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« Court Denies Fees to Attorney On Grounds He Turned Peaceful Divorce into Costly Feud | Main | CCH Survey Finds Employers Increased the Variety of Work Life Balance Programs Offered But Still Not Sure Which Are Most Effective »

Power Couples Share Balance Strategies

PowercoupleSo you're married to a lawyer, and you both spend 60 hours a week or more working? How do you find balance? How do you maintain a strong relationship?

In a recent panel discussion at Harvard entitled "Stopping for Directions: A Conversation About Career, Family and Success," several couples where both spouses had high-powered, busy careers spanning business and politics, shared their secrets for creating a strong relationship despite intense work demands.

One useful anecdote was shared by Sharon Meers, an author and former managing director at Goldman Sachs, married to real estate developer Steve Dostart. Initially, Meer's high-powered career at Goldman Sachs left Dostart carrying the load in their home life even before their two children arrived. Since talking seemed always to lead to an argument, Dostart told Meers to write down her goals and desires for the family they hoped to start. It turned out, he said, that they shared those goals, and writing them down helped them both realize that. "The main message was that both of our dreams counted and we'd facilitate [achieving them]," Meers recalled.

Other couples added that it's important to review the couple's shared and individual goals at least once a year, to ensure they are still moving in the same direction, and to see if any adjustments are needed. All agreed that life often throws unexpected obstacles and opportunities at you and so both spouses have to be flexible and committed to each other and the family unit to adjust to the new realities.

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