The Pros And Cons Of Working With Your Spouse

Apr 24, 2023

Working with your spouse can be a double edged sword. It can be a rewarding experience that allows you to build a thriving business, or it can create unique challenges that may put a strain on your relationship. As someone who has worked with my spouse, I have firsthand knowledge of how it can affect your personal and professional lives. Although it may be difficult to avoid some of the challenges that come with working together, done right, your relationship will grow even stronger.

In this post, I will explore the benefits and drawbacks of working with your spouse and provide you with some valuable insights on how to avoid some of the potential pitfalls you both may encounter.

Let’s look at some of the benefits of working with your spouse:

Increased Trust and Intimacy:

According to a survey conducted by the Bank of America, 77% of small business owners who work with their spouse reported an increase in trust and intimacy in their relationship. This is because working together requires communication, collaboration, and a shared sense of purpose. Working together provided a greater sense of understanding between them. I also found that being accountable to each other brought a higher level of respect, which enhances trust in both parties. This trust leads to more opportunities for you and your partner to share openly, based on the fact that you both understood the workplace dynamics well, and are more open to sharing information thus fostering a deeper more intimate relationship.

Stronger Relationship:

There was a study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family that found couples who work together have a stronger relationship than those who don’t. This is mainly because working together requires mutual support, respect, and understanding. Ultimately you have to be on the same page and as you work together, you need to value the unique skills you both bring to the table. This creates a greater overall appreciation for each other and brings you closer together.

More Flexibility:

SCORE published a study stating that couples who work together have more flexibility in their schedule and can spend more time together. This leads to a better work-life balance and provides more opportunities for connection. Like most people I enjoy my quiet solace as I travel to work, but driving to and from work with my spouse gave us a chance to unwind and talk about our day.

We also found that there were drawbacks to having our spouse as a colleague. Some of the drawbacks were:

Role Conflict:

According to a study published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, couples who work together often experience role conflict and struggle to separate their personal and professional lives. This can lead to stress, burnout, and a lack of work-life balance. We had to learn to communicate in such a way that our conversations would not end up all about work. It’s important that we created opportunities to have fun and decompress. Work instead became our mistress. Once we made a decision to change that, we were able to create clear boundaries for work and non-work activities. Now that we are aligned, we have been deliberate about implementing boundaries. It was an adjustment at first, but it was an important component to our success in the work and home relationships.

Financial Dependency:

Our next study was completed by the National Bureau of Economic Research, where they looked at the fact that couples who work together were more financially dependent on each other than those who don’t. This can create stress and uncertainty in the relationship, particularly if the business isn’t profitable. Financial challenges are the third leading cause of divorce so setting up and following healthy financial rules are imperative for a successful relationship.

Lack of Autonomy:

According to a study by the University of British Columbia, couples who work together often struggle with a lack of autonomy and control over their professional lives. This can lead to resentment and conflict within the relationship. This can sometimes be tricky to manage and depends on the work environment and the roles you both play. It is very important to ensure that resentment does not creep into your relationship. It actually correlates directly with divorce. In building skills to communicate about frustrations in a healthy manner along with skills to navigate conflict, better prepare you for these challenges. There are times that we feel that other people underestimate our talent. In my case I felt that my work peers thought I was only in my position due to nepotism. While working together with my spouse, we were able to create opportunities that showcased my skillset as it applies to the company and finally put those misconceptions to rest. The greater credibility I established, the greater autonomy I achieved.

If you are deliberate in setting up the right guidelines, this could be one of the best working and personal relationship you have ever had.  But for those that require some extra support, reach out to us at Red Kiss Inc., because isn’t it time that you achieved your relationship goals?

Making lives better and encouraging healthy, loving people and relationships.