My husband and I are quite lucky that we both work. For the most part, I can relate to what he’s going through and he feels the same way with my work as well. We talk about how we manage relationships at work, how we deal with clients, complain about difficult projects and celebrate when one of us scores a win.
I just thought about how we are to be in this position where we can relate to each other’s work and be able to actively engage in a discussion that’s more than surface-level chit chat about how was your day. It made me think about other couples and what work-related conversations they are having.
The more I thought about it, the more I came to realise how important it is to acknowledge, support and balance both parties’ power in a dual-career relationship such as ours. Relationships feel powerful when our partners see and support all of our work and life ambitions, not only those we share. It’s important we take time to be curious about your partner’s work and ambitions.
We spend so much time at work, almost half of all our waking hours, so not being interested in that part of your partner’s life is a surefire way to disconnect. Delight in the other person’s aspirations and goals. Understand their frustrations and listen to their struggles. Engaging in the other person’s dreams gives them power.
And of course, this is a joint venture so you should be giving as well as receiving that attention. I know I wouldn’t be able to thrive (or stay) in a relationship where I feel like my work is being undervalued. And that includes both my actual work and my aspirational work (i.e. blogging).
To feel most empowered, I need my husband to encourage my writing as well as my desire for career growth. I would need advice, I would need guidance but I would also need someone to just listen and take interest in what I do. Someone to share the highs and the lows with at the end of the day.
We all need someone to believe in us when we don’t believe in ourselves and the only way to truly support each other’s growth is to know and understand what the other person is fighting for.
We pick our partners for who they are but also for who they have the potential to be. We often talk about our dreams and ambitions at the beginning of a relationship but it’s important to keep that conversation going as you get settled as well. I want to see you grow and root for you, I want to help you grow while I also need you to be there for me.
So next time you sit down with your other half to talk about your days, be honest and open, really listen to each other and help each other grow. In the words of the fabulous Michelle Obama “It’s important to marry somebody who is your equal and to marry somebody and to be with somebody who wants you to win as much as you want them to win.”. Now that is a winning team I want to be part of.