Relationships

The “Business” Side of a Good Marriage

Let me let you in on a little secret – I dig relationships. Not just mine, but relationships in general. I’m fascinated with how people get along, what exactly makes one person attracted to another? What makes a marriage work and another one fail? Can you fall out of love? Or is that just an excuse to stop trying and/or adapting to relationship changes?

I’ve been married for 20 + years now. (My parents will have been married 46 years on Saturday!! Happy anniversary mom and dad!). Though I’m certainly not an expert, I think it’s safe to say, I have a little experience when it comes to this marriage gig.

I have strong opinions about marriage. In fact, I wrote a whole series of posts on relationships complete with tips on how to make your own relationship work as well as a pretty personal look at my own over the years. (You can always click on the “Love Dare” tab at the top of the page for these relationship posts).

Anyway, there are two relationship blogs that never fail to make me think: Project Happily Ever After and Marriage Gems.

There was an article on Marriage Gems that I found interesting: it’s called Manage Your Marriage Like a Business

Here’s a summary of the article’s points:

  • 1. Know your customer. Stay in tune with your spouse’s changing needs, hopes, and concerns. If you’re not sure what they are, ask.
  • 2. Earn their business every day. Just as you would impress clients with attention and treat them with respect, do the same for your partner.
  • 3. Don’t make excuses. Customers (and spouses) want solutions, not excuses. When you make a mistake, acknowledge your error, and then fix it.
  • 4. Work on a win-win strategy. Regularly ask your spouse, “What can I do to help you be successful?” Then follow through with what they need. Use your planning skills to balance the family’s needs, for example if one spouses is putting their career on hold to raise children.
  • 5. Mix business with pleasure. “We seldom give our spouses the rewarding experiences we give our best customers. Find ways to inject new life into your relationship via activities that have no purpose other than to say, ‘You matter.’”

Would you agree with this assessment? Overall, yes, I would.

I’ve often thought people treated their co-workers/constituents nicer than their spouses. I’ve seen, first hand, how my boss would be super nice to his clients and then just treat his wife like dirt. I’m sure he was tired and taking his frustrations out on her, but I’m also sure that was wrong of him to do.

I’ve also seen spouses treat each other like they were their employee instead of their partners.

We put a lot of energy and thought into our careers, it’s always puzzled me why people don’t put that much energy or thought into their relationships. Yes. It’s work. Yes, it’s HARD work. Yes, one must be willing to admit he/she is wrong and be willing to swallow a humility pill now and again, but the rewards are worth the effort.

To achieve measurable results, simply transfer to your home life the skills you’ve acquired to succeed in your career. You can build or rebuild a strong family dynamic the same way you built your company—with great customer service.