On the hunt for tips to maintain a healthy marriage? If you own and run your own business, or just work together in the same company, there are some great advantages to being business partners as well as a married couple. Having someone who understands the pressures you are under, sharing the car journey into work, and a partner who can go to the office Christmas party together and understands all the internal politics, is a bonus.
But being in each other’s company all day long and heading back home together, can put a strain on even the strongest partnership. If things have gone well at work, that feeling will continue back at home. It would be different if there are difficult moves and mergers going on with the company. While the support from each other is great, you both need to get some space and downtime. As much as you love your other half, you don’t need to be in each other’s pockets 24/7.
In any business partnership, there needs to be a few agreed rules in order to continue enjoying each other’s company, both at work and at home. When your relationship is healthy as a couple, you will be effective at parenting and loving your kids too. Kids have a better sense of security and love when they see their parents loving each other.
1.Agree on a relationship charter
Set out some reasonable rules when it comes to relationships in the workplace. If you, or your partner have a disagreement with another co-worker, do not get involved. Treat that person with the professional courtesy you would expect if the reverse happened to you, and you worked with a married couple. This goes for any criticism by senior managers for example. If running a business together, make sure that you set the standard for professional behaviour, and present a united front, especially in times when you are both making difficult decisions that will impact your employees.
Keep confidentiality, which is always tricky particularly if married to a senior executive, when you do overhear information that will affect you and your co-workers. This is also the case if you are aware a colleague is trying out for another post but wants to get the job before breaking the news to management, one of whom could be your partner. Be professional in the ways you address each other in the workplace. Terms of endearment belong in your private life, not in the business world. Finally, agree to leave your personal business and quarrels at home, and not air any grievances in the office, what happens at home, stays at home.
2.Give each other space
Physical separation and time away from each other are really important for a healthy marriage. Even if you run a business together or work from home, make sure that you both have your own office or work space. Create the best environment for both of you to work in. This may mean deciding to rent an office space, or build an extension to the home where you can base the business. Both of you need to be able to close the door and get on with some focused work without being interrupted with discussions on what to get the children for dinner tonight. Agree on a work timetable so that you both can concentrate on business matters, and keep the household chores out of that planned time.
3.Circulate with other co workers
Brangelina (Brad and Angelina) may have been a great brand at the beginning (and we all know how that ended up), but keep your own identities and personalities. This is what attracted you to each other in the first place. Ensure that you remember to foster professional relationships with colleagues. Go out to lunch with other people, take coffee breaks with them, as this will also send out a positive signal to others that you both do not do everything together. If you are able to, join in with lunchtime swim clubs for example as an individual, not a couple. Ensure you both do different activities. This form of internal networking will do you both good professionally and as individuals.
4.Plan regular breaks together
Physically and mentally, both of you need to take regular breaks from the business and focus on each other as a married couple. This goes for those with or without children. Family holidays are great and quite rightly the attention is focused on the children, as it is in any family environment, but there are times when you need a mini break from the kids. Close family such as your own parents could be a great source of childcare while you both manage a weekend away. Or broker a deal with your sibling where you could babysit your nieces and nephews one week, and they return the favour when you need to take time off. No matter how you manage your childcare, remember to invest time in each other where any talk of the business is vetoed. You must recharge your batteries for a healthy marriage.
Having worked together for the last 14 years, husband and wife team, Gilbert and Yih Min of Simply Life know the challenges and perks of working together. Starting out together distributing licensed children’s products from international brands like Disney, Mattel and Thomas & Friends, they have grown to produce and manufacture children’s and adult apparel and even homeware. With their own personal experience as business owners and partners in life, they certainly know the importance of investing time in their marriage as well as working effectively as business partners