Your partner has dropped hints about buying you the most beautiful diamond engagement ring in the world. Your boss has casually mentioned the possibility of a huge promotion. Your partner can’t stop talking about plans for the future, involving a house and kids and possibly a yacht for summer vacations. Your boss keeps mentioning how you’re the only worthy successor, their office waiting for when it’s your turn. You want to say yes to both offers. At least, once you finally get asked. But you can’t shake off the feeling of apprehension. Is juggling a career and marriage something you can pull off?
The quick answer is, absolutely! But, you have to do the work. It won’t be easy. It will be challenging. But it will be worth it. Here is some advice.
Everything works better with careful planning. Early in your marriage, set specific goals. For example, when do you plan to start a family? That is if you intend to have kids in the first place. Let’s say you want to have your first baby three years after the marriage. Try as much as you can for your career to accommodate that goal. The same rule applies to the opposite scenario. If you are expecting another promotion within five years, expect things to get hectic during that time. If by then you already have a two-year-old kid, be ready to look for a reliable nanny.
Compartmentalization is key. When you are at work, your mind should be at work. When you are home, your entire being should be present at home. With expert time management, which we’re sure you have, being the competent person you are, you can separate your career from your marriage and make both work.
However, be ready for contingencies. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices. For example, a weekend at work because of high-stake deliverables. Or an entire week at home to tend for a sick partner or child.
Set your non-negotiables
While sacrifices are acceptable from time to time, they should not be the norm. Your goal is to effectively juggle both aspects of your life without them colliding midair and robbing you of your momentum and focus. Here it is crucial to set non-negotiables.
Think anniversaries. If your partner values those days, so should you. Make your boss understand you need that day off work. Conversely, if you tend to get busy at work during the tail end of each quarter of the year, let your partner understand that you might stay late at the office during those days.
Find time for intimacy
No matter how busy you get, you need to set time for intimacy with your partner. All kinds of relationships require nurturing. That’s most true with a marriage. So never neglect your partner’s need for intimacy. Never put yours on hold as well, just because you have multi-page reports to pore over.
This is most crucial when you’re past the honeymoon phase. That’s where the real work at home starts.
Make your partner understand your job
Chances are your partner’s working full-time too. You must have a grasp of what they’re doing so that the next time you see them stressed-out in front of a computer, you can empathize easily. The same goes for your job. You need your partner to understand what you’re doing. That way, they’ll know the level of responsibility set upon your shoulders. Should the day come that you forget a special milestone in your relationship because work-related concerns monopolized your psychic and emotional bandwidth, you’ll be forgiven without any repressed resentment.
This is achieved via open communication. As with most interpersonal problems, the solution boils down to talking and listening.
Between 40 and 50 percent of American marriages succumb to divorce. That statistic is not meant to scare you. It’s meant to offer you perspective. Some marriages triumph. Others fail. Should you encounter difficulties in your marriage, you and your partner can always go to couples therapy, which now has a 75 percent effectivity rate.
As for your job, so long as you perform as you always have, deliver as you always have, your superior won’t have any reason to fire you or take back your promotion. You will remain an asset to the organization, despite attaching a new surname to your maiden name.
You may use the management skills you use at the office for your marriage. Conversely, you can adapt the level of commitment and loyalty you have for your marriage to your job. Make it work. You know you can.