In the beginning… two people meet, fall in love, get engaged and then tie themselves together for life through marriage.
But then what?
As someone who has been married for a while, I can tell you that the initial reason for getting married evolves into something more as time goes on. While you still love each other, your goals change and you begin to work towards other things – buying a house, getting a dog, having kids, etc. BUT, with those new goals, comes new stressors added to the relationship. Emotions run high as you work to live life as a “we,” when you’re used to living it as a “me.”
Recently, a friend said that the best way to make sure your marriage stays healthy – through all the changes – is to treat it like a business. Initially, I thought she was out of her mind. But, then I got to thinking… maybe she was on to something. Now, I know this sounds nuts but hear me out…
- Expect Failure – As with any business venture there are failures and there are successes; this is true for relationships as well. You wouldn’t give up on a business because of one failure, so why give up on the relationship due to one disappointment? Learn to expect failure, mistakes and trying times. No one is perfect, and we’re all human and make mistakes. Expectations have to be set on how you handle mistakes, but however you do, you have to be forgiving when they’re made.
- Set Goals – A great way to stay focused on a relationship is to have mutual goals that you want to achieve together. Rather it’s buying a home, having kids or creating a business together; a relationship has to have attainable goals that you’re working towards together. Having goals that create mentality of teamwork will help to keep your relationship strong.
- Assign Titles – Work together to assign yourselves titles (really it’s more about roles and responsibilities than it is the title). It’s also NOT about who “runs things,” but about having clear-cut expectations of who will do what most of the time. For example, who will be the main person who makes sure the bills get paid on time and handling balancing the checkbook? Will one of you be the predominant childcare provider? Will the other do most of the cleaning, cooking or laundry? Discussing and deciding who will be responsible for what, early on, will help stave off arguments later.
I know “treating your relationship like a business” sounds really odd and kind of cold, but implementing these three things will help you figure out how to work as a team to properly handle most aspects of your relationship and household that come when expectations aren’t being met. You’ll start to see the arguments decrease and the respect you have for each other increase.
What are your thoughts on treating your relationship as a business? Let me know in the comments section.