Successful 'work spouses' say respect is key to relationship

- Do you have a "work husband" or "work wife?" The "work spouse" is usually a close friendship between coworkers, and it can be very beneficial - as long as both parties keep boundaries in mind. 

FOX 13 talked to one "work husband and wife" who say they've managed to mix business with pleasure without going too far.

To an outsider, Jodi and Topher seem to have a winning chemistry. They play together, joke with each other, compliment each other and get on each other's nerves from time to time. They even have a couple name, #Jopher.

But while their connection is strong, the truth is, Jodi and Topher aren't dating or married. They work together - at a Tampa-based marketing firm, Key Person of Influence.

"When I first met them, I actually thought they were married", said their co-worker, Sarah.

"They don't ask us [why] we're not dating, they ask us how long we've been married," Topher said.

"We do behave like we're married. I mean, we read each other's minds all the time," Jodi added.

They are so close, they consider each other workplace spouses.

"Anytime I'm dating, where I think there's a potential of a relationship, one of the first things out of my mouth on date number one would be, 'You have to meet my work wife, Jodi.' If she doesn't approve, this is going nowhere," Topher said.

There are benefits to these kinds of friendships. But the two people involved have to consider boundaries.

"You can both share with each other about the pros and cons of work. You both can vent to each other. You can be supportive of each other", said psychologist Dr. Stacey Scheckner. "If it's truly a friendship, you would be able to talk to a male or female about it. If it's something that you're just kidding around with a female and it's bordering on being flirty, it's something that you wouldn't do with the same sex. So you need to be very careful about what you're discussing and the timing in which you are discussing it at work."

Topher and Jodi agree.

"There's a line of respect that we never cross into disrespect. I respect her immensely and I think that she respects me as well," Topher said.

They believe their unconventional bond has not only benefited their friendship but their workplace as a whole.

"In business, you're going to have ups and downs, but it doesn't mean you can't have fun when you're in those down spots and I think we do a pretty good job of that," Topher said.

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