Working with your spouse: The perfect person to spend your day with or an unnecessary power struggle? Whether you’re starting up as an entrepreneurial couple or simply work for the same company, mixing business with your love life has some interesting challenges that not all couples are prepared for when they begin working side by side.
Happy couples have differing ideas about how healthy it is to spend all day, every day together. Some love the idea of working with their spouse, while others would prefer having personal space throughout the day.
Is it truly in the best interest of your marriage to mix work with pleasure? Here are 8 pros and cons of working with your spouse.
Pro: Spending Time Together
When you work together, you will be spending a lot of time together – a lot! With the right work ethic, being partners in business with your spouse can be an amazing way to spend quality time together. After all, who better to make big decisions with than the person who knows you best?
When you know someone as well as you know your partner, you can read their body language and have a deep understanding of their strengths, emotions, and opinions. You aren’t afraid to voice your thoughts to one another because you’ve already learned to tackle hard or uncomfortable conversations in your marriage.
Great communication can help you and your spouse work more efficiently and get more accomplished in a work day than those who don’t share a marital bed.
Con: Power Struggles
If a power struggle ensues it can damage your relationship. It can be stressful to try and work together professionally, especially if one of you is in a position of authority over the other. Jealousy may also arise if one spouse is promoted, or receives special treatment, over the other spouse. This can bring an uncomfortable dynamic into the marriage.
Pro: You Share Goals
Working together gives couples the unique opportunity to share career goals and help one another reach them. This allows married couples to show an understanding attitude if one spouse must stay late to support the business because their goals are yours as well.
Couples who do not work at the same job also show their support for their partner’s career goals, but it becomes more personal when partners are working towards them together.
Con: Bringing the Stress Home
When business is good you and your partner bring an excited, happy energy into your marriage. When business is bad, stressful, or overwhelming, you bring that home as well. This can cause you and your mate to lash out at one another and bring unnecessary anxiety into your relationship.
Solid marriage advice suggests that no matter what is going on in your professional life: leave work at work. Do not bring your work stress and anxiety home. Doing so can put a dangerous strain on your marriage.
Pro: Same Days Off and On
One of the greatest parts of working with your spouse is that oftentimes you’ll share the same schedule. Commuting is also a breeze when you’re on the clock together. Not only does this make it easy to commute to and from work, it also makes it easier to plan downtime together or schedule a weekend getaway.
Working together also means that you’ll be able to share the same lunch break. Many couples use this, and their daily ride to and from work as a chance to bond over things that are unrelated to work, such as family, friends, and other hobbies.
Con: Potential for Financial Risks
When couples work at different jobs it provides a certain level of job security. If one partner is laid off, the other still has the opportunity to support the family financially. But when you and your partner are working the same job, especially if it is in an entrepreneurial pursuit, it can put your family in financial risk.
Couples may still struggle financially if they put all of their entrepreneurial career “eggs” in the same basket. This can put financial stress on your marriage, even if your business is doing well.
Many entrepreneur couples put all of their money into growing their business and may not see a profit for several years, whereas if one partner had a different job, they would be able to see the family through times of low profitability.
Pro: You Celebrate Your Successes as a Couple
Good marriage advice suggests that couples are happier when they are able to celebrate their successes together.
Sure, married couples who do not work together will still congratulate their partners when they achieve a goal. They’ll still be proud of them. But when you work together, success for the business means success for both of you.
Facing the same trials and building the same goals while working with your spouse means you get to celebrate your mate’s work successes, such as a promotion or landing a big client, as though they are your own. And in many ways, they are.
Con: Spending too much Time Together
Quantity time does not equal quality time, especially not in a marriage. Some couples are not cut out for working together every day. Seeing one another day in and day out can also make you feel like you don’t have any time for yourself.
Many couples require some measure of personal space to feel satisfied in their relationship. It can also create a sense of “boredom”, since there is little change in your daily schedules.
From spending too much time together to celebrating your success as a couple, there are plenty of pros and cons about working with your spouse. Communication is important to make sure your work life doesn’t step on your married life. Check in regularly about your wants and needs both professionally and romantically to help keep your marriage strong.
Sylvia Smith is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. Her mission is to provide inspiration, support and empowerment to everyone on their journey to a great marriage. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy happy marriages.