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Working With Your Spouse And Surviving The Marriage

Aug 17, 2007
If you do not like your job or the way you are being treated you can resign and find another job with supervisors that treat you in respectable and reasonable ways. But, what if you are also married to the owner?

Or what if you and your spouse both work for the same employer and your spouse is you superior and you do not want to leave your job? What if your spouse, like mine for 40 years is a partner in the business, a major contributor to the businesses success?

Many marriages and businesses are annihilated, although most give up a marriage before giving up the business or position with the business, because there was never clear cut decisions made as to whom is responsible for what and because spouses are not treated as our partner in our business or profession.

Working with your spouse can be the best thing that ever happened to your business, career and your marriage if;
The four key elements are all consistently present and you follow the four rules.

1. The spouses want to work together.
That is right, the spouses must want to work together. I have seen several examples where the spouse, normally the wife had no life plan of working in a business or the type of business her spouse has or is starting.
2. Decisions are made as to who is responsible for what.
I usually find the dominate one in the marriage takes it upon themselves to be responsible for everything. At least everything they like being responsible for. Leaving the spouse the responsibilities for the non glamorous duties.

3. Decisions are made as how success and job completion is measured.
Usually everyone has a different measurement of success and a different level of satisfaction. I have seen marriages fail, followed by the failure of the businesses simply because the married partners failed to agree on how to measure job competence.

4. The spouses must be competent for the responsibilities they undertake.
Many times when a spouse, male or female is brought into the business they are not prepared with the proper skills to handle the job.

1. Divisions of responsibility are kept by both spouses. Actions and decisions may be discussed before and after enactment but are never overridden or changed by the none responsible spouse.

2. Each spouse must communicate respect, appreciation and gratitude for the other's work, just as they do to other employees.

3. The spouse is made aware of decisions and actions of their partner. In short, keep your spouse informed. Tell them what decisions you are making and what actions you are taking to fulfill your responsibilities. Hold regular meetings with your spouse to discuss your actions and the problems and successes of the business. Hold the meetings at your place of business. Separate business time from the marriage time.

4. Never take business problems home. We would be very naive to think two people working together will not talk about the business at home, but I found it much more productive and enjoyable to only talk about the positive business happenings and never try to make business decisions at home.

Practice the four key elements and follow the four rules of working with your spouse and your marriage and business will flourish.
About the Author
Bob Janet uses 40 plus years of face-to-face selling and marketing experiences, combined with his unique fun-entertaining presentation audience involved style to help sellers gain and retain their most profitable customers. See all Bob's sales growth programs at http://www.BobJanet.com
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