Working with your Partner

by Claire Minnaar

Working with your partner, in my oh-so important opinion, is a HOT (on fire, hot) topic! I’ve been working with my hubby since 2003 and we often get asked how we live and work with each other and generally we will say (with a smile on our face I might add) that it isn’t easy! Don’t let ANYONE tell you otherwise. For some, it’s definitely easy, but it takes a special something-something to make it work well without killing each other (especially when the pressure is high!)

I recently asked a few Moms to take part in a survey about working with your partner. The answers were very similar and I must say, I’m very impressed with the Mammas who took part at how open they were and how well they have adjusted to working with their partners.

Quick Survey Summary

  • 33.3% say its HARD working with their partners. 50% say it’s a piece of cake and the remaining say it’s OK.
  • 83.3% work in the same room together while the other 16.7% work separately.
  • 66.7% stated they had NO STAFF. The remaining 33.3% stated they had 5 – 10 staff.
  • 100% stated they only fight SOMETIMES.
  • 16.7% find that working together affects their sex life. 50% said no-ways does it affect their sex life and the remaining 33.3% said that it did sometimes affect their sex life.
  • 16.7% do fight in front of staff while the remaining 83.3% never fight in front of staff.
  • The main challenges working together are:
    • Switching off after work i.e. thinking about work, talking about work when it’s family time.
    • Finances – when running your own businesses, you are responsible for your finances and generating income, so financial stress is often there!
    • Communication can get broken down (assumptions are the mother of all *%#! Ups)
  • 90% work from their inside their home while others worked in a place outside of the house.

Top 11 Tips to working with your Partner

Here are a few tips to help you work with your partner. These are my tried and tested methods. I don’t always get it right, but it’s what I work towards. When I’m able to stick to my own tips, there’s far less chance of the boat toppling over. 🙂

  1. Make sure you are prepared for anything!
  2. Make sure your roles are CLEARLY defined and understood. If there’s overlap where you are both responsible for a task, perhaps look at breaking it down further to avoid conflict or upset when one of you hasn’t fulfilled your responsibility due to lack of communication or misunderstanding on who was to do what.
  3. Communicate – communication is important in any relationship. Add a business to the equation that is to support your livelihood and communication becomes even more important. Be clear on how you will tackle issues together, issues with clients, issues with staff and how you will handle upset BEFORE you start this venture together. If you are already working together, make sure this is properly sorted for the future of your work together.
  4. When on it, get off it quickly! If something ticks you off about your partner, deal with it and move on. For example, you partner says they will do something and by the end of the day, they haven’t done / delivered what they said they would. Talk about it, communicate about it, decide on a plan of action and move on – don’t go on and on about it and let it go – NO ONE is perfect!
  5. Remember to always say thank you and please! This sound crazy, but it’s real. When we work, many of us can disappear into our own worlds. I’m super guilty! I’m a programmer and when I go into development mode, there could be an explosion outside and I could very well not hear it! So, if your partner has done something for you e.g. brings up a cup of coffee, makes your breakfast / lunch, helps you in some way – remember to say thank you! From a “please” perspective – ask nicely and show respect. Just because they are your partner doesn’t mean you have the right to talk to them in a way you feel.
  6. Keep work at work – this is possibly one of the most difficult ones to try and do, BUT possibly one of the most important. You have to keep work challenges at work and focus on your family when you end work.
  7. Complement each other regularly – whether your roles are similar or not, you want to complement your partner. This will not only make them feel good, but yourself and you will be rewarded back.
  8. Make sure to take time apart – if that means going out with friends or even taking your laptop and working at a nice restaurant. It’s really nice to come home and have something to chat about opposed to being stuck in the same office / room together. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and it’s good to take time out once and again.
  9. Try make it fun – if you are spending long hours together building a business (yours or someone else’s), what’s the point if you aren’t having fun. Obviously, there will be good days and bad days, but no one wants to spend days on end not having fun ESPECIALLY when it’s with your partner!
  10. Remember to be forgiving, say sorry and don’t make your partner “wrong” – people make mistakes and you or your partner WILL make a mistake at some point which is going to make the other person mad, upset or crazy! Say sorry when an apology is due and don’t land up getting into a righteous battle – it’s so NOT worth the time or the drain on your relationship. Sit down, talk about it, come to a conclusion on how things could have been done / handled better and move on (and, leave it at the office!).
  11. Remember the 3 most important words to be uttered regularly – it’s what brought you together in the first place…..I LOVE YOU!

If you have anything you’d like to contribute that I’ve left out, please leave a comment below.


Join the List

Subscribe to our mailing list and stay informed on what's happening on MomTalk!

Awesomeness! Thank you for subscribing!

Oh dear! Something has gone wrong. Please try again.

You may also like

1 comment

Amelia_Voxate May 16, 2012 - 1:12 pm

Interesting. Still, I’ll just take your word for it 😉


Leave a Comment