Working with Your Spouse - Recipe for Success or Distress?
While I have to agree that working with one's spouse can be an enormous challenge, I believe that it is simultaneously an extremely fulfilling, wholesome, and rewarding experience.
I have often reflected on the irony of how two people who have chosen to dedicate their lives to each other; to love and cherish one another for all time, promptly spend most of their waking time apart. If you cannot maintain a compatible work relationship with your spouse how do you expect to run a healthy and functional marriage?
Marriage requires an enormous amount of active cultivation and effort. More often than not however, couples become complacent and tend to neglect their marital relationship due to the pressures and stresses concomitant with an overwhelming work load. This is compounded in a relationship where both spouses work or actively participate in a full-time career. How often have you found yourself coming home from work and simply vegetating in front of the television or, even more common, how many perfectly functional marriages eventually deteriorate into a resentful breeding ground for petty bickering over who does more household chores and who has a more stressful work day? Sound familiar?
Since time immemorial couples have pulled together creating a functional homogeonous unit that pools resources, strengths and skills in order to most effectively nurture and protect the family. If we are to consider this in a more contemporary light, today's workday is no longer about gathering resources in order to survive but is spent actively striving towards the goals and aspirations one has set for oneself and one's spouse. With this in mind, it makes the most sense to 'partner' up with one's spouse/lifetime partner and work together towards these goals and aspirations. Knowing that you both have the same ultimate 'end product' in mind should allow you both to step up to the hiccups and challenges that are inevitable in any business endeavor with the solidarity of a team. Should there be disagreements, which are undoubtable, managing them in the work environment will consolidate and mirror how arguments and disagreements are dealt with in the home environment.
A working relationship of any kind, whether it be business, marriage, friendship or even familial requires a few key elements in order for it to be a balanced and healthy association. Respect for your partner's ideas, space, priorities, and beliefs (which may often vary from your own) is of vital importance in maintaining both a successful work relationship and a marriage.
One often, without question, affords the courtesies of tolerance, patience and respect to unfamiliar work colleagues; surely the same courtesies can just as easily be extended to one's life partner. If one is able to communicate difference of opinion and discuss important matters objectively, without the fiercely competitive and emotive edge that so often accompanies marital communication, I do not see why an extraordinary work relationship between spouses cannot flourish.Remember that your spouse is not your sibling, treat them accordingly and with love, determination and hard work on your side I simply do not see a better recipe for success.