The Pros and Cons of Working With Your Spouse

What to do when love and work collide.

In the year 2020, one of the biggest issues in education may be the re-education of professionals, according to a recent survey.
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Instead, use dinner as an occasion to converse about extracurricular activities and family matters.

[Read: How Couples Can Get Spending Under Control.]

Toughest critic, biggest fan. It's easy to let criticism from a boss you have no personal connection with roll of your back. That isn't always as easy when the critique is coming from your significant other.

"She calls me her lazy mule," W.F. Lantry jokingly says of his wife Kathleen Fitzpatrick. Lantry, a college administrator turned award-winning freelance poet and fiction writer, relies upon Fitzpatrick, his editor and public relations manager, to edit and promote his work. In her other professional life, Fitzpatrick is a musical director for the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.

The writing process, an already draining endeavor for those trying to do it well, can gain added stress and tension when your spouse is the one dissecting your work. "We'll argue about words a little bit or syllable count. She'll even give me grief about the title," Lantry says, explaining how he and his wife collaborate during the editing phase.

Still, he cheerfully credits his wife for reigniting his desire to have his writing published. "It's just because of her that I started up again," Lantry says.

The writing and editing process will spark disagreements between the two. But Fitzpatrick is always quick to reaffim by expressing confidence in Lantry's talent. "I believed in his work," Fitzpatrick says, adding that both shared equal confidence in the other's capabilities. "It's more about believing in each other as artists."