Is It Healthy To Work With Your Partner?
What do you think? Good idea or bad? Allow us to help you figure it out.I had been home with the kids since the past 10 years. Now that they’re older, I decided it was time to do something more with my life. My husband was sick of his job, and was waiting for a reason to quit. When he suggested we open a company together, my first reaction was, “Oh my God! We’ll kill each other. It’s going to be disastrous”. But then, better sense prevailed, and we went ahead with it.
He was the business head for all the financial stuff, and I am a people’s person. We’ve faced a lot of challenges along the way. There are days when I want to just get up and leave, and there are days when we emerge from it all a lot stronger as a couple than we ever were. Maintaining a balance between the professional and personal front can be quite challenging.
Which way do the scales tip:
- Stress – Couples who work together can handle stress much better. They know that they have someone to watch their back when things are tough. It helps that the partner knows what’s happening at work, and is supportive of it.
- Physical proximity – There are some who can manage it beautifully, and some just can’t. I personally need to take a breather every once in a while. I love my husband to bits, but seeing him all day at work, and then being together at home can sometimes be overwhelming. So every once in a few weeks, we do our separate night outs – me with my girlfriends, and him with the guys. You’ve heard the saying, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”, right? Some physical distance is required for any healthy relationship. I think it helps keep us sane and together.
- Boundaries – We decided pretty early in our working relationship that we would try to avoid letting work or family problems spill into the other sphere. It’s worked pretty well for us, actually. We try not to discuss work at home. Obviously, there are days when a particularly tricky client has got us tied in knots, and that’s all that’s discussed at the dinner table, and sometimes, in the bedroom too. But for the sake of our family life and our kids, we try to concentrate on the children and their interests when we come home from work.
- Days off – Since we work together, we can easily plan our holidays and days off. Holidays are planned around work and family events. No conflicts in the schedule then. If I need to go to my son’s school for some work, my husband doesn’t give me a hard time. He knows family comes before everything. I also make sure that I finish my work before I leave, or after I get back. Working with an understanding partner really helps. I have a friend who also works with her husband, but he thinks she uses the kids’ school engagements as an excuse to slack off and meet up with her friends. Crazy, I say! Trust and mutual respect are really important, if a couple has to work together.
- The financial side – Since it’s our company, any fortune or misfortune that comes our way affects both of us. It’s not like one of us will still be bringing home the bacon if the company shuts down. It’s super scary, and has been the cause of many a sleepless night. But we’ve managed to stick it out, and figure how to keep our employees and each other happy.
In my opinion, before you go into business with your life partner, give it a long and serious thought. You will have to handle their mood swings – at home, and at work. You should be secure in your relationship and have a solid foundation, to be able to start working together. If you’ve decided to take that big step, then we wish you the best for your future together.