When 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