Paul and I will be celebrating 18 years of marriage this weekend. The number one question that I have been asked over the years has not been how I have managed to stay happily married after all these years. That is too bad, because that would have been an easier question to answer. What people tend to ask me the most is how I can work with my spouse. Even couples with the strongest relationships cringe when I mention that we work together. We have been partners in the office for almost 8 years now. My husband left his previous employment 13 years ago to work full-time at his own business. So technically that makes him my boss.
Have I ever been fired? Many times. Have I ever quit? Many times. Do we spend so much time together that we run out of things to say? Sometimes. What makes it work then? We are both willing to do what it takes and we have complimentary skill sets. He is an extrovert, I am an introvert. He is good at verbal communication, I am the writer. He is great at sales, I couldn’t sell water in the dessert. He is a good public speaker, I am a good listener. He is the visionary, I am the day to day planner. We make it work.
A majority of the time working together has been a positive experience. It really forces us to work together as a team. We work through the demands, pressures, and stresses of owning a business together. We make all major decisions together as a team. I drag Paul back when he veers in the wrong direction and he pulls me ahead when I don’t embrace change for the better. We can be honest with each other to promote growth. We can say things that we don’t want to hear when our employees would say only the things that we want to hear. We make it work.
Will I get fired again? Probably. Will I quit again? Probably. It has been worth it. Last night Paul said that he hopes that he dies before me because he couldn’t bear to live without me in his life. I hope that in the end we can sail off into the sunset together and that it will be smooth sailing…
Here’s to another 18 years!