According to the Harvard Business Review, today more than 47 percent of all American married couples are dual-career couples.

(In Canada, the percentage is roughly 70%, in the UK, it’s around 67%).

So, the question on a lot of couples’ minds is: how do you make it work, when you’re both…working?

Here are Three Strategies:

Strategy One: Clarify Expectations

Unspoken expectations are a deathblow to any relationship. If both you and your partner work, it’s especially important to clarify your expectations of how work-life and home-life will intertwine.

For instance, after a long day at the office do you need to be alone to decompress? Or do you want your partner around to discuss and debrief the day’s events with you?

Do you expect you and your partner to touch base during the day—that is, with phone calls, texts, or email–or do prefer not to be interrupted when working?

What are your expectations about time off, meals together, child care, and money? Addressing these issues, and others, will make sure that both you and your significant other are on the same page.

Strategy Two: Schedule Spontaneity.

People hate scheduling fun. However, for many working couples, if it’s not scheduled it doesn’t happen.  And that’s no fun at all.

Take a look at your calendar, and just like you would block off times for important company meetings, block off times for fun with your significant other. You don’t need to specify what you will do—just that you’ll be together, and not working. These respites from responsibility will help keep the spark in the relationship.

Strategy Three: Cheat — On Your Job. 

The philosopher Goethe once said, “Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”

What happens when work conflicts with life—who usually wins? Too often, it’s work.

While career is important—not every “work emergency” is really worthy of cutting into your home-life.

In addition, small gestures like taking a day off when your significant other is sick, or coming home early once in a while, can go a long way in showing your significant other that the or she is a priority.

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Question of the Day:

Are you in a relationship where both you and your significant other work? If so, what have you done that has helped keep the relationship healthy? Let us know, in the comments.

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Dr. Anthony Centore

Anthony Centore, PhD

Anthony Centore, PhD, is Founder and Chair at Thriveworks — a counseling practice focused on premium client care, with 340+ locations across the US. Anthony is a Private Practice Consultant for the American Counseling Association, columnist for Counseling Today magazine, and author of "How to Thrive in Counseling Private Practice". He is a multistate Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and has been quoted in national media sources including The Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, and CBS Sunday Morning.

Check out “Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book” written by AJ Centore and Taylor Bennett."