The recession forced many married couples out of their previous jobs and into think-mode, with many of them abandoning solo ventures and going into business together. In a recent Wall Street Journal article, author Sue Shellenbarger talked to several wife-husband teams to determine what works and what doesn’t when your spouse is also your co-worker.
Draw firm boundaries. Look at your spouse as your business partner during the work week, and your spouse after work.
Know your roles. Clearly define the roles each of you take in the business. Otherwise, your management styles will clash.
Divide and conquer. If you’re working long hours, there’s no reason for both of you to work 15-hour days. Split up the time.
Recognize your strengths and weaknesses. If you know what areas both of you are weaker in, then you can work to compensate rather than fight about it.
Know when to stop arguing. If you’re both arguing constantly, the business isn’t going to prosper, and neither is your relationship. Step back and remember what’s important.
Take trips. Try to get out of the house on the weekends. If you’re somewhere fun with your partner, you’re less likely to worry (and talk) about the job.
Don’t bring business home. Have a designated area, either in your home office or in your place of business, to talk about work matters. And leave them there — no talking about work at home.
Lighten up. Remember that you got married before you started a business, and that no venture is worth sacrificing the relationship that you’ve grown over the years.