Couples in business: How to balance marriage and work

Posted at 02/09/2014 8:37 AM | Updated as of 02/09/2014 8:37 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Marriage itself is a hard responsibility to handle, but what if you and your partner decide to venture into business. Will it work out?

Is this for the better or will this turn out to be a disaster?

“Yes [it will be a disaster], If the couples don’t plan the business properly," Maribel Dionisio, a marriage and family counselor from the Love Institute, said on ANC's Shoptalk.

"It’s best because you trust the person but there can be conflicts also if we don’t draw up a family constitution in the business so husband and wife are clear about their roles."

Before even starting the business, Dionisio said the couple should first discuss rules, responsibilities and even management style.

"First, try to talk and if you can clarify and work out things, then you can move on to the next step. But many, they just can’t even decide on talking about rules and responsibilities or even management style. They can fight about how to go about things. So if you see that there are too many differences, you want to clarify them first... It might be good to get an outside person to help you," she said.

Dionisio advised couples to be cautious into diving into ventures that would most likely affect their relationship. She said couples should make sure their marriage has a healthy foundation.

"Hopefully, either before you got married or after you married, you go through 5 years or so, maybe look for an expert for help, diagnose if your relationship is really in a healthy state. Meaning also, the guidelines are also pretty set -- about the budget, the parenting, about the home management. And then we will have to also clarify because there will be another set of roles and rules we’ve come about the family business," she said.

According to Dionisio, setting guidelines for the marriage and work related matters might save the partnership from turning into a disaster.

For instance, she advised couples to limit work-related conversations at home.

"You should agree, where and when to talk about business, if you’ll have to talk at home. So there needs to be a boundary. Some will say, they’re about to go to sleep, or maybe their husband will embrace them and they’ll say, ‘Hon, Did you prepare the cheque?’ And you know, it’s just going to destroy the romance for the evening," she said.

Bringing problems from work to your home is also a big no-no for couples.

Dionisio also advised couples to get professionals to help build the family constitution about the business.

"What are the responsibilities? Pero usually there are other family members coming in, you know, siblings, children, so that we can clarify roles and the rules," she said.

Dionisio herself experienced working with her husband.

"We worked on the marriage first. For long time, we didn’t get a business immediately, but we had a practice of working together... We do not criticize or put down each other. We have to be more positive and give feedback on what has to be constructive to work it out," she said.

"Then of course we had to be in the business to giving talks or counseling together, and then it’s deciding who’s the lead counselor, who’s the co-counselor. There’s one time we didn’t decide so we were trying to outdo each other in session and it’s not healthy for the relationship," she added.

The counselor stressed that cooperation within the marriage and business partnership is a big key to improving relationship with this kind of relationship.

Dionisio also encouraged couples to have a weekly date, annual vacation and frequent family day sto strengthen the bond of the family. - by Rochelle Tangi