Looking back, it was probably an emotional affair at that point."
"We told each other everything and were extremely close. The job ended, and we went our separate ways. I reconciled with my husband for a time, enduring marriage counseling and focusing intently on our church life. We kept in touch but it was scarce contact, both of us focused on trying to save our respective marriages.
A while later, he heard I was job hunting and let me know that there was a position open at a new place that he thought I’d be perfect for. It was right up my alley, and I took it immediately. It put us working closely together again.
His marriage was failing, and so was mine. I was in the process of trying to extricate myself from a violent marriage, all the while knowing that leaving is the most dangerous time for a battered spouse. He began actively pursuing me almost as soon as he separated from his wife.
He was considerably older than I was, but I didn’t care at all. He treated me with such care and respect and love. I was a shadow of the women I once was after more than a decade of family violence in my marriage. I had lost all of my confidence, and he began to build it up by being patient and kind.
I was still married and still living with my husband, but I was fully engulfed in the affair. We argued about how I could leave my marriage from opposite sides of the room, him sitting in a corner trying to make his huge frame small and non-threatening while I paced. I couldn’t even be close to him when we argued because I’d get scared and freak out. We had years of trauma to work through.
Meanwhile, I left my marriage and began the tortuous work of legally extricating myself and my kids from a dangerous situation. I moved in to an awful apartment away from my husband, and we formally separated. There were threats and assaults and even an attempted murder. My husband made up ridiculous stories and used the police and child protective services to stalk and harass me.
Eventually I moved in with the man from work and got custody of my kids. He was amazing from the very start. The kids had a lot to unlearn. The oldest had a habit of getting in the middle when her younger siblings were in trouble, an almost unconscious need to protect them from the man in the house. Eventually they learned he would never hurt them and began to build relationships with him and trust him.
We’ve been married for years now, and the affair was the best thing I ever did for myself and for my kids. He’s an amazing dad and the kind of husband I couldn’t have even imagined a decade ago. I have regrets, but none about the affair that led to our eventual marriage."
15."I, a 22-year-old man, cheated on my girlfriend of four years with my (married!) manager, a 39-year-old man. My girlfriend at the time was chronically unemployed and suffering from severe depression. I was the sole breadwinner, and I was also going through a lot because I was going through the early stages of hormone replacement therapy, and was not out as trans to my family."
"I had moved in with my girlfriend about 3,000 miles away from my home and didn't know anybody in the area. Our relationship got really tense because I didn't have the energy to clean up the house while she was home all day, and she would impulsively spend the money I earned.On top of all of that, I was really needing physical intimacy and affirmation, because I felt a ton of pressure to provide for us and didn't have anyone else to rely on. She had absolutely no drive at the time, and I expressed to her that I needed intimacy in this time and that if she was unable to provide that, then I would likely be seeking that from someone else.The guy I worked with had never experimented with a guy before, but was interested in me. He always supported me at work, let me take home some of our products, and helped me navigate adult things like insurance and taxes. He had trouble in his own relationship but didn't tell me too much about that.
When he and I made a delivery together, he admitted to me that he was attracted to me and was interested in a sexual relationship, but I told him at the time that I would never physically act on that so long as I was in a relationship with my girlfriend.I had a conversation with my girlfriend about it, and asked her how she felt about mutual flirtation. She asked me to not do anything 'cheaty.' When I asked her what that meant to her, she did not elaborate.She found out we were texting sexually back and forth one day when I was sick with a stomach flu. I had left the texts available for her because, in my mind, I was meeting her expectations and had nothing to hide, but she broke up with me and gave me until the end of the month to move out on the spot.At that point, I had no problem sleeping with my manager. We only met once or twice and never had intercourse, but I ended up feeling uncomfortable being the other man once I started to gain back my self-esteem and confidence after my breakup. I got a new job and shortly cut off contact. No idea how either of them are doing now, but I'm in a loving and honest partnership with another man now."
16."My ex-husband and I were together for five years and married for one and a half years. He got a job at a hotel in another town with his brother-in-law doing maintenance. He got me a job there every other weekend in housekeeping. All of the housekeepers were female. Two of them made me suspicious, but I shook it off as jealousy."
"About a year into being married, we started having some serious problems. Around Christmas of that year, I started putting pieces together.
He would say he was with other friends when he wasn't — he was spending the night at the hotel. He would pick fights with me when I would travel for work so he wouldn't have to speak to me while I was gone. He was text messaging constantly but wasn't transparent about who he was talking to.
I figured it all out on his birthday. He got a Snapchat from her and said it was his brother-in-law. When he was in the shower, I checked their messages. The thread was empty except for a selfie of her in bed and a message that said, 'Happy birthday baby! I can't wait to see you and spend today together. I love you!'
I confronted him, and he admitted it all. So did she. He left me for her that day. Everyone at the hotel knew and was covering for them. It was humiliating. But karma's a bitch. He emailed me this past summer trying to bait me back, saying she had cheated on him and left. Guess he couldn't see that coming, huh?"
—Cindy, North Carolina
17."My fiancé bought a catering company, and we moved out of state for him to run it. He started talking a lot about a wedding planner that they worked with. Like, a lot. This girl was coming up in conversation constantly, and he kept trying to come up with reasons to see her, like, 'Our dog wants to play with her dogs' (?!)."
"I finally started to ask why she was coming up so much and expressed some discomfort with their relationship, and he broke up with me (two weeks after we moved). Immediately afterward, I got confirmation that he had been cheating on me with her.
I had uprooted my life and moved to another state for him, and he was fucking someone else all along. Now I see it as a big bullet dodged. I think he would have cheated on me at some point no matter what, so I'm just glad he did it before we were married!"
18."I knew him from my hometown so we kind of grew up together. We ended up in the same town as adults. We were good friends for a while but lost touch shortly after he started dating his now-wife. I got a job doing IT support for the company he worked for, and we reconnected over Skype. When he told me he was getting married, I was really happy for him. Then his Skype messages started getting really flirty."
"I knew it was because he was scared of getting married. Things intensified over text and became sexual. We both agonized over making things physical because we really valued our friendship.
We started having sex a couple of months after he was married. The guilt was horrible, but yet I couldn't stop. I created a dummy Facebook account and tried to tell his wife, but he somehow managed to explain it away. We stopped for a little while but eventually started up again.
This went on for almost two years. Then he told me his wife was pregnant. He still wanted to sleep with me up until the baby was born, but it just made me sick. I hated myself for not being able to say no to him. Him giving me an STD is finally what did it. I know I deserved it.
I tried sending his wife an anonymous letter. I don't know if she ever got it. I haven't spoken to him since the day I got the test results. I have a hard time coming to terms with how horrible a person I was for doing this, how easy it was for me to get sucked into it.
I think, in a sick way, part of me was flattered that he was so into me it was worth risking his marriage. But I know it wasn't about me as much as his own insecurities. I've had a lot of counseling, and these days I stay far, far away from married men, even those in open relationships. I'd never put myself through that again."
19."My first boyfriend and I both worked at a local movie theater chain but at different locations. I was a manager at my location, and he was a regular employee at his. I knew that he had previously (I thought) had a huge crush on one of his coworkers, but she had turned him down because she was dating someone else."
"Fast-forward a few months, I ended up transferring to his theater and found out that he had been cheating on me with her for a few weeks. Pretty much everyone knew about it, including that they would have sex in the parking lot while he was waiting for me to get off work.
He broke up with me once I found out, and it was by far the messiest breakup I have ever had. He laid on the floor of my room in the fetal position with snot running down his face because he 'felt so guilty' about cheating on me. I eventually just told him to leave.
I had to work with them both for another three months, and their PDA was legendary at the theater. They dated for about a year before he found out she was cheating on him with three other guys, and he was so heartbroken he left the state."
20."I went on vacation with our kids for spring break, but my husband couldn't get the time off. When I returned from vacation, I went through his Apple Watch to find he was texting a coworker (when he was her manager) about how they planned to hook up the past weekend, that I was gone, and how he loved the thrill of sneaking around."
"She texted him asking if I was home yet from the trip and telling him she missed his body. Now I'm filing for divorce. We have two kids, and I'm seven months pregnant with our daughter.
It disgusts me that I would see her when I took the kids to visit dad at work and they had this secret. He would stay late at work, but I thought I could trust him 'cause we shared our locations."
21.And finally, "I was 'the other woman' for over a year. After a work trip together, I got really close with my coworker, who I knew was engaged. I wasn't proud of it, but I didn't feel that the decision to cheat was mine — I was single. I wasn't the one who had to go home to someone else and look them in the eye. Our relationship was never innocent. It went from zeo to 100 really quickly."
"We made out at a bus stop the day we got back from our trip. We then began texting non-stop, having lunch together every day at work (while pretending we weren't and trying to fool our suspicious co-workers). We'd go on dates once or twice a week after work, where we'd have dinner or drinks and hook up later back at my place.
I never expected it to get as serious as it became, and I think that really is the danger with having an affair. We fell in love. He was absolutely besotted with me, and we would share things with each other that we never shared with anyone else.
One day, we were having a drink at a hotel, and his fiancé messaged him asking if he was having an affair, because he is out so many nights a week when he used to not even be out on one. I watched him type, 'How could you even ask me that? Of course I'm not. You're crazy!' That should have been the warning sign for me.
He convinced me he was going to leave his partner, and I believed him, but it just never came to fruition. He was too scared to leave her. It all came to a head when I had to move overseas after about a year. We promised each other we'd do long distance until I could return, but of course this didn't happen. He broke up with me a few weeks later, although we kept in touch for another couple of years.
He married his now-wife only last year, and she has no idea to this day that he was in an emotional and physical affair with another woman for so long. I don't often think about it anymore, but when I do, I feel guilty about it. It opened my eyes to how people can lie, cheat, and get away with it. What's worse is that I don't even think he felt bad about it."
Have you ever been part of a workplace affair? Share your stories in the comments.
Note: Responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.