How to inform coworkers I am married
March 15, 2011 10:04 AM   Subscribe

Workplace Etiquette Filter: How to inform coworkers I am married?

I am male. I was an intern at an accounting firm in summer 2010, and was extended an offer to come back full time when I graduated. I accepted.

While I was there, I became friends with the regular employees, but didn't mention that I was engaged. I got married a few weeks after I stopped working there. Now that I will be going back to work in a few months (with a wedding ring), I'd like to politely drop a line to my future coworkers, just to say hello. I'd also like to send a similar email to my boss.

Should I mention that I got married in the meantime? Will people think it is weird that I got married without having mentioned it last summer? (I did mention that I had a girlfriend). I plan on being friends with these people, and I'd like to make this part as smooth as possible and to avoid potential awkwardness. The coworkers are mostly my age range, 24-26, male, and single. I am afraid this news will be somewhat alienating for this crowd.

My feeling is that someone might be a little "socially confused" as to why I randomly got married, without having mentioned it to the people who I was eating lunch with every day, and was on good social terms with. Also, the cowokers are very much young and single, and though we got along well last summer, I am nervous about how my status as a married person could change our dynamic. I fear that this would be potentially off-putting, and a bad way to start a new job.

I would like suggestions as to a casual way to inform the coworkers that I am now married. (also, if you think I am totally overblowing this fear of awkwardness, you can say so -- but I'd still like to know how you'd say this to future colleagues)

Keep in mind this will be part of a "I'm almost graduating, senior year is challenging but I'm excited to join the firm" kind of email.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (30 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
also, if you think I am totally overblowing this fear of awkwardness, you can say so

Kinda. I wouldn't mention it at all; they'll see the ring themselves in person. The only way I could see this being a huge problem is if you promised a tryst to any of your single co-workers. I imagine they'll see the ring and say, "Hey, you got married!" and you can say, "I did! I married (wife's name) because she is great!" Then they'll say, "congratulations," and that'll pretty much be that.
posted by Greg Nog at 10:10 AM on March 15, 2011 [32 favorites]


They'll figure it out when they see your ring. If they care, they'll ask and you can tell them about it then.
posted by COD at 10:10 AM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


if you think I am totally overblowing this fear of awkwardness, you can say so

Unless you were sleeping with someone there, I'll be the first to say "overthinking".


I'd still like to know how you'd say this to future colleagues

Friends: "I got hitched!"
Boss: "I got hitched! And so I'd like to know more about partner benefits."
posted by anti social order at 10:12 AM on March 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


I wouldn't worry about it being a problem. When you're catching up with these folks (in person), you shouldn't try to hide anything (obviously) and use phrases like, "my wife and I." Don't put it in an email, that's kind of weird.

My boyfriend works in a young-male dominated field. Among his coworkers, there are just as many who are young and married as there are who are young and mostly seriously paired off as there are who are young and single. It's just not a big deal. You're over-thinking this.
posted by phunniemee at 10:12 AM on March 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


They don't have to know that you were engaged last summer. You could have easily been engaged and married in the time that you were gone.

If you feel like you need to put it out there, just drop a line in your email that says, "by the way, I got married in [Month] [Year]!". Otherwise, it will just come out organically as people notice your wedding ring or as you make plans ("BBQ at my place this weekend" "cool, can I bring my wife?").

Don't worry about whether your colleagues will be bothered about it. Age 24-26 males and females get married all the time. If they're going to feel alienated about that, that's their problem, not yours, and they need to get over it, especially in a working environment.
posted by neushoorn at 10:13 AM on March 15, 2011


Yup, the ring is what informs them. If they care, they'll ask. I doubt anyone will care. I think an email mentioning it would come off as bragging and weird, but that might be just me.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 10:13 AM on March 15, 2011


You're overthinking this: chances are, they just don't care about your personal life that much. I wouldn't even mention it in an email; it's simply not relevant.
posted by halogen at 10:15 AM on March 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


if you think I am totally overblowing this fear of awkwardness, you can say so -- but I'd still like to know how you'd say this to future colleagues.

I think you are totally overblowing this. You don't need to make any sort of announcement--particularly not in your coming back to work email. Frankly, no-one really cares whether or when you got married. When someone says "Hey, how've you been since you've been gone?" or "Do anything interesting since I saw you last?", you mention that you and Jane got married and you tell something fun about the wedding or honeymoon or whatever. Then you say "What's been going on with you?" If you want to bring it up first, you say "Hey, Joe, great to see you again. By the way, Jane & I got married last summer!"

If your "coming back to work" email includes details about human resources stuff--like health insurance--you mention that you're married now and need information about putting your wife on the insurance. Otherwise, it's completely irrelevant until you're having friendly conversations with people at lunch or by the water cooler.
posted by crush-onastick at 10:16 AM on March 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


They knew you had a girlfriend, so this won't be odd at all. Just wear the ring, and you'll be fine. Many people get married without a huge build up of engagement celebration, and I personally don't understand the need for people to share every part of their lives with co-workers (aka Facebook postings about personal problems to relative strangers). No worries, no email.
posted by shinynewnick at 10:18 AM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


You're overthinking this. People probably don't really care, and if they do, the ring will tip them off.
posted by elpea at 10:21 AM on March 15, 2011


Casual way? What's wrong with "my wife," as in, "My wife and I watched Punyo last night. Have you seen it?" or "My wife likes "According To Jim," too. I don't get it."
posted by rhizome at 10:22 AM on March 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Wow, overthinking- if you were close with the people you worked with, send them an "update" email telling them what you did while you were out. This would be really informal and something you would do with friends, not as co-workers.

if you were the party guy who slept with someone at work and are now worried that people will think you are the same way, but don't want to be, leave it alone (I'm guessing this isn't the case, but I'm trying to understand why you would be anxious about this).
posted by TheBones at 10:22 AM on March 15, 2011


I think the problem is this:
...as to why I randomly got married, without having mentioned it to the people who I was eating lunch with every day, and was on good social terms with.
You weren't on good social terms if you weren't able to say "hey, in 3 weeks after my internship ends, I'm getting married."

They were people you ate lunch with. Sounds like you had no additional depth in the friendship if you couldn't mention the wedding then. So what makes you think there's any basis they'd care now ? If you kept it shallow then, might as well keep it shallow now.
posted by k5.user at 10:34 AM on March 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


unless you were more than co-workers (i.e. socialized) with them, it's unnecessarily pointed to announce that you got married. most people really wouldn't care, and i'd be willing to be that the response in their brain would be either, "okaaaaaay…" or "that's nice. now about that brief…"

also, what? I am nervous about how my status as a married person could change our dynamic. honestly, nobody cares, and nobody is going to treat you differently just because you are married.
posted by violetk at 10:55 AM on March 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Learn to keep your personal life and your work life separate by continuing whatever dynamic you had going last summer. It wasn't important to share then, and it is definitely inappropriate to share now.

You are joining a business, a company. You are not joining a family or friendship-based organization. Your personal life is inappropriate conversational material in a business environment. Be friendly but not personal or intimate with your work "friends."
posted by jbenben at 11:28 AM on March 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, the cowokers are very much young and single, and though we got along well last summer, I am nervous about how my status as a married person could change our dynamic. I fear that this would be potentially off-putting, and a bad way to start a new job.

Maybe I'm missing something here, but being obsessed with your own marital status, and how it might impact others, is the first way to be "potentially off-putting". If you weren't close enough to talk about it (as an intern) last summer, I can guarantee nobody will even bat an eyelash about your wedding or marriage. Don't try to drop overly ridiculous statements about "my WIFE" all the time - just be, you know, casual!

Them: "Hello again! How are you? What have you been doing since last year?"
You: "Great, it's good to be back and see you guys again. I've been busy with school and I got married! Looking forward to getting back in the swing of things here."
Them: "Awesome, see you at lunch!"

I mean, are they really going to say something other than that? Unless you're a traditional cloistered monk working at, say, American Apparel HQ, I really cannot imagine any of this mattering one iota.

Be yourself, be the same. If you had lunch with them then, continue if you'd like. If you used to have drinks with them once in a while, do that too!

Maybe the anxiety about going back to the same place is firing up your anxiety in general, but this really seems like you're overstating their interest in your own minor life changes.
posted by barnone at 11:36 AM on March 15, 2011


I wouldn't put it nearly as harshly as jbenben, but I agree that you should just let it come out in conversation, and discuss it if it comes up. Unless you're hoping they pitch in and buy you a wedding gift, wait until somebody mentions it, tell the story and then keep it moving. A big ol announcement will make people feel like they can keep pressing you for updates. Got a house? When you buyin a house? Where at? Thinking about kids? One or two? Names?

If that doesn't bother you, then go ahead and announce it. In general I do think you're overthinking this majorly. But if you're gonna overthink it, at least consider the "update" aspect of telling people your personal business.
posted by cashman at 11:41 AM on March 15, 2011


Being married doesn't change the core of the person you are. You will still be the same person to your coworkers. I guess I think this whole question is strange, unless you were being deceitful regarding your relationship with your girlfriend previously. If you ate lunch with them, and talked about your personal lives, and did not tell them the truth about your girlfriend, then it would be weird. (i.e. if the guys at work were talking about one-night-stands, escapades, etc and you were joining in full force and downplaying the seriousness of your relationship, and then less than a year later you married her.) At my workplace we all talk about our SO's all of the time. If someone was hiding that information, that would be weird. Be open and honest. Be the same person in every situation– then you don't need to worry about covering your tracks or presenting yourself in the right light.
posted by halseyaa at 11:46 AM on March 15, 2011


How to inform coworkers I am married?

You don't; it's OK to keep your private life private.
posted by mhoye at 12:10 PM on March 15, 2011


You can email old friends and say "I'm happy to let you know XYZ Co. has offered me a position starting May 1. I've managed to keep busy since I saw you last August; I finished my degree and I married Janey, making me one lucky guy. I'm looking forward to working with you again." You don't mention the gender of your spouse, but if you're in a state that has legal gay marriage, it should make no difference.

I think you just have jitters about going back; it will be fine.
posted by theora55 at 12:11 PM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Now that I will be going back to work in a few months (with a wedding ring), I'd like to politely drop a line to my future coworkers, just to say hello. I'd also like to send a similar email to my boss.

Why are you even doing this? Is it a custom in that workplace? Because if a summer law clerk emailed everyone in my department to remind us he was hired and was coming back after the bar exam, and catching us up on his life, I (and I venture to say my coworkers) would think it was really weird.

As for the married part, just let the ring do the talking. People are generally more concerned about their own lives anyway. A guy who has worked in my office for 4 years recently showed up one day married. Never told anyone about the engagement or invited anyone to the wedding. You know what, no one cared. And he's a well-liked and well-respected guy.
posted by amro at 12:22 PM on March 15, 2011


You're definitely overthinking this.

When you get back, if someone asks you how your time away was, you say "Well, between classes and my wedding it was a little crazy, but I managed to fit it all in."

Otherwise, if someone asked you what your plans are for the weekend, you say "My wife really wants to see The Kings Speech while it's still in theaters, so we're going to do that."

It's not a "thing" that needs announcing, it's just a part of your life that you remark upon in a casual sort of way the way you remark on other parts of your life.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:38 PM on March 15, 2011


Noone cares. It's work, not Facebook.
posted by WeekendJen at 12:39 PM on March 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Many people get married without a huge build up of engagement celebration

Heh. That would be me. My husband and I got married about two weeks after we decided to do so. I kinda had the advantage on telling my co-workers, because I changed my name and therefore needed to send out an all-staff email to that effect. I got a lot of surprised "Congratulations" and, of course, at least one person wondering in a roundabout way if I was pregnant (I wasn't). And that was pretty much it. So I'm pretty sure that whatever you're bringing in after you haven't seen these folks for months is just going to slide by.
posted by dlugoczaj at 12:41 PM on March 15, 2011


You're overthinking this. People probably don't really care, and if they do, the ring will tip them off.

Very much so. It's not a big thing and in time you saying things like "My wife and I..." will clue in those that missed the ring. But learn from my mistake (my now wife was "my girlfriend" for the better part of a decade before we got married) get in the habit of referring to her as "the wife" and not "the girlfriend" because you'll send some amusingly mixed signals talking about "going out with your girlfriend to dinner last night" while sporting a wedding ring.
posted by quin at 12:45 PM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here is your plate of beans! Seriously, conversation will happen and it will be easy to make it clear that you have gotten married. Congratulations!
posted by deborah at 1:04 PM on March 15, 2011


Your personal life is inappropriate conversational material in a business environment

I think this depends heavily on the industry. Although I'd guess maybe somewhat true in accounting if it's anything like banking (which I have a lot of secondhand knowledge of). But in, say, Silicon Valley tech firms, people are generally very personal at work, and friend/coworker lines are routinely blurred.

Easiest advice there is to follow your coworkers' lead. If they generally talk about their personal lives, girlfriends, wives, etc then it's fine to do so. (You don't have to... but from experience if you're the only one who doesn't it can be isolating, in the same way that oversharing can hurt in more private workplaces).
posted by wildcrdj at 1:06 PM on March 15, 2011


No need for an announcement. If people sent "hey I'm coming back" emails while you were there, you can send one, too. Wear your ring, have her picture on your desk, the first time someone invites you to a bar say "can Sally come too?" And relax.

(Don't mess with them by trying to keep it a secret, and you'll do fine. People are only weirded out if you are obviously messing with them, in my observation.)
posted by SMPA at 2:15 PM on March 15, 2011


I don't think they'll mind. They'll see the ring. Mention your wife in conversation where apt.

This might just be nerves about starting the 'proper' job - relax, you'll be fine.
posted by mleigh at 2:42 PM on March 15, 2011


If an intern returned to my office as a full time employee and one of the first things he or she said to me was "I got married" I'd stare at them blankly while waiting for them to somehow come up with a reason that it was relevant to inform me of this.

Unless I'm trying to actively get in your pants and this is now off limits due to your marriage, I could not care less.
posted by Brian Puccio at 6:39 PM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


« Older Please help a cover-letter ignoramus   |   Graciously Backing Out of an Undergraduate... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.