Working With Your Spouse

 

When we're at weddings, at church, or out and about in the community, people always seem intrigued that we’re able to work together as husband and wife team. That we're able to enjoy what we do, and not totally kill each other.

Early in our marriage, I was shocked that so many people had this viewpoint of working with their spouse. The longer I’ve been married, the more realization of how rare this can be done well. Marriage is hard enough by itself, and yet adding a working partner can cause even more complications.

Early on for us, we loved working together, we always had. We started our business before getting married even! Over the years we have found a very simple truth which is this... No matter, if you're working with your spouse in a business setting, or working together so solve a family crisis, you're always working together.

Some couples embrace this "team" thing more than others, but regardless you're still a team.

We rub shoulders more closely and more often than some people do, so we had to learn to lean into either other's strengths, and not focus on what we felt they were lacking.

This was really hard in the beginning. I wanted Stephen to see everything like I was seeing things. I wanted him to basically be ME ha! I think anyone can learn the value or finding your partner's strengths and really learning to leveraging them to supplement your own weaknesses.

When we were first in business, I often talked about how different Stephen and I were. Which is true, we are very different. However, our core values, our WHY...this will always unite us.

We created a mission statement before we were married that outlines how we would make decisions. If a big decision doesn't align with our mission statement then we simply just say no.

I’ve learned that our greatest differences have actually become some of the strongest places in our business. Where I am weak, Stephen pushes me to be better, where he is weak I push him to be better. I rely on his strengths just like he relies on me. 

While I was in Europe we both had a good reminder of this. It was the most time either one of us had “been out of the office” without the other since we started TréCreative. Over the years, we’ve created systems and responsibilities that suit what we’re both best at. Although I was able to answer emails and run part of the business from Europe, a lot of the my normal responsibilities fell on Stephen’s shoulders.

I know at times, running everything seemed overwhelming, but he handled it like a champ. It was a good reminder for us, that the systems we have set up and the important roles we each play in TréCreative are better together.

So the next time you’re frustrated at your business partner, spouse or co-worker about a specific issue I encourage you to think about their strengths. Think about how that area that makes you frustrated might actually be the reason you fell in love with this person in the first place. Don't focus on your lack, but rather focus on how you can step into abundance together.

If you haven't created a mission statement for your marriage or business now is the perfect time to do that! Take a few minutes and dream a little. This has changed the way we make decisions and created a healthy framework for boundaries both in our personal and professional lives. To get to this statement we looked at a big list of positive adjectives and individually circled ones we resonated with. When we came together we dialed down our favorites and created a statement for our marriage and future.

Here's ours...

Our mission in life is to create. Dreaming together to encourage and empower generous love in all peoples through storytelling and adventuring together with God as our guide.

Photo by: Lauren Carnes Photography