Would you work with your spouse or significant other? For some people, spending 24 hours a day with their partner other sounds like a recipe for marital trouble. Working with your spouse surely has an impact on your personal relationship, and some couples say working and building a business together has made their personal relationship stronger, deepening their trust and appreciation and making both their business and marriage more successful.
Here’s how some co-owner couples have reaped the relationship benefits of working side by side.
They learn to disagree productively
Kelly Belknap and Matilda Sandstrom, the married couple behind Adventurist Backpack Co., say building a business together has taught them how to better handle their non-business disagreements better. “When we’re at a stalemate about how to go forward in business, we have to think ultra-rationally instead of emotionally about a problem,” says Belknap. Learning to handle disagreements in business translates into their personal lives. “Once you get into the habit of always having to come to a compromise or agreement quickly, it just feels easier and more relaxed other times as well,” says Belknap.
Dealing with disagreements in business has also lessened their tendency to disagree in their personal lives. “Once you make really tough business decisions together while holding opposing views and disagreeing, all of a sudden everyday debates like what to watch on Netflix seem much more trivial,” says Belknap.
They deepen their understanding of each other
Building a business together means spending tons of time getting to know each other and learning what makes each other tick. Nicole and David Pomije, co-owners of The Cookie Cups, say working together has allowed them to get to know each other on a deeper level and has enhanced their personal relationship. “If we had jobs where we were working in separate offices and living these other lives on a day-to-day basis, I think it would be easier to lose touch with the relationship,” says Nicole. By spending every day working alongside each other, problem solving together, celebrating victories together, and watching each other be the best version of themselves, the couple say they feel a stronger personal connection to one another that not only helps them to succeed in their business life but their personal life as well.
They appreciate each other
Working together has helped these couples identify what they are good at and learn to respect each other’s respective skills, knowing that their company wouldn’t have been able to succeed without the contributions of both partners. This appreciation for each other’s skills and contributions to the company translates into day-to-day life for the couple. “Since business is such a huge part of life for husband-and-wife cofounders, if there’s mutual support and confidence while working together, it usually is also there in the relationship as a whole,” says Belknap, adding that it’s important to let the other person know just how much they are appreciated.
They share a common goal
Having a shared vision is key to any relationship’s success, but it is especially important in a business relationship. Working together to build a company means having clear expectations of one another, and sharing the same vision of success. Practicing goal setting in business has helped to prepare these couples for goal setting in their day-to-day lives as well, setting expectations and knowing what they want to achieve together, whether that’s building a brand, working together to create a happy home life for their family, or being able to purchase a home.
They cheer each other on
Being in business together means understanding the challenges and appreciating successes in ways that only someone working in the business could. Working with your spouse provides the added benefit of having your biggest fan by your side every day. This becomes especially important when navigating difficult seasons in business, but is also made sweeter when you get to celebrate a success. “It’s exciting in any business to have something to celebrate, but it’s even greater to enjoy it with your significant other,” says Nicole Pomije.