This Life: Together, at Home and at Work

It reminded me of when my mother, an art teacher by training, helped my father, a real estate developer, build houses when I was young. She described the experience as “the worst years of our marriage.” People who don’t work with their spouses look at those who do in the same way that casual fans often look at professional hockey: Sure, it’s fun for a while, but when is the fight going to break out?

One reason for this hostility may be decades of negative examples. There are some high-profile couples who work together successfully. Bill and Melinda Gates run their foundation, as do Bill and Hillary Clinton (along with Chelsea). Nina and Tim Zagat built their restaurant-guide empire together, as did Kate and Andy Spade in fashion. Joel Coen has directed his wife, Frances McDormand, in four films; Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz are performing together on Broadway now.

But the list of famous couples who worked together and flamed out is even longer. In Hollywood: Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Woody Allen and Diane Keaton (and later Mr. Allen and Mia Farrow), Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. In music: Sonny and Cher; James Taylor and Carly Simon; Tammy Wynette and George Jones; the two couples in Abba, both now divorced. And elsewhere: Tammy Faye and Jim Bakker; Rupert Murdoch with both his second wife, Anna, and his third, Wendi; Frank and Jamie McCourt, whose split forced them to sell the Los Angeles Dodgers.

It’s a wonder anyone says “I do” and then sets foot in the same office as their spouse.
Exact numbers of collaborating spouses are hard to come by. For almost 20 years, Glenn Muske, a professor at North Dakota State University, has studied couples who start businesses together. He calls them “co-preneurs” and said his research found that two-thirds of businesses in the United States are family owned, and a third of those are run by couples.

Other arrangements include romantic partners who work in the same organization but not alongside each other, and sole proprietors who get casual, often unpaid contributions from their spouses. So what can a working couple do to avoid disasters? I reached out to some of those who have researched the matter.

DON’T COMPROMISE Kathy Marshack, a psychologist in Vancouver, Wash., and the author of “Entrepreneurial Couples,” said that couples working together was the norm for most of human history, from family farms to mom-and-pop shops. Blaming the arrangement for an increase in fighting is wrong, she said. “This real issue is that with increased time together, you have more time for conflict,” she said.

Lots of people experience an uptick of fighting on vacation, she said. “Suddenly you’re spending every day together,” she said. “You’re having fun, but you’re sick and tired of the fact that the other person leaves the towel on the bed or whatever.”

Dr. Marshack said that the biggest problem she sees is that the skills it takes to succeed in a relationship, like accommodation, are often destructive in business. “Most Americans expect their love relationship to be between consenting partners,” she said. “But at work it’s different.”

To accomplish things in the workplace, she said, someone needs to be in charge, or, even better, each person needs to have control over separate things: say, one person controls strategic decisions and the other financial ones. “At work I always tell people never compromise unless you absolutely have to,” she said. “When you’re working with your spouse, you’re going to be tempted to compromise, because that’s what you do at home. But that’s not good for business.” Too much sensitivity to others is the primary reason family companies grow slower than nonfamily firms, she said.

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Zitrades car worklight lamp 15W Black LED Off road Slim Work Light Lamp

Product description:
1.150 Degree adjustable trunnion bracket mount
2.Die-Cast Aluminum housing
3.PC Lens
4.LED Power:15Watt Epistar LED EACH 3W/PC
5.Color temperature:6000K
6.Operation temperature -40°C~60°C
7.Waterproof rate:IP67
8.Material:diecast aluminum housing,stainless steel bracket.
9.Housing color:Black,White
11.About 30000 hours life time

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