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So, you’ve found Mr. or Ms. Perfect, had a wedding ideal for you, and now it’s back to the real world of working, errands, housework, and other commitments.  One could say the fairy tale is over before it started, but even with all of our daily responsibilities, that certainly does not have to be the case. 

Much like finding the right person for you in the first place, a marriage takes a great deal of work, and it also takes compromise, reprioritizing, and trust.  These necessities can take up a lot of your time and efforts, which you don’t always have a lot of extra to go around to begin with.

Even before contemplating the idea of having a family, as a married, working person, your plate is already overflowing.  Especially if you have a job that has demanding hours, travel, or a busy season, carving out ample time to best support your marriage can present a new set of challenges.  Both elements of your life are priorities, but at times you could feel like you’ve plunked down on a teeter-totter with nothing to balance you out.  The follow tips may help you to rise up, in both your job and your marriage.

1. Set boundaries.

Whether it’s when you’re leaving the office, or scheduling in extra hours from home, make sure expectations are set between career and life.  If you and your spouse are slated to spend Sunday afternoon together, there’s no looking at your phone during that time.  Truly enjoying that escape will not only benefit your marriage, it will send you to work on Monday with a clear mind.

2. Specify dates and times.

Whether it’s that Sunday afternoon picnic, or a Friday night dinner with wine, date time is essential.  When you reserve the time for some special time together, the bonding effect goes beyond the event itself.  This is especially effective if one or both of you travel a lot for work or work different shifts.  Look at your calendars in advance and say, “We’re both here and free two Friday nights from now so it’s a date!” 

3. Show unconditional support.

At times, the mere thought of showing interest in your spouse’s workday after you’ve had a long one yourself can seem draining at best.  But it’s vital that you’re thoughtful and present in your conversations about your spouse’s career, as each of you brings unique skills and experience to the table to optimally support the other.

4. “I” becomes “we.”

Offered a promotion but it may require more hours?  Thinking of looking for a different job entirely?  You are no longer operating in life independently.  Your decisions affect each other, and your partner has say in the matter.  So the first step to making a big decision is you, and right behind that – your spouse.

5. Divide household chores.

With those days of living solo behind you, there suddenly seems to be twice the mess in your home.  Each person is working hard to contribute financially to the household, so no one wants to come home to a mess.  It’s important for two busy working adults to form a game plan of who does what and when, or to decide if a regular house cleaning service is money well-spent.

6. Compromise is essential.

It’s likely that choices will have to be made; one person gets an amazing job offer in Dallas while the other person would choose to remain in Kansas City.  Open communication will lead to some form of a pros and cons list, but in the end, there’ll always be compromise required.  That’s really a foundation of the marriage to begin with. 

7. Regularly discuss the topic of finances.

What’s the number one reason behind divorces?  You’ve got it – money.  Finances should be a topic discussed well before a marriage, but it needs to be continually talked about long after the rings have been exchanged as well.  If one person wants a very expensive house that means working toward a higher paying job that could negatively affect the marriage itself, that’s not going to benefit anyone involved in the end.  Goals need to be discussed and realistically aligned with the rest of the couple’s life.

While none of us may experience a forever Cinderella/Prince Charming scenario, the carriage ride through married life and career can be better balanced if you incorporate these ideas.  Just remember, there are solid reasons that brought you to your job of choice and spouse to begin with, so it’s important to never take for granted or neglect either important aspect of your life.