Top 4 Tips to Work Well with Your Spouse

Gone are the days when the man goes out to work the farm and comes home to the smell of hot bean stew and freshly-baked bread, along with his wife’s welcome kiss. Nowadays, many couples are a double-income household, with the husband and wife each pursuing their different career paths.

Sometimes, couples end up working together, either on a business, or working for a company, or working on a project together. And unless you know how to work together, it can have adverse effects on your marriage!

Joy and I have gone through different seasons of working together, interspersed with times when we mostly worked on separate jobs during the day. Those times, I would pick her up after work, and we would get some bonding time before we arrived home to our large and chaotic household!

When we started our marriage coaching business, it meant that we would be working together for most of the day. I would proudly tell anyone who asked that I was happy with the arrangement because I just wanted to be with Joy.

One time, we decided to work on our intake forms. Excited, I sat down at the computer to see what she had gotten done so far. When I saw that everything was still very raw copy-and-paste from someone else’s work, I couldn’t help feeling annoyed. Before she even finished her coffee, I was already pointing out this and that error, and demanding why this and that wasn’t done yet.

Of course, you can probably guess what kind of serious discussion that led to! If you ask Joy for her side of the story, she would tell you that she hates it when I go into my nitpicking and finger-pointing mode, always demanding, “Why did you do this? You should’ve done this instead!” Apparently, I had misunderstood her invitation to sit down and work on the forms; she meant that we would be working on it, not that she had already done it!

And that’s just one example of the troubles that can come with working with your spouse!

Think about it: would you think of speaking to your boss in the same sarcastic tone you sometimes use with your spouse? I think not!
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4 Important Tips for Working with Your Spouse and Loving It

Of course, that’s not to say it’s impossible. Here we share our top 5 tips for knowing how to work well with your spouse so that you grow closer in your shared dream instead of getting at each other’s throats!

1. Know your strengths.

One of the things that helped me and Joy the most through the years when we were working together was to understand our strengths and talents. For example, during brainstorming or planning sessions, I could go on and on excitedly about something we could do. Then Joy would be frantic trying to find specific steps for executing it. By the time she has her system ready, I’d be off on another project, leaving her to continue whatever I’d started!

This used to frustrate us both, until we learned that I have a strength called Activator, where I just love getting things off the ground. Meanwhile, Joy has a strength called Arranger, where she’s best at organising and, well, arranging things.

Since then, we’ve learned how to work with our strengths, such as when we started our new business of owning a convenience store. (For example, she now knows how to plan ahead so that she won’t end up doing everything I leave behind!)

2. Learn to speak respectfully.

One of the main challenges between husband and wife working together is that we’re so used to each other and our speech sometimes betrays our familiarity. Think about it: would you think of speaking to your boss in the same sarcastic tone you sometimes use with your spouse? I think not!

As such, we encourage couples working together to practice speaking respectfully to each other. This means no sarcasm or harsh criticism. This way, you can focus on the task at hand instead of one of you getting set off out of the blue by something that the other said!

3. Set boundaries.

Another problem with spouses working together is that the work can flow into other areas of life, such as your intimacy or your family life.

A couple we know who work together on their network marketing business struggles with their bedtime routine because one or both of them might still be on the phone doing transactions past midnight. Their mentors advised them to set a time limit for their work on the phone, for example, half an hour before bedtime, so they can wind down and focus on cultivating their connection as a couple.

4. Continue to date each other regularly.

As part of your healthy boundaries, include a regular date time where you both commit to set aside the work and focus on connecting on a heart level. It can be once a week, or more, or less, depending on your life season. The important thing is that you can still spend some time being husband and wife and not just colleagues!

Working With Your Spouse Can Be Rewarding

Working with your spouse can be a rewarding experience, especially when you are pursuing a shared dream together. Even if you’re working together for another company, it’s a great chance to keep getting to know each other better, since you get to see each other in more situations and over a longer period of time. Just remember to keep these 4 tips and you should be fine!

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