One of the lesser-discussed facets of a successful career is the health and joy of one’s marriage. Though it is undeniably a personal and private matter, can we not consider it as a fundamental ingredient, or at the very least a significant factor, in cultivating an effective mindset to deliver our best work?
Assuming you have a special someone in your life, turmoil at home doesn’t lend itself to efficiency at work. Struggles at home, at work, or within your socio-economic context can amalgamate into a high-stress cocktail. Consider, for instance, the impact buying a house can have on an employee’s productivity during the process. I’ve witnessed this in myself and in team members I’ve guided. It often results in mental distractions, slower delivery, and interruptions. The impact is even more profound when you and your closest companion are embroiled in heated conflict.
While I’m no expert, I believe we should at least initiate the conversation and grow together. I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years, and for most of that time, I’ve been married. Ever since tying the knot, I’ve been intentional about ensuring the success of my home and marriage. We’re joyously celebrating 13 years of matrimony this year, and it’s been the best journey of my life.
When chaos descends on the world, it’s comforting to find solace in the warm, loving embrace of your partner at night. This is someone who loves you unconditionally. Moreover, in your spouse, you often discover your most effective critic for self-improvement. They possess deep insights into your behavior and are able to communicate them effectively.
To stimulate this conversation, I’d like to share some high-level strategies that have been instrumental for us:
Your spouse must be your best friend. Friends and family are essential, but they take second place to my wife. She is always a top priority.
Your spouse must come before your kids. The unique love of a child is a given, but it doesn’t supersede the bond and priority of a husband and wife. This bond forms the foundation of our family structure.
Cleave to your spouse. I don’t require breaks from my wife. Instead, I seek her out, inviting her closer to me. We are partners, finding courage, strength, and love in each other.
Align on your mission. Our life goals, including those for our kids, family, and careers, are in harmony. Much of this was defined and articulated before we got married, during our courtship. It’s crucial to address the difficult topics first.
Don’t use work as an excuse. It’s all too easy to let work become a priority at the expense of being present in your relationship. Stay mindful of this.
Make the time. Be present when your spouse speaks. Engage them not only on your concerns and frustrations, but ask about theirs. Show curiosity about their evolving interests.
These are some of the guiding principles we adhere to, although individual experiences will naturally vary.
Even if you forget everything else from this article by tomorrow, I urge you to remember this: Be intentional in nurturing your relationship with the person with whom you’ve chosen to walk life’s path.
Marriage is a beautiful journey, and its beauty is largely a function of what you invest into it.