Working with your spouse can be a good thing, a hard thing, a bad thing and a great thing.
In this season of ministry, we’ve taken “working with your spouse” to a whole new level of crazy.
Being missionaries has brought togetherness to our family and our marriage.
We have always worked closely together throughout our entire marriage. Being in ministry together as a couple has always been our goal.
But this process of living overseas where he might be the only person I see today?
Big time of togetherness.
Big time working with your spouse.
We are together all the time.
I quite often hear questions like, “How can you handle that much time with your spouse? I’d go crazy!” or “How do you work with your spouse all the time? I could never do that with my husband!”
Other comments of “I don’t know what I’d do if my husband didn’t go to work during the day.” and “Thank goodness I can go to work a few days!” are common when I share with people our close working relationship.
The truth for us is that we sleep together, eat together, work together, preach together, shop together, parent together, run together… our lives are literally being lived in tandem.
How do we do it?
Well, we’ve learned a few things through some not so smooth days.
We’ve worked through many bumps in the road to learn how to work peacefully together.
Here are a few things we’ve learned… in case you ever find yourself closely working with your spouse.
Working With Your Spouse
1. Don’t push buttons. You know the buttons in your marriage. Don’t push them.
2. Create space. Even when you are working together on a project or event, you need to create some space so you have moments to recharge.
3. Keep fun things in the schedule. Remember that you are married! You can go on a date with your coworker. You can take a break from work for a run to Speedway for free flavored water. Don’t forget to have fun together. All work and no play will not foster success in a close working marriage. Date Night must still happen.
4. Respect opinions. Working with your spouse can make you all too opinionated and passionate about your own point of view. You will say things and do things you wouldn’t normally get away with in a different working relationship. Be respectful. Keep words cautious. Listen. Communicate well.
5. Make lists. You both might not work at the same time even though you are working on the same things. Make lists for each of you to accomplish on your own time. And don’t nag. Use an app that allows you to sync these lists on your phones. We use any.do app.
6. Have staff meetings. Go for coffee or sit at the kitchen table. Go over the calendar or phone call notes or whatever you’ve worked on separately. This keeps you both on the same page. Read this post from The Art of Manliness.
7. Use technology! Technology is a huge blessing to our marriage. We text through the day, even in the same house. We send each other funny articles or memes. We watch comedy shows on facebook. We laugh through groups chats with family members. Technology can be a lot of fun in marriage… with boundaries, of course!
8. Don’t forget to take care of your marriage even though things are busy! Here are some tips for keeping marriage hot in the busy times.
9. Truly love what you do. Be sure you love what you do. And if you don’t? Pray that God will give you a love for what you are doing with your spouse. Ask God each day for a new heart, a new love, a new grace for the season you are in.
10. Step away. Don’t be afraid to turn everything off, shut work down, put up the closed sign, and step away from all things work. Have time to just be together or with friends without it being work related.
A few other posts with helpful tips:
2 Things You Need To Know When Working with Your Significant Other from Grit&Virtue
We are really blessed to have this time together as a couple. We’ve learned so much about ourselves and about each other.
You might find yourself in a season where your husband is home more either from a job change or a transition of some kind. You might find yourself spending lots of time together.
Don’t be shocked that it’s hard. Don’t be worried if you are frustrated with your spouse and need some time away. Don’t be discouraged if you have some rough days.
Keep at it. Work hard. Get to know your spouse on a deeper level and see the time of closeness as a gift from God.
Challenge yourselves to grow in your relationship and make steps to work closely together in peace.
Have you ever worked with your spouse or found yourselves in a season of constant togetherness?