It’s amazing how many “Oh, yeah” moments you’ll have after reading HBR.org’s recently published story on how two-income married couples can better manage marriage and career. After all, 47.5% of all American married couples are dual-career couples—with many marriages failing for work-related reasons. But authors Jackie Coleman and John Coleman (Jackie’s a former marriage counselor and her husband, John, is a business author) think that with intentionality, it’s possible to manage marriage and a career. Here, their thoughts based on research and experience.
Actively manage expectations. Manage everything—from daily routines to how you work—to help avoid conflict and confusion. Do you need time to decompress after a long day at the office or do you need to debrief the day’s events with your spouse? Do you prefer frequent phone calls and emails throughout the day or do you prefer longer personal time together in the evenings? Clarifying these things up front can help you make conscious trade-offs and decisions, rather than running afoul of each other’s unspoken beliefs.
Schedule your spouse. How much emphasis do you put on scheduling your spouse? One of the healthiest things you can do is put the same effort into scheduling time together as you do for scheduling meetings, reviews, and completing your own assignments. Many professionals live by their calendars, and if you don’t carve out time with your spouse as rigorously as you do with your business partners, your most important relationship can suffer.
Find time to cheat — on your job. How many weekends and evenings are interrupted when you need “just a few hours” to finish something up for work? But when was the last time you slipped away at noon for an impromptu lunch date? Be spontaneous above and beyond your scheduled time, and make sure that you’re not constantly breaking appointments with your spouse for appointments at work.
For other tips to a happy dual-career marriage, please visit: