Separate work and home can be simple for most people. They go to work, handle stressful situations, manage their frustrations, interact with co-workers, and then leave the stress at the job site. Home is like a venting place; complain to the partner, share daily stories, talk about annoying coworkers, or even use home as place to relax and forget about the job.
People who are married to their business partner have added difficulty in separating work from home. Business talk and personal talk can blend; both occurring at all hours of the day. For many couples, the main question is when does work stop and the relationship start?
The blend in the marriage can have ups and downs. I work with a great deal of couples that co-own or co-operate businesses. The relationships with problems often have a common thread …. an unbalanced relationship. Work can be consuming and in high demand, thus creating no time for the relationship. Couples often report that the relationship sufferers and "finds it's way in … when there is time."
Why do not have your cake and eat it too? You can find a healthy balance where your career and relationship are both successful.
1. Make your relationship a priority. Keeping your relationship and business successful is quite simplistic. Put a time frame on work. Set up a few times when you two are "off the clock." This is the time you will no longer discuss work. Set aside time for the two of you to enjoy one another, to relax and connect. You get to focus on the relationship and it can be a priority.
2. Create strong boundaries. When you are working, find respectful ways to discuss stressful situations. Because you are in a relationship, you may react or respond differently than speaking to a co-worker. Set up boundaries in the relationship. If you are working, make it work. Do not take your partner's stress personal.
3. Talk, Talk, Talk. As a relationship therapist intern, I can not emphasize enough about the importance of communication. Work requires one type of communication, and relationships require another type of communication. Communicate with your partner how you feel and what may bother you. Let him in and teach him what you need.
4. Couples Time. Set up a consistent date time once a week … where work is not allowed to come in to the conversation. No matter how bad you want to talk about work, put it aside until you two are "on the clock."
5. Use your resources. Many couples share their work day with their partner. But you do not have this leisure. He already knows. You can not vent about your co-worker to your partner. Go to a respected friend to talk about your stress and to vent. Or get couples counseling to help you two handle the stress.
6. Watch for Team Work. Notice how you two work as a team and support one another through the day. Provide feedback to your partner and tell him how much you appreciate his hard work. Pay attention to how you two make the business successful.