Keeping a power partnership alive

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                                                                                                                                                           Herald Sun, Saturday, October 15, 2005              109

Keeping a power partnership alive
Rosalie Pattenden                          The roles were separate but                                                        Power couples without children       you are separated by the need to
and Julie Houghton                      supportiver and there were high
                                        expectations of both members.         I Su rviva I Ii ps                            face slightly different challenges.
                                                                                                                            For them, the issues are how you
                                                                                                                                                                    travel for business.
                                                                                                                                                                      You risk the possibility of affairs
                                           For many women, this was very                                                    stay connected with your partner       if that connection isn't strong.
     N THE midst of frantic lives and   satisfying, because their compet-     • Make staying connected to your              while pursuing your career goals.
I    career-building, it is temptirig
     to put on the rose-coloured
 glasses and muse on a time when
                                        ence was expected and recognised.
                                        But for others it was a stultifying
                                        existence that trapped the woman
                                                                                partner a high priority.
                                                                              • Re-negotlate the balance of work!
                                                                                family/partner/self time regularly
                                                                                                                              It's easy when both have busy,
                                                                                                                            stimulating careers requiring long
                                                                                                                            hours of work to fall into living
                                                                                                                                                                      Make sure that the corporate
                                                                                                                                                                   diaries have couple-time built in.
                                                                                                                                                                   Think about the joint activities
 life was simpler.                      in a dependent marriage, no                                                         parallel lives where they just don't   that brought you together and
    In the 1950s, often Mr Jones        matter how unhappy or violent.          with your partner, and adjust               see each other, let alone sleep with   continue to do them.
went to work and Mrs Jones didn't.        Fast-forward 50 years and the         accordingly.                                each other (except, maybe, in front       If creaking knees and ankles
His domain was the office and she       role of women has changed             • Your career is Important, but your          of the TV).                            mean competitive tennis is out,
ruled the home.                         dramatically.                           relationship cannot be put on hold if         Two ways to combat this are to       find something else you both like
    Yet, surprisingly, there was a        Today's power couples are likely      it is expected to last "till death us do   keep a mental map of what your          to do to take its place.
1950s version of the 21st-century       to be those where both partners         part".                                     partner is involved in and to listen
power couple.                           have high-powered careers and are                                                  to each other.                             Make sure there are "couple
    It was the upwardly mobile          probably financially comfortable                                                      Ask about the important things       projects" that you are working on,
husband and his corporate wife,         but time-poor.                        the needs of the children (includ-           in his or her work life, such as the    whether planning for a great
whose role was to be the woman            It's a popular flippant comment     ing their after-school activities)           meetings, present issues,               holiday or designing a new garden.
behind the man and provide the          of women in these relationships       while juggling career moves and              colleagues, and what's important           Power couples are here to stay,
social power to equip him for high      where they are juggling demands       keeping the marital relationship             to them.                                and they can be thriving, exciting
office, with her loyally by his side.   of career, marriage and children to   alive.                                          Make time at the end of the day      relationships with the right
    That involved serious "finishing    cry, "I need a wife!"        .           The expectations of both                  to listen and unload, rather than       attitudes and management skills
school" work, learning the finer          Both partners with busy careers     partners to do it all well are high.         share it with your PA or a friend.      from both partners.
points of etiquette, how to manage      and a family need to be careful       It's a tricky balancing act needing             You need to share these things
staff and how to plan the week          about how they divide up the          a lot of planning, with support              together if you are to retain a         Rosalie PaUenden is leader 01 clinical practice   +
leading up to the all-important         "cake" of their available time.       (inclUding extended family and               strong presence in each other's         lor Relationships Australia. Ph: 1300364 277
business function on Friday night.        Somehow they need to focus on       take-away food outlets).                     lives. staying connected is vital if    or visit

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