Dec 22, 2016 Relationships

Power Couples Who Do This One Thing Stay Together, Study Says

by Genevieve Fish


Life in the fast lane can take a toll on interpersonal relationships, and no one knows this better than power couples, who manage hectic schedules, high-powered jobs, and very little personal time. We’re not talking about the glamorous power couples you see floating down the red carpet—although we're sure they live through their fair share of compromising, too. In this case, Stanford Graduate School of Business hosted four couples who revealed how they navigate the dual-career lane while still tending to their families, health, and personal lives.

The event, which was sponsored by Stanford GSB’s Women in Management group, featured individuals who acknowledged the trials and tribulations associated with trying to maintain “a loving relationship and chaos-free household when both partners work long hours and also may travel frequently.” Luckily, they also provided several takeaways for how to live a balanced lifestyle despite having hectic schedules. Take your relationship to the next level with these great tips from super-couples.

Power couple Alex and Parker Conrad worked out an arrangement for home tasks early on in their relationship. Alex, a management consultant for Strategy&, takes care of everything that can be accomplished remotely—like paying bills. Parker, a co-founder of several companies based in the Bay Area, has a less crazy travel schedule and, thus, takes care of all home needs that have to be dealt with in person.

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It doesn’t matter how busy you are—you should always put your relationship first. That means being present during the moments that you do have time with your other half. Trae Vassallo, a former Kleiner Perkins partner, acknowledges that many dual-career couples neglect their relationship as a result of their crazy schedules. “Even if you have a call pending and a flight the next morning, it’s important to be fully present for your spouse,” Vassallo says. Her husband, Steve Vassallo, a partner at Foundation Capital agrees: “You’ve got to make sure that the relationship is healthy before you worry about other things.”

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Steve Vassallo also cautions about the changes that happen as life progresses. “I guarantee there are a bunch of [people] in this room who say, ‘I really want to marry someone who is a brilliant [career person],’ but then when they get married, they also want their spouse to have kids and be a supermom,” he tells Stanford students. “It’s critical for dual-career couples to have an open dialogue about their expectation before marriage. Because to switch down the line is pretty painful.” 

For more strategies on how to live a balanced life and be one-half of a power couple, visit Stanford’s GSB.

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How do you manage work/life balance in your relationship? Share your wisdom with us.