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ONLINE DOCUMENT: BALANCING WORK AND FAMILY

You're together. You both work. How does the relationship affect your career? How does you career affect your relationship?

Ultimately, the dynamics of the workplace alter the dynamics of your relationship. There are times you feel you could do better in the relationship if it weren't for work. Other times you feel you could do better at work if it weren't for the relationship. Your career will never be the same as it was before you merged with your Significant Other. The existence of each affects the other. They are interdependent.This fact creates challenges that need to be conquered in order for each of you to enjoy life while pursuing your goals. Whose job is the most important? You work too late or too much for him/her. What if she makes more money? Or, maybe your jobs are in different cities? Are you both so exhausted by the demands of the job, children, in-laws and all the other necessary ALD's (annoying little details) that there's no life in your life?

Sometimes, there's no feeling for anything; no sense of fulfillment. Can you keep resentment from building to the point where it hurts you and the people you care about?

The answer is, yes, you can successfully manage your dual-career relationship and successfully pursue your goals. But just how do you do that?

Keep the focus on the partnership and don't create power struggles. There doesn't have to be a winner and a loser, a victim and a rescuer. Stay off of ego trips. What you put into the relationship is what counts, not what you take out of it.

Stop trying to please everyone. Early in our partnership, we tried to please each other, our children, in-laws, neighbors, business clients, bosses and associates. We didn't know how to say "no." Everyone's interests were more important than ours. We taught classes on assertiveness training and time management and knew how to assert in business but not in our personal lives.

Finally, in a state of mutual burnout, we started to use the business techniques we implemented in organizations to manage our own lives. That made all the difference in the world.

We learned that seizing every moment and trying to live spontaneously can kill you. Allowing too many demands on your time causes stresses of your own creation. It is possible to pass up what appears to be a golden opportunity, for the short term, until there is a better time to fit it into your life more comfortably.

We were always afraid that if we didn't take advantage of a great opportunity, we would never be given an opportunity again. Great challenges will always be around, if you're good. The key is to continue growing in your careers. That way you can afford to be selective.

If you aren't, both of you will always be tired and stretched-to-the-limit. That's no way to enjoy life while pursuing your goals.

- For a free copy of "10 Tips for Balancing Work & Family", send a self-addressed envelope with postage to: "He Works/She Works, 720 Turkey Oak, Naples, FL. 33963.