Combining Marriage and Business | Author: Amy Kaplan

Making marriage and relationships work these days is more challenging than ever. When my husband and I started up a tattoo removal laser clinic we learned how to properly take care of both our business and personal needs so that our marriage could thrive. Learn from our experience if you are considering going to business with your spouse or significant other.

About 2 years ago, my then fiancé told me about an idea he had for a small business. I was really excited about the idea and my fiancé had quite the entrepreneurial spirit, so it seemed like a great way for the two of us to work together and earn extra income. I was on board and we hit the ground running. Over the past two years we developed the business, opened it, hired staff and have been up and running ever since. Also within that time we planned a wedding, got married and moved twice. It has been quite a roller coaster ride, but I wouldn’t trade that ride for anything.

When you make the decision to work with your significant other, you will find that you learn a lot. You learn a lot about the business world, yourself and your significant other, but most of all, you learn how to balance your work life and your home life. It is never a dull moment and with every moment come both challenges and successes.

One of the biggest challenges my husband and I have faced is learning how to leave work at work. Many evening discussions at home (and weekends, mornings, afternoons…) are focused on the business. “What happened at the office today?” “How were sales this week?” “Did you order that part?” It seems difficult to remember what we talked about before we had the business, which can be frustrating. I find myself having to make a concerted effort to talk about other things and to change the subject if I think we are talking about work too much. My husband makes that same effort, and by doing that, we are able to find a balance in our conversations.

Another challenge to having your own small business is that you are never “off.” At a traditional 9 to 5 job, when you go home you don’t really have to think about work. When you own your own business, it is a 24/7 commitment. Unless you have a huge staff and people under you who you trust to handle the day to day issues, you are the “boss,” must be available and prepared to handle anything any time. We check emails and voice mails not only during the day, but at night, evenings and weekends as well. Even when we take vacations my husband or I have to call to check in at the office several times in order to avoid worrying about what was going on there. It definitely takes its toll on quality family time. When this happens, our communication with each other becomes that much more important. If one of us is feeling neglected or we are losing out on quality time, he or I will speak up and express our feelings so that our needs can be met.

Despite the challenges I have found with owning my own business with my husband, there are also many positive aspects. I have learned much about the ins and outs of running a business, marketing, sales, customer service and many other skills that I would never have learned if we had not done this. My husband and I capitalize on each other’s best skills and divide the work accordingly. Regardless of how long this business venture lasts, what he and I have learned will last a lifetime.

Another positive aspect to owning my own business with my husband is that we really feel like a “team.” Owning the business together has afforded us the luxury of spending a lot more time together than if we worked separately. Sharing ideas, trying new tasks, going through successes and failures has brought us a lot closer together. I am really proud of all that we have accomplished; and the fact that we have accomplished it together makes it that much sweeter.

Now my husband and I are embarking on an exciting new collaboration – parenthood. It will be interesting to see how we make room for a baby in our already busy lives; but after all the challenges we have been through, I am confident that we will make it work and our lives will be even better for it.

About the Author:

Amy Kaplan, LCSW