Before I jump into today’s column, I have to divulge I listened to my own advice from last month. I met someone online and within two weeks we met for dinner and have gone out a few times since. We are both busy, very busy, so we make plans usually on the weekend but occasionally we will meet one weeknight too. So it can be done, don’t fret!
On to today’s topic: Can you really work with your spouse? Sounds like heaven, right? You love your significant other so why not work together? Well, there are pros and cons and I got expert advice this time from someone who has been working with their significant other for many years.
There are pros and cons to this, much like there are pros and cons to working with your best friend. I worked with my best friend years ago – started a business venture with my best friend – and he and I hit rough patches along the way but eventually we came out the other side and are stronger for it. So if this opportunity arises for you, like anything just weigh the good and the bad and make your decision.
According to my friend, who has been working with her husband for more than 10 years now and have two children, there are a lot of pros to this situation. They are:
- Seeing each other often;
- Business lunch dates;
- Knowing where your money is going;
- Setting your own hours;
- Stealing kisses often;
- You are your own boss many times;
- Knowing where your spouse is the majority of the time;
- Taking the children to appointments, sports, activities, school functions and being home when they are sick;
- And taking days off when you want.
Those all seem great to me. Whether we are moms now or want to be someday don’t we wonder how we are going to work and be a mom – how we can get it all done and be there for our children? I know I do and I am not ready for children yet. And let’s be honest, stealing kisses sounds fun. Who wouldn’t want to kiss their significant other during the workday? I know when I have my stressful moments all I can think about is a kiss and hug from him, and saying “you can do this, babe.” To me, these are definitely ranking high on the “let’s work together” list.
As we know though, to work with your spouse, all good comes with some bad. The cons to working with a spouse are:
- It’s hard to keep business and personal separate – business seeps into every conversation;
- You don’t get personal time between the business and the children;
- When something goes wrong on the business end it is hard to tell your spouse you screwed up;
- You don’t have the chance to miss each other;
- And it’s hard to date or keep things fresh because you spend so much time together.
Well now, this definitely does not sound like fun. Don’t sign me up to work with my significant other some day!
Honestly though, it sounds all too familiar. It sounds like us when we spend so much time with someone we date or are married to, regardless of working together. I often preach that you need girl time and significant other time and sometimes merging the two is OK. An example is meeting your guy for dinner and then both of you meeting the girls for drinks after. That way you get the best of both worlds and no one is upset you spend more time with the other.
Making time for someone else is hard, and when you work and live with that person it is harder to make intimate time – whether a date, TV time, sitting on the patio talking and drinking coffee, or even in the bedroom. We have to make rules and stick by them to accommodate the entire situation. My advice is for you to schedule a date night once a week, once dinner time starts no more work talk until 8 a.m. the next day, if you slip then $5 goes in a jar for something fun, maybe keep separate jars for him and her.
Telling your spouse you screwed up is honestly no worse than telling your boss – but at the end of the day your boss goes to their house and you to yours – so when you come home to the upset boss and you are the reason he is upset. I can definitely see that being hard, but again, there has to be a rule for how to handle it. Maybe once everyone is home you talk about it with each other like they are employees and you are asking for advice on how to handle it, as if you actually had an employee do this who wasn’t your spouse. Many times I ask my friends or family for advice on something that happened at work, so do the same, just role-play so to speak.
Reader’s Digest recently published an article on this and much of what my friend is saying and what I am suggesting are the same. Readers Digest says there are six ways to make it work:
- Separate home and work;
- Always be respectful of one another;
- Find ways to maintain your individuality;
- Maintain separate working spaces;
- Work in different departments (if you work in a large company);
- And marriage comes first.
Apparently I am not far off from Reader’s Digest. Finding ways to be your own person, focus on your marriage, and separating work and personal lives are the key things you need. But, in actuality, they are the key things anyone needs whether dating or married, working together or not.
Is working with my spouse or significant other for me? Who knows? I need one to determine that but whether it is in the cards for me, or not, and whether it may be in the cards for you – remember to weigh the pros and cons and have a plan. Make sure you both are on the same page and make each other priorities over the business.
Until next time my friends, be safe and have fun!
~ xoxox KC
Kristina Chapell is a single gal in her 30s making her way in the world. Passionate, savvy, and stylish; Kristina is a social relationship builder. You can often find her on Facebook and Twitter keeping up with the latest news and always supporting causes she is passionate about such as the Alzheimer’s Association, Link to Libraries and The Businews Channel.