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.

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.

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.

What is Your Love Language?

The 5 Love Languages

What makes you feel loved?  Is it a note left on the bathroom mirror?  A kiss goodbye?  We are enthusiastic believers of Dr. Gary Chapman’s theory that we all have a primary love language… the way we feel most loved.  The 5 Love Languages are Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.  This concept gave us an “ah ha” moment when we realized different things made us feel like we were loved and appreciated.  If Physical Touch is your partner’s love language, it won’t matter how many times you send flowers… your partner won’t feel loved.  Sending flowers is fantastic for the person whose love language is Receiving Gifts, but a foot massage will work magic for the person who craves Physical Touch.  Early in our relationship we devoured Dr. Chapman’s book and took his quiz… it created terrific results because we were able to find ways to show love to each other in ways that the other person received it.  Dr. Chapman says, “Many husbands and wives who had spent years struggling through marriages they thought were loveless discovered one or both spouses had long been showing love through messages that weren’t getting through. By recognizing their different love languages, they witnessed the rebirth of the love they thought had been gone for good.”  Luckily for us, we have the same love language: Physical Touch… our challenge is finding a way to make that work between our busy career, family time and volunteer efforts… but that’s the topic of another blog.  🙂  So, here’s the 5 Love Languages quiz… what’s yours?  Better yet… what’s your partner’s?

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 Relationship Report Card

Have you ever thought about giving your spouse a report card grade?  We do it every week on our CBS Radio show (www.1037litefm.com).  We call it our “Relationship Report Card”…   and it’s a wheels-off peek into our Working Couple marriage.  Sometimes we get it right and earn an A… but realistically we receive a lot of D’s and F’s.  Oh well, we keep trying.  On this particular week Gene earned a C for being clueless.  Listen by clicking the player below.

So, what grade would you give your significant other this week?

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.

Treat Your Spouse Like a VIP Client

Don’t you love to be treated like a rock star? We read a great story in “The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence” by Robert Spector and Patrick D. McCarthy. To paraphrase, a woman made a last-minute Nordstrom shopping trip before heading to the airport. After she left, the salesperson realized the woman accidentally left her airline ticket at the store. What did the saleswoman do? She hailed a cab, drove to the airport and hand-delivered the ticket to her customer with a warm smile. Isn’t that incredible? Nordstrom is famous for treating customers like a rockstar, and as a result we return again and again.

Now let’s play a game. Let’s use the same story about the woman who was shopping at Nordstrom; however, this time replace the woman in the story with your husband or wife. What would happen in your home if your spouse is the one who left an airline ticket on the kitchen counter? Would you graciously grab that ticket and race to the airport to deliver it with a smile? Or would you curse your loved one under your breath and bemoan how inconvenient this is for you– you are busy and don’t have time for this stupidity.

Frequently, we treat our most important clients with kindness, compassion and forgiveness. Unfortunately, that changes at home when we are overwhelmed with juggling carpool, soccer practice and dinner plans– we forget to extend the same courtesy to our spouse. Today treat your spouse like you would treat your most important customer. Have a spirit of kindness and helpfulness… it will definitely Ignite Your Couple Power!

With Love,
Gene & Julie
Founders
The Working Couple Network

Welcome to The Working Couple Network

Gene & Julie Gates

We met in 1995 and it was love at first sight.  There was only one problem: we were trying to start a business together.  We sprinted to a therapist and asked, “Are we completely crazy to want to build a working relationship and romantic relationship at the same time?”  She said it could work, and we haven’t looked back.

We are Gene & Julie Gates and for the past 16 years we have been in business together… hosting a morning radio program in some of America’s most exciting cities: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas and Atlanta.  Like you, we get up from the same bed, commute in the same car, work in the same office and parent the same child.  It’s a 24/7 relationship… and we love it!  The #1 question we get every day is, “How on earth do you work together without killing each other?”  Most days are filled with fun and laughter.  Then there are the days we step on each other’s last nerve.  But there is nothing better than working with the love of your life.

Even though there are countless benefits to working with your spouse, couples who work together face unique challenges.  You don’t only discuss business strategy together, but you also have to figure out who’s getting Little One at carpool and when on earth are you going to have another Date Night.  When you’re a Working Couple and you schedule a conference call with your biggest client you have to hire a babysitter to make sure your 3-year-old isn’t singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” in the background.

Working together has been an incredible adventure, but we realized something crucial was missing from our life: a network of other crazy folks sharing these same experiences.  We needed a group of friends who could relate to the unique circumstances that only other couples working together could understand.  That’s the genesis of the Working Couple Network.  This is a place for Working Couples… those of us who are in the trenches who can offer fellowship, advice, successful strategies and products that have been lifesavers in optimizing our blended work/home lives.  We will post blogs, interviews with other successful Working Couples and coordinate gatherings.

We know firsthand you’ve got to have a  screw loose to work with your romantic partner… but it’s the most amazing and rewarding journey to travel.  Won’t you join us?

Welcome!

With Love,
Gene & Julie
Founders, Working Couple Network