Tag Archives: Working with your spouse

Treat Your Relationship Like Heirloom China

Gene And Julie Show Podcast

On today’s podcast, Gene & Julie discuss why your relationship is like heirloom china… while it’s very fragile, when it’s handled with care it can last a lifetime.

How To Set Successful New Year’s Goals

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Gene & Julie Gates share “New Year’s Tips” on Texas Living.

Happy New Year!  It’s time to set goals as a Working Couple… but how do you set goals since your personal and professional worlds are so intertwined?  Here are the tips we shared on KTXD’s “Texas Living.”

1) Treat your relationship like a business.  We found our business skills were a secret weapon when we applied them to our home life.  When setting your family’s personal goals, bring home tools you use at the office.  Have a formal goal-setting meeting, discuss your ideas, put them down on paper, but don’t tuck those goals away in a drawer.  Like in business, put them up on a big poster that you will see every day.  We make huge vision boards with photos and magazine clippings and hang them in the garage and master bedroom closet.  That way our goals are in our line of sight multiple times a day, and we are constantly reminded to work toward them.  Then similar to business, have quarterly meetings to revisit the progress of our goal setting and determine which action steps we need to take next.

2) Get on the same page.  If you’re going on a New Year’s diet to improve your health… get the entire family on the same page.  Everyone else doesn’t need to go on the diet, but let them know what you are doing and why you are doing it.  If they know your goals, they will be your biggest cheering section and will support you along the way.  However, there is nothing more stressful than someone in the house changing the nutrition plan without telling the rest of the gang.  All of a sudden everyone is stressed and confused over the changes, wondering if they are also on the diet, if you will be eating dinner with them, or if they’re allowed to buy potato chips anymore.  If you’re going to make changes, have a meeting and give everyone a head’s up so they can get on the same page. 

3) Get on the same timeline.  Once you’re on the same page, this next step is crucial.  Let’s say you get on the same page by agreeing you want to buy a house as one of your family goals.  The next step is to get on the same timeline.  He might think you’re buying a house next year while she might think you’re buying a house next month.  If you’re not on the same timeline, she will be angry with him if he spends money at restaurants because she thinks you are urgently saving every single penny for a quick purchase.  So immediately after you get on the same page about a goal, decide on the timeline in which you will accomplish that item.  This will prevent unnecessary conflict.

4) Have a PDR.  Steve Jobs and the brilliant team at Apple realized there are a lot of great ideas out there, but what happens after the idea is brought up during a meeting?  You need to immediately assign a Person Directly Responsible to it.  The PDR isn’t necessarily the one doing all the work, but he or she is the one to make sure the wheels are in motion and the idea doesn’t vanish into thin air.  When you have your future meetings, ask the PDR to report on what’s going on with that item.  We ran into this problem when deciding we needed to have some landscaping done in the backyard.  We both wanted something to be done, agreed the yard looked barren, then walked away.  If we had assigned a PDR, we would have known which one of us was going to take on the task and contacted landscape architects for bids.

Those are just a few of our tips, feel free to check out the rest of our “New Years Tips” on this segment of “Texas Living.”  Happy New Year… may this be your best year yet!

How to Keep the Romantic Spark Alive

Gene & Julie Gates on the set of KTXD's "Texas Living" with Hilary Kennedy.

Gene & Julie Gates on the set of KTXD’s “Texas Living” with Hilary Kennedy.

Sometimes it’s difficult to keep that relationship spark alive when you’re a Working Couple since you have so many balls bouncing and you don’t have a lot of free time.  However, it’s crucial you take good care of your romantic relationship as it is also the cornerstone of your professional life.  We shared a few of our tips on how to keep the spark alive on KTXD’sTexas Living” with Hilary Kennedy.  Click to view– we hope it helps!  Feel free to add your tips in the comments section, too.  Here’s to a ROMANTIC New Year!    Segment on KTXD/Texas Living “How to Keep The Spark Alive”

 

Julie Andrews Says Take It One Day At A Time

Julie Andrews

Julie Andrews as “Mary Poppins”

Julie Andrews is simply magical.  She captured our hearts in “The Sound of Music” and “Mary Poppins”, and so far her incredible career has earned her the Academy Award, Emmy, Grammy, People’s Choice and Golden Globe Awards.  What many don’t know is Julie Andrews worked with her husband, Director Blake Edwards, for 41 years until he passed away in 2010.  On The Gene & Julie Show, Julie shared some insight on what it took to find long term success in her Working Couple marriage: 

Gene Gates: You’ve done a lot of work with your husband, right?

Julie Andrews: Yes, well we were married 41 years, how long have you guys been together?

Gene Gates: 16 years, we’ve got a way to go.

Julie Andrews: I’m glad you came through there, Gene. (laughs)

Julie Gates: So, what’s the secret to a successful marriage?

Julie Andrews: Very simple, take it one day at a time.  One day at a time.  Don’t think about the long haul, think about making it work every day, and believe it or not, it worked beautifully for us.

Gene Gates: How does that make it better, Julie?

Julie Andrews: That way you don’t have any preconceived notions or fantasies about the way it’s going to be one day, you deal with the way it is today.  And whatever the issues are, you get through them and that’s another day.  And the days do add up…  we were staggered.  But that’s what we vowed to do and it worked for us.

Julie Gates: Oh, I think that’s brilliant advice because you’re not putting expectations on anything.

Julie Andrews: That’s right. One always obviously has hopes and expectations when you get married, but just one day at a time make it work.

Gene Gates: And was your relationship any different at work versus at home?

Julie Andrews: Only in that I think Blake felt that I knew exactly what he wanted when sometimes I kept thinking, “Excuse me, can I just ask a question here?” I’m waiting to be guided as I would by any director, but he always assumed that I’d know what he wanted. 

Julie Gates: He assumed you could read his mind… well you could, you were his wife!

Julie Andrews:  It was great because we could talk shorthand… it was lovely.

We think Julie’s tip on taking marriage one day at a time is incredible advice.  Live in the moment.  Tackle each obstacle as it comes.  Don’t fret about the future.  She has a lot of wisdom and we’re delighted she shared it with us! 

With Love,
Gene & Julie
Founders, Working Couple Network

© Gene & Julie Gates and Working Couple Network, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gene & Julie Gates and Working Couple Network with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

10 Tips For A Happy Marriage

Gene & Julie clowning around during a photo shoot.

Well, 72 days of marriage didn’t work out so well for Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries—but never fear, you can still have a great relationship!  We have been in love and working together for 16 years and we have faith you can have a happy marriage.  Here are tips that we have used in our relationship workshops, blog and upcoming book… we hope one or two will work for you.  You can link to the story we wrote for our radio station’s website by clicking below:

Read more: Gene & Julie’s 10 Tips For A Happy Marriage    http://1037litefm.radio.com/2011/11/02/gene-julies-10-tips-for-a-happy-marriage/#ixzz1csTIrwgW

Wendy Williams Tells Us ‘Be Brutally Honest’

Wendy Williams hosts the nationally syndicated "The Wendy Williams Show"

Wendy Williams hosts the nationally syndicated "The Wendy Williams Show"

Nationally syndicated television talk show host Wendy Williams is a busy woman.  She hosts “The Wendy Williams Show,” is wrapping-up her commitment on “Dancing With the Stars” and hosts the game show “Love Triangle.”  She does all this while working with her husband Kevin Hunter.  We recently spoke with Wendy about how they thrive as a Working Couple, and this is what she shared:

You have to really like each other as friends, and make it work.  My husband is one of the Executive Producers at “The Wendy Williams Show”, we also work together on the game show “Love Triangle” and he’s my manager.  We have a ten-year-old son and we’ve been married 12 years, so I have a really full life….  You have to understand that sometimes you have to be brutally honest with one another.  And your spouse can say things to you that your General Manager at the radio station can’t, so suck it up, go to your Mom Cave, cry your tears, then put your big girl panties on and get back out there.  Because as partners working, at the end of the day when you speak to your partner who is also your spouse, it’s about enriching your business but also your household… We’re live out of New York every day at 10 a.m. (The Wendy Williams Show),  and after the show I’m involved in business meetings and things like that.  A lot of times I’m on the telephone doing those things while I’m commuting back to Jersey where I become “Mrs. Hunter.”  Then I’m supervising homework.  I’m emptying the dishwasher.  I’m not the best cook, but I do have some signature favorites.  I consider myself a pretty good house manager here at our house.  I don’t leave the task of raising my family to others.

To listen to our entire radio interview with the warm and funny Wendy Williams, click here.  Now it’s your turn to share: in which areas of your Working Couple relationship are you brutally honest?  Are there areas where you can’t be honest because it would hurt the business or relationship?  Post your comments below on the topic of honesty in your working relationship.

With Love,
Gene & Julie
Founders, Working Couple Network

© Gene & Julie Gates and Working Couple Network, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gene & Julie Gates and Working Couple Network with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Working Couple Profile #1: Janelle & Neal Hail

Janelle & Neal Hail of National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Welcome to our newest feature: the Working Couple Profile.  We are delighted to introduce you to other Working Couples who will share their insights, struggles and stories on how to successfully balance working together and thriving as a couple.  We’ll kick off the series with the wonderful Neal and Janelle Hail of National Breast Cancer Foundation.  Married 46 years this August and working together for 20, Neal is Co-Founder and Janelle serves as CEO.  Janelle shares this insight on how to manage too much togetherness:

As you know, just the thoughts of being together 24 hours a day at work and play has the potential of making a couple want to run and hide at times.  I take that back–jump off a cliff.  After nearly 46 years of marriage, we have learned to embrace not only life changes, but also our personal differences as a compliment to our marriage and business relationship.  Instead of my expecting Neal to be perfect like me, I use humor to point out that the bedroom tree coat grows branches as he piles clothes high on it over the weekend.  To his credit, not a leaf falls to the ground.  In turn, after months of saying nothing about seeing a wet washcloth folded up by the bathroom sink on my side and believing it was there 24 hours a day, I laughed and told him I wash my face in the evening and leave it there for the next morning so I can have a cold cloth to help awaken me.  I will say that double sinks in our bathroom has been the glue to our marriage.

We deeply respect each others’ capabilities and find that these differences supplement each other as our talents blend together.  Allowing each other to grow in our own interests gives us that feeling of always being at home with each other no matter what we are doing.  Even though Neal cannot embrace the complete euphoria I experience with my spa music, he likes the outcome of my relaxed, quiet demeanor.  I will never understand why he does not tire of Glenn Miller music, but how I love the happy expression that covers his face when his music cranks up.  That energy and zest for life comes from tapping into things you love to do.

Neal and I create places for our own space at home. We have separate home offices as well as work offices at our business.  Our offices reflect our personalities.  His home office has a strength and elegance to it as a featured room in our home, while mine has that comfy multi-project lived in look with a wall of ceiling-to-floor books.  We let each other “be”.  What a pleasure to be allowed to be yourself and explore your spaces at home–places to read, places to watch favorite TV shows while stretched out in our own spots on the couch, places to experiment in cooking, and so many more places that makes home a place to live and love.  All in all, we would rather be married to each other and live together for another 46 years than any gift we could ever ask for in life.

The mission of Janelle and Neal’s National Breast Cancer Foundation is to save lives through early detection and to provide mammograms to those in need.  You can learn more about their great work by going to www.nbcf.org or check out Janelle’s blog at www.janellehail.com.

You’ve read Janelle and Neal’s techniques… what do you do to manage too much togetherness? Do you create your own spaces at home or work?  Do you have your own interests?  Your insight might be a great solution for other Working Couples… we encourage you to post a comment as we build this great community.

With Love,
Gene & Julie
Founders, Working Couple Network

© Gene & Julie Gates and Working Couple Network, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gene & Julie Gates and Working Couple Network with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Marital Advice for Will and Kate

Prince William and Catherine Middleton kiss as husband and wife

We were captivated with the Royal Wedding and loved watching the beautiful couple commit to a lifelong partnership.  While it is all fairy tale horse-drawn carriages today, soon enough the reality of marriage will set in and Will and Kate will have to learn how to live together and navigate conflict.  For kicks we had our CBS Radio morning team give marital advice so the royal couple can survive marriage for the long haul.  Click to listen.


What advice would you share for a lifetime of marital bliss?  We’d love to hear from you!

With Love,
Gene & Julie
Founders, Working Couple Network

© Gene & Julie Gates and Working Couple Network, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gene & Julie Gates and Working Couple Network with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Pencil Technique

The Pencil Technique

The Pencil Technique pencil that Gene & Julie Gates distribute at their relationship workshops.

Early in our relationship we had explosive arguments.  And big disagreements are scary for Working Couples because we have all our eggs in one basket: the love of your life is also your business partner, roommate and best friend.  We decided if we were going to have all our eggs in one basket we better make sure our basket was in great shape, so we paid a visit to the therapist.  During our animated discussion, Lynn observed we weren’t listening to each other.  Then she introduced us to the Pencil Technique.

Lynn handed Julie a pencil and explained, “The only time you talk is when you hold the pencil. Tell Gene how you feel.”

Julie said, “When I hear you raise your voice during an argument I become afraid you’re going to leave me.”

Lynn said, “Now Gene, you need to repeat word-for-word what Julie just told you.”

Gene repeated, “When I raise my voice during an argument you become afraid that I’m going to leave you.”

Lynn nodded her head at Gene and added, “Now say to Julie, ‘Did I get it right?’”

“Did I get it right?” asked Gene.

Julie responded, “You got it right.”

Lynn smiled, “Hand the pencil to Gene… it’s his turn.”

Gene said reassuringly, “When I raise my voice I’m frustrated, but I still love you.  I don’t mean to scare you– and leaving this relationship is the last thing on my mind.”

We finished our session taking turns with the Pencil Technique, sometimes we got it right.  Other times we had to repeat what we were trying to say until the listener finally got it.  But this was a transformational day in our relationship.  For the first time we really heard each other…  we finally understood each other.

Now the Pencil Technique is one of our favorite tools to share during our relationship workshops.  It’s an easy way to discuss sensitive topics… and we admit there are still times we need to grab the pencil for ourselves.

With Love,
Gene & Julie
Founders, Working Couple Network

© Gene & Julie Gates and Working Couple Network, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gene & Julie Gates and Working Couple Network with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Twilight is Good for Your Marriage

TwilightIs your marriage losing its spark?  We have one word for you: Twilight.  If you want to recapture the sensations of falling in love, read the Stephenie Meyer books and watch the films together.  You will awaken the electricity that you thought was dormant in your marriage…  it worked for us.  :)  Hear about our Twilight experience in this week’s Relationship Report Card.  Ooh la la!


With Love,
Gene & Julie
Founders, Working Couple Network

© Gene & Julie Gates and Working Couple Network, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gene & Julie Gates and Working Couple Network with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.