Set healthy boundaries that will NOT damage your work life and personal life
I think it goes without saying; you should probably have a solid foundation in your relationship, prior to working with your spouse/life partner. So what is a solid foundation? A solid foundation is a relationship built on trust, transparency, clearly defined boundaries (which are flexible as needed and with discussion), clearly defined roles, effective communication, skilled and fair negotiation skills. Compromise, love and a sense of partnership.
When you are using your home as your office, I suggest having a clearly designated zone for the office; which is separate from other areas of the home. I know it is difficult to avoid talking about work at home, especially when you work together, but that is exactly what I am going to suggest. All work and discussions about work should take place in the designated work zone (I highly suggest this be separate from the kitchen, bedroom, and living room). You need to make sure that all conversations about the relationship stay outside of the workplace/zone.
Both partners need to remember to give each other space. Don’t crowd the other with affection or time consuming conversations in the work place. Don’t insist that you go to lunch together every single day. You might even want to ride in separately sometimes.Try to have a firm schedule for work hours and related task, so there is structure and clear boundaries about work time and personal time.
Know your roles.
This is very important. You may even consider writing out job descriptions for each partner’s role (job title). You need to have a clear understanding of who and how decisions are made, and who handles the different aspects of the business. For example, who handles the schedule, finances, writing checks, placing orders, and making purchases? Who places the orders to vendors? How do you make purchases? Do both of you have to agree and sign off on all purchases or only those over a certain amount? How are disputes resolved? How do you negotiate disagreements? A negotiation means you are both compromising, so neither of you may get what you originally wanted, but you should both be satisfied with the decision. How do you define your roles; boss, assistant, CEO, etc?
Please remember to have time away from each other; this should be scheduled for at least once a week, if possible. It can be wonderful to work with your partner and to share everything with him or her, but you still need your own space and individuality.
Sometimes relationships form because we meet someone in the work place. This can be exciting and challenging. This could also cost you your job, especially if you are a superior to the other party. Assuming the relationship is going well.
Here are some questions to ask yourself.
Say your partner is gossiping about your relationship with another coworker, how are you going to feel about that? How might that affect your job? How might that affect the way your co-workers view you? When there is a conflict in the relationship, how is that going to affect your job performance, or the way you treat your partner at work? Are you keeping this relationship a secret from the bosses, if so what would happen were they to find out?