Working With Your Spouse–And Making It Work

Can you work with your spouse and make it work? It’s common nowadays to hear someone dedicated to their career say they are “married to their jobs,” especially in today’s non-stop workforce. However, it’s become more common to find couples working together behind the scenes of entrepreneurial businesses.

My husband, Scott Thomas, and I are a successful example of spouses who have fused their marriage with their work.

I had been working as President and Creative Director for the design and marketing house, The MOD Studio with a client roster that included —Exclusive Resorts, Lexus, Circuit of the Americas, Dell, Four Seasons Residences, to name a few. After more than seven years of collaborating with my husband, Scott Thomas, who served as President of the revenue growth agency, Intelechy Group, we decided to join forces. Building a stronger company ecosystem between a creative firm and technology partner has since allowed The MOD Studio to evolve into a fully integrated print and digital marketing house, plus offer a more complete range of services.

While we both agree that we have experienced our fair share of roadblocks—and lessons—along the way, our businesses and our marriage have valiantly withstood the tests of this merger.

  1. Balance. We have found that to make such a situation harmonious for each person involved, a work and home balance is vital. Though in the past, the rule of thumb has been “keep your work and personal lives separate,” it’s becoming increasingly unrealistic in our tech-centered world to be able to unplug from work once the 5 o’clock whistle sounds—especially when you own your own business.
  1. Rest.To avoid falling into an “all work, no play” mindset, it’s important for you each to give yourselves a little rest here and there. After long, hectic hours at the office, reward yourselves with relaxing getaways—and be sure to turn your “out of office” message on! This is your time to reconnect with one another. We often extend the length of our out-of-town business trips to sightsee, recharge and indulge in some much-needed together time–sans work-related conversations.
  1. Respect.Having and showing respect for your partner is essential for both your marriage and business partnership. It can be easy to let your temper flare, especially when you can’t quite see eye-to-eye, but it’s vital to be understanding and respectful. Maintaining the same level of dignity in the office as you do at home will prevent feelings from getting hurt and keep small disagreements from snowballing.
  1. You are a spouse first. Above all, your marriage should always come first. Being able to run your business as a couple is quite a privilege, but mixing business with pleasure should never be compromising to your marriage. We stress the importance of these practices to maintaining a fulfilling professional and personal relationship with your spouse: Support each other unconditionally, stay attentive to each other’s needs, embrace compromise and keep in mind that even if you are a CEO—you are a spouse, first and foremost.