When both partners in a relationship, it can be difficult to balance love with a career. Modern romance often means no one is home to make dinner, and quality time can be hard to find. Here are some ways to still find success as a couple while pursuing a career:
Whether it’s the time you each leave the office, or how often you work from home, make sure you communicate and set clear expectations about how your careers will bleed into your life. Make a rule that you can’t look at Phones after 7:00 pm, or that you’ll both work on Sunday afternoons. Career-oriented couples often enjoy working, but setting boundaries allows you to also enjoy each other.
Spend time with your spouse before work:
I often wake up thinking of all the things on “the list” and am eager to get started on my workday. As a result of going straight to work and not tidying up my wet towels off the floor and helping the kids have breakfast, my wife starts off her day more frazzled and it can sometimes lead to a day of her feeling overwhelmed with all the things on her list. If I take 30-45 minutes first thing in the morning to tidy up, run a load of dishes, and help the kids get ready, it starts my wife’s day off better and often results in a more productive day for both of us.
Talk finances early and often:
The most common argument couples face is around money. So talk now, while things are good, on whether each person is willing to support the other if a job is lost or if a new career direction is fancied. Are you willing to dip into your savings to support a relocation? How will your lifestyle change if your partner gets a promotion? Decide how you will allocate money at home and for work.
Go on dates and don’t talk business:
It is so easy to date before getting married, but what happens 5 years later? Life gets in the way. Date nights become watching shows together at 10pm trying not to fall asleep. Keep your marriage or your relationships with your loved ones strong. Set aside time. SCHEDULE and PLAN IT!! Mark dates on your calendar and even go a step further and actually plan where you are going and possibly make reservations and babysitting plans. You are more likely to go out if you have already planned. Yes, babysitting is expensive, but your marriage is a worthwhile investment. Even though life as a photographer can be exciting, try to keep business out of conversation.
If one or both of you want to pursue a high-profile career, it’s almost a guarantee that sacrifices will have to be made for the good of that career. Remember that balance is created over long periods of time. Accept and acknowledge the importance of your partner’s sacrifice to further your career and be willing to do the same for their dreams in the future.
Show unconditional support:
It can be difficult to show interest in your spouse’s career after your own long day of work. But it’s important that you’re thoughtful and present in your conversations relating to your partner’s career, and that your support is unconditional toward their work. Without such support, a lack of understanding and resentment can breed in your partner, making it difficult to act as a couple.
Love the person, not their title:
For the health of your relationship, make sure you’ve fallen in love with your partner as a person, and not with their title or position. In today’s economy, nothing is certain, and compatibility is no longer based on whether or not the other person can take care of you. Instead, know that you can take care of yourself, and decide if you still want your partner around.
Share household duties
No one wants to come home to a sink full of dirty dishes. Divvying up household chores is often a sticking point between couples that escalates into ongoing arguments. Assign clear roles and decide who takes out the trash, who does the dishes, who cooks, and who vacuums. Stick to it, but then don’t be afraid to break out the dish soap when your partner is having a tough week.
Forgive and apologize:
In a world of career uncertainty, relationships can be a secure foundation and minimizer of stress. Don’t make things more difficult by holding grudges. Communicate often with your partner; show compassion toward their bad moods and celebrate their good ones. A successful relationship is often the first step toward a successful career. Make sure you commit to the long-game.