Marrying Work and Romance

August 18, 2015

Beau and Renata for JoyntureIf you ever watched The Office TV series, you saw the mostly bright side of workplace romance in the couple Pam and Jim.

But what does it take in real life to marry your profession and love?

We got some tips from Joynture members Renata and Beau Lee whom make working together and marriage work.

The Lees have been married four years.  They started working together on two businesses (music lessons and commercial cleaning) and then they created a nonprofit venture—Brooklyn Ark. Brooklyn Ark networks people in “Community, Culture, & Faith.” So perhaps it’s no surprise that they’ve connected themselves in the strongest possible commitments that are steeped in the same values.

“One thing we really love is that we share a common vision and common goals,” Renata says.

Renata saw the value of being married and working together with her parents, who started an internet business together when she was in high school.

“For the last 15 years, they have been working together from home,” she says. “From my parents, I definitely saw how this could work and how beautiful this could be.”

We’ve all heard stories of workplace flings that have broken up marriages in a culture where many people work late and travel together extensively. The Lees have short-circuited such a pitfall.

“We get to share every aspect of life,” Renata says. “That was something I really wanted. I always wanted my future to be wrapped up in my husband’s and his in mine. We really get to share life together.”

But that hasn’t meant it’s always easy.

“I think a mark of a mature person is one who is able to make decisions apart from emotions and feelings,” Renata says. “To say, ‘Yes, I’m disgruntled but to continue on with excellence.’”

Beau says the couple has had to be extra vigilant and open about their own strengths, weaknesses, and work and personal habits and styles. For example, he says, most adults have different views on the appropriate length of a work day, and that’s something that has to be navigated and appreciated on both sides.

They’ve learned that while they both have “visionary” qualities—Renata has a more pragmatic nature.

“We’re stronger together,” Beau says. He says that in client meetings, he often takes care to point out Renata’s strengths, as any good business partner would.

“I’m stronger in his weaknesses,” and vice versa, Renata says. “We’ve learned to dance together.”

Beau adds that even though, at times, a difficult workday can bleed into home life, or vice versa, overall working together is a win.

“At the end of the day, we get to celebrate together. We generally share in the brainstorming process and we share in the success,” he says. “You are absolutely aligned because my success is your success and your success is my success.”

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