In our line of work, we talk to a lot of couples that are navigating marriage for the first time, and some are maybe even adding another layer to their partnership by owning a business together. How do you know if you’re compatible to add business ownership into your marriage? Is it possible for couples to be married and work together?
In this post, we will talk about our story, tips on compatibility, and what it means to be a husband and wife in both life and business.
We are not trained marriage counselors, but we are married, we have kids, and we’ve been through it. We work in the wedding industry and see this process all the time. Hopefully, our experience can give some insight into your own!
We have been together for 10 years now, and we did things a little bit backwards when we first met.
I (Serena) had a 9-month-old when we first met, and Dominic actually ended up meeting her on our first date accidentally. Then she spat up on his pants and I thought, “It’s doomed, I’m never going to see this man again after this!”
Thankfully, we kept dating, and we actually got pregnant shortly after with our second child.
We have both always been in the event industry, but after getting married, we decided to move to Texas and start our own company. So it was busy; we had kids, a big move, a big career change, and it was just a lot. But all of those things have contributed to our life together and our strength as a team.
Strong communication is one of the most challenging parts of a strong relationship, and having good, meaningful conversations early in your relationship about what is important to you in the future will lay a strong foundation for you to build on.
Whether you work together or not, knowing your partner is crucial. Take the time to learn everything you can; what ticks them off, what gets them to open up, and their strengths.
Through our experiences together, we have gotten to know what each person is good at and we try to support them in that. Ask yourself:
And as you grow stronger as a team, your knowledge of your partner really starts to solidify and you become more confident working together.
Sometimes it can be hard, especially if you’ve got a strong personality, to take a step back and know when it’s time to say, “You know what? I’m gonna let them go with this. I’m just gonna be in the background and I’m gonna be their cheerleader.”
But it is such a powerful thing when you figure that out and support your partner in that way.
If you are reading this, there’s a really good chance you are engaged and planning a wedding right now. And it’s stressful, right? There are so many pieces involved in planning a wedding, big decisions to be made and money to be spent. And in one form or another, those things are part of your marriage too.
Planning your wedding is a really good place to practice communication and being kind to each other.
Planning a wedding is also a great time to practice working together as a team while putting on the blinders to the opinions of other members of your family. It can be hard for parents to let go, and often their opinions become overwhelming or start to drive a wedge between you and your partner, and that’s not what you want at all.
Using ourselves as an example, we do bicker sometimes. There are some things we don’t see eye to eye on right away, and it takes a bit of a process to come to an agreement. Sometimes it’s in the business, and sometimes it’s personal.
When you work together as a married couple, it can be much too easy for those lines to get blurred. And something we have learned to do is to pick our battles. There’s a certain level of letting go of the little stuff and knowing when there needs to be more of a conversation around it.
This applies to your wedding too. What is really important to your partner? What is really important to you?
As you get to know each other’s personalities, you might realize, like us, that one partner is the crazy idea partner with wild abandon and one partner goes, “Hey pump the brakes, let’s think this through a little bit first”. We lean into that because we know it has contributed to the success of our relationship, and it’s something that can hopefully help you too!
These roles have developed over the years as we have grown, changed, and figured out the areas where we really thrive, and it’s worked so well for us.
In the beginning, even through the challenges, you’re still in the honeymoon phase and there’s still a certain level of trying to impress the other person.
But in order for relationships to last, whether it’s in marriage or in business, you’re going to have to come to terms with the fact that there are going to be bumps.
Lots of wedding speeches cover the age-old advice, “Never go to bed angry”. And that’s always a thought in the back of my head.
This is just what works for us, but we tend to go over things really quickly and then amicably move on. Other couples disagree less often, but let it all out in an occasional big blowout. It’s what works for you.
Earlier we mentioned that it’s important to pick your battles. Well, it’s also important to pick when you battle. For instance, when one of us is coming out of a busy wedding weekend, we are exhausted, and emotions run high much easier. We just aren’t as resilient as we would be normally. It’s smart to just pause any serious conversations for a better time when we’ve had a chance to recover physically and emotionally.
The other thing to watch out for is when you’re stressed at work, and you can’t go off on your boss, so you come home and let those floodgates loose on your spouse. It’s just nature’s way, but it’s just not safe or healthy for your relationship.
Making peace with the bumps also means supporting your partner as an individual and allowing them to have an outlet beyond the relationship. They likely have something they enjoy doing, like playing Call of Duty or riding a motorcycle to relieve stress, maybe they enjoy going for runs or going to the gym. It’s important to realize that those things are important to your partner’s psychological well-being.
This applies to wedding planning too. There a good times to sit down and plan things out, to talk about budget and colors. Right after a long day of work may not be the best time to talk about it.
Instead, maybe plan a nice brunch for the weekend when you can bring the binder and are just a little more relaxed. It’s good to be able to just get creative and have some fun with it!
Serena: So, what’s your favorite thing about me?
Dominic: I really love your drive. There are a lot of times when the thing holding me back is me. If it was just me doing this, I would literally have just a Facebook page. But you have done all of the research, editing, and everything else it takes to turn our social media into what it is now. It’s all because of you.
So what’s your favorite thing about me?
Serena: I love that you can brighten up any room with your energy and your positivity and your joy for life. I don’t know anybody else on the planet who can just walk into a room full of strangers and make friends as easily as you. You’re just so good around people and you genuinely care.
Reminding yourselves what you love about each other is so valuable, especially as you are together longer. With work, kids, money, and the other parts of the “day in and day out” of your life together, it can just happen where you start to forget the good things. It’s just really nice to hear your partner say nice things about you to remember why you got together in the first place.
There’s just so much negativity in the world in general, especially surrounding marriage. There will always be cynical people who say marriage is a sham and that it doesn’t always work out for everybody. And it doesn’t. Each of us had a first marriage that didn’t work out. But there’s something to be said for a successful, lasting relationship with a person by your side that you know you can count on.
It is a process, and if you’re a team, you become stronger together than you are individually.
We’ve gotten so much wonderful feedback from our listeners and followers that we wanted to use this post to share a little bit more about our lives with you all. We hope that our experiences can help you and your partner as you start your marriage journey together.
That’s really what it’s all about, is the journey. Whether it’s planning your wedding, having children, or buying a house, the day-to-day is where it’s at. It’s not always butterflies and rainbows, but there definitely are some of that! But through the challenges and heartaches you face, the journey is absolutely worth it in the long run.
As you plan your wedding, remember to listen to your fiance, and stick to what the two of you want. Don’t listen to anyone else’s opinion or let them talk you out of something you have your heart set on. If you need help, you can always book a virtual planning session with us and we can talk you through whatever areas of planning you want!
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