Is Working Together Ever a Good Idea?


couple shadowWhen the news came out about Dooce blogger Heather Armstrong separating from her husband Jon, I really felt sad for them and their family. Heather wrote about it on Dooce in such a way it will bring tears to your eyes. Jon's post on Blurbomat cannot be read without feeling the sadness either. He says how Heather has asked him to find work outside of Armstrong Media, the empire they built together.

Two people who have children and loved, lived, and worked together are now ending their relationship. It's a dangerous thing to work with your partner, but it could also be a fantastic thing. Could Armstrong Media have reached the success they did if Heather and Jon weren't a team? Hard to say, of course, but the drive and passion they had for it must have been unparalleled, beyond intimate, something you can't find from an employee or employer.

But the risks of working together might be too great to ignore.

I've worked with a boyfriend once -- for a larger company. We would take lunches and be able to commute together -- I loved that. Though we weren't directly involved with each other at work since we were in different departments. We also didn't seek out working together. That's where we met. And also ended up breaking up. I avoided the floor he worked on as much as possible in those early days, but eventually we were able to be friends. I even attended his engagement party ... to another former work colleague. Strange, wonderful world we live in. But we weren't married. We did live together, but there weren't kids involved (just a cat). Breaking up meant a moving van was needed. He ended up getting a better job (which I helped him get by connecting him with my former colleague and friend who he ended up marrying). I love that I had a tiny, tiny part in that love connection. So that breakup ended fine. Our work situations weren't affected much, and we were able to move on.

I feel like I just overshared. But that's what we do -- what bloggers do. And why Heather and Jon both blogged about their separation, leaving us feeling sad, hoping the best for them to get through this. And it also has us reflecting on our own lives. Our own thoughts on if it's worth the risk of working with our significant other. I think Jon leaving Armstrong Media is a big deal, not just for the marriage but for the business. I've heard that in our lives, we often have at least one thing a bit amiss -- either our love life, our family life, or our work life. Having all three of these things in disarray is a great challenge. I wish them the best as they work this out, whatever the outcome.

But I also think that "all in" mentality is incredibly romantic. Working, living, loving, raising a family together -- who cares about the what ifs if the right now is going really well? We can't live in fear of the what ifs. Until they happen. If they happen. And if the unthinkable happens, then we find a way to work it out. Because we have to.

I guess it all depends.

Would you work with your husband? Have you and have any stories to share?


Image via thurlbut/Flickr

breakups, divorce


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nonmember avatar Jessica

I have worked with my husband on several occasions and it has always been great! When we first started dating we both applied at the same restaurant - he was in the kitchen and I was waitressing. It was great because on busy nights we both knew what the other had gone through. Now we work in the same department in a large company and there are pros and cons. Hes my best friend so working together makes life simple, plus we know our quirks so we can deal with stressful situations.

He's socially different being from Germany and living in Canada so I'm glad I can give him an elbow when he gets too "German" for the Canadians haha, and he can tell me when I'm over analyzing something my boss says.

We do have the odd power struggle as im usually in the office and have a little more authority than him, and I can't let my bosses see me being "wifed". We both recognize that our situation is different than what most people want but I really couldn't be happier that we get to spend so much time together. ( Although booking vacations can be tough being in the same department)

nonmember avatar Joy

I've been married for 20 years and just started working with my Husband. Its great, we don't see each other except at lunch. I am grateful to be working for such a wonderful company that allows it.

jessi... jessicasmom1

Yes I met my DH at work .. then we continued to work together I loved it

nonmember avatar Sarah

My husband and I work together every day - between our photography business of almost 5 years (mostly weddings), and our 17-month-old. We love it, and wouldn't change it at all. We each have our roles in our business, which helps us not step on each others' toes. But, we still have a normal relationship: we have disagreements and then work through them.

okcpmed okcpmed

My husband and I are a paramedic and emt team on a 911 ambulance, and have been for nearly 5 years. We work well together and it is nice to have a spouse who knows how you are feeling about the call you just ran. We have our fights and arguments, but we resolve them quickly before the next call. Our job requires us to stay in our ambulance throughout our 12 hour shift and if being that close for that long and not killing each other isn't love, then I don't know what is. No kids yet, just the 4-legged kind.

nonmember avatar Denise DT

I worked with my husband for 6 months, we won a competition to be travel bloggers and it was really tough on our relationship. We had fun being together all day, but having deadlines and work commitments meant we started treating each other like colleagues, not partners.

Now he has a 9-5 job he loves and I work from home - SO MUCH EASIER!

nonmember avatar casper

I just started dating my bf been 2 months an dhe is the ceo of the company that he owns, he suggested i work there with his brother who is in charge of a different department, and now he is thinking twice, he thinks it will cause problems between us. He doesnt mind that i go ahead and join the team, but him feeling this way worries me, I really like him and reading all this positive comments above made me feel a little better, should i go for it?

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