I am asked all the time, “How do you do it? How do you work with your husband? I could NEVER do it … I would kill him!”
Working with my husband brings a whole different set of dynamics to the table, outside of raising our children and our marriage. It is not always easy. There are many times when I ask myself, “Why am I doing this?” Sometimes I even envision placing a pink slip in his paycheck.
We both have very strong personalities that can (and do) clash at times, but it’s always because we want what is best for our team and our company. It’s then that I realize we are both in it for the greater good, and we are better together, even at work, than apart.
Is it perfect all the time? No. We have had our ups and downs, and it has been a constant learning process. But, the pros have outweighed the cons. We are each other’s biggest cheerleaders and that is HUGE. We know what the other one is going through because we are living it with them, and that can make all the difference.
So, how do I work with my husband?
1. We have separate offices on separate sides of the building. I have my space and he has his.
2. We have our designated areas of specialty. I manage one aspect of the business, and he manages the other, so we try to balance each other out.
3. We took a personality test to understand why we react the way we do. It was very helpful.
4. We have separate emails and cellphones. We respect each other’s privacy and have unwavering trust that the other can manage their responsibilities.
5. We are NOT with each other all day. We actually see each other only about one to two hours each workday, if that. We are both extremely busy, so we don’t have time to get in each other’s way or get sick of seeing one another.
6. We are honest and try to help each other when we see that we have areas that we can make better.
7. We are vocal. We don’t do the silent treatment or let our feelings fester.
8. Someone is designated as the boss, and it is yours truly! The staff knows who is who. It helps with any power struggles.
9. I have boundaries. At a certain time, I turn off work. Then he knows that I am done talking about work and focused on family.
10. We don’t share a car. Although we work at the same office, our days are very different, so we each have our own cars to be able to do what we need to, without the other one feeling trapped or like an inconvenience.
11. We don’t hide anything from each other. Important decisions regarding financials, staff and the business structure are made as a team and with full disclosure.
Tips for Working Together…
• Set responsibilities.
• Set work time boundaries. Know when to turn it off.
• Watch tone in front of employees. It is easy to get too relaxed and start yelling/disagreeing in front of others.
• Be professional with the “lovey” stuff.
• Have each other’s back, even if you don’t always agree. Find a time when you are alone to talk about your issues and work it out privately.
• Do not hide anything from each other.
• Make sure that at the end of the day, you know that your family comes first and that is your No. 1 priority.