Marriage is one of the most delicate partnerships in life. While we feel that love, sex and companionship are strong enough glues to keep a marriage intact, staying together 24/7 is a different ball game altogether.
On top of it when some couples decide to work together, their partnership enters into yet another crucial phase. The couples are not just partners in personal life but professional as well.
And while some cynics shake their head at the whole prospect of spending more than necessary time with their spouses, there are others who swear by the pros of such an enterprise.
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Take the case of Raghav and Tanya. When Raghav was faced with redundancy, the couple decided to take the money and start their own catering service.
“We took a chance and sat down to work on the details. We knew there would be chances of over-lapping, blame game and even hurt egos, so we ensured that we clearly chalk out what departments each would take care of. Raghav was good with dealing with people at ground level so he took on the job of hiring cooks, maids and even the finances. Since I was in marketing line, I took on the job of getting orders and soon we were making good money, with no impact on our relationship,” says Tanya.
The trouble arises when regular interaction, the stress of work intertwined closely with the responsibilities of personal lives starts taking its toll on their intimate lives.
“There have been times when we have major disagreements regarding how the work should be done. And the problem is we can’t leave the work and the professional pressures in the office. We carry that baggage into our bedroom and that has really taken us to the brink of calling it quits – both professionally and personally,” says Raghav.
Experts say that the best partnerships happen when the couples recognise and capitalise on each other’s strengths. And once the roles have been decided, they should stick to their briefs and not encroach upon the other territory.
“Our initial fights were because we would continue offering our two-penny bits without being asked and it led to resentment in both of us. But one day we decided that we needed to stop that and stop duplicating our efforts, wasting our energy and taking the other to be an amateur,” says Tanya.
Counsellors say that the best and the only way couples can work together professionally is by trusting the other’s capabilities and keeping the communication lines open for all disagreements.
“It took us a lot of time and effort but we learnt to make the distinction that we were arguing and disagreeing for the good of company and not to show that the other is not capable,” said Raghav.
Experts also suggest that it is imperative for working couples to keep their “work time and “couple time” separate. They say that work partners must make sure that they also talk about things other than work, meet people other than just clients and have pleasure trips as well besides business trips.
What’s interesting is that sometimes such close emotional bonding that emerges as a result of the couples facing the challenges of joint work lives, makes their married life much stronger and richer.