As a relationship expert who does a lot of work with couples and also specializes in supporting high achieving professionals/entrepreneurs, I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise to me how many couples are out there own and operate their own businesses together but find that it takes its toll on their relationship.
Now there are some serious upsides to being in business with your partner. As one client said to me recently, “You know family-run businesses used to be the norm and they seem like a dying breed these days.” There can be something very connecting about having a business that the two of you work on together. Of course, there’s also some autonomy and privilege in being able to make the company that you created work for both of your careers and then the other upside is a significant amount of trust. Your partner is usually far more trustworthy than hiring someone off the street for example.
But then the downsides are also considerable. Most of those couples find that the communication challenges that develop between the two of them, that prevent them from truly understanding each other, well they happen not only at home but also at work. Secondly, the lack of boundaries issue is real. Do those couples usually struggle to identify when will we not talk about work? When is it simply not an acceptable topic because we are going to try to be in marriage mode now? Then finally, the differences that those two partners in their own personal preferences of how to work can also create some additional challenges that other relationships don’t have to navigate.
Fortunately, there are incredibly effective toolkits for all of those challenges and if you are interested in learning more you are welcome to reach out to me here.