By Rachel Pace

Would it surprise you to know that all the times your wife asked you to put the dishes away or your husband asking you to hear him out before interrupting can actually make a difference in your professional life? Business and marriage can teach you a lot about yourself and about your work ethic. Following great marriage advice about communication and loyalty can teach you practical lessons in business. In fact, a five-year study from Washington University in St. Louis shows that your spouse’s personality can have a direct influence on your career success. Your marriage teaches you to be selfless, to take responsibility, and to roll with the figurative punches. All of these qualities are great for a thriving business and a happy, healthy marriage.

Marriage and the life of an entrepreneur have much in common. Here is some marriage advice along with the six lessons I learned about business after getting married:

1. Success Starts at Home: Remember that when it comes to entrepreneur couples, business, and marriage — success starts at home. Here is a lesson I learned about business from my marriage. When you and your partner work hard to make one another happy, you’ll have higher relationship satisfaction and have less relationship problems. The same goes for your professional life.

Studies show that happy people have better social relationships, and that includes both your marriage and your work-relationships with colleagues and clients. When you take care of yourself by spending time with your spouse, taking care of your kids, and focusing on your hobbies, you’ll be happier at work.This happiness doesn’t go unnoticed by your clients, and this happy attitude can actually make them more likely to work with you over your competitors.

Related Link: Marriage Advice from Celebrity Couples Who Stay Together

2. Listening is a Powerful Tool: When your partner feels like you listen to them, they are more likely to communicate their thoughts and feelings to you. This can help you strengthen your marriage, encourage fun bonding conversations, and teaches you how to talk to one another when things get rough. Communication at home = great customer service at work. Listening is a powerful tool in your marriage and in your business.

The better your communication with your spouse is, the easier it will be for you to communicate with customers. When you learn to communicate with your spouse, you’ll be able to listen patiently and stay calm when dealing with uncomfortable or tense situations at work.

3. Never Go to Bed Angry: When it comes to marriage advice, this is a big one: never ever, go to bed angry. Hitting the hay with unresolved conflict causes sleep-loss and creates an unhealthy atmosphere that your mind will associate with your bedroom. This can impede sexual intimacy, and needless to say, you won’t feel refreshed about your relationship come sunrise.One study from Nature Communications reveals the danger of going to bed angry, citing that the brain holds onto negative experiences stronger during sleep. Therefore, it’s best to resolve your conflicts before they become a permanent memory.

Similar to resolving conflicts with your spouse, if there is any bad blood happening between you and a client, it’s best to get it out as soon as possible. Letting problems fester will only cause your relationship to deteriorate.Treat your client like your partner and let them know how important it is for you to make them happy and resolve your differences as soon as they happen. This strengthens your communication, lowers stress and anxiety, and help you start fresh the next time you speak.

Related Link: Marriage Advice: How to Keep the Spark Alive After Having Kids

4. Do you want to be Right or Happy?: There is an old saying about marriage that goes: “Do you want to be happy or do you want to be right?” Basically, arguing about the little things isn’t worth disrupting your happy relationship. If it’s possible, let it go. And if you are right (or think that you are) in a certain situation, that doesn’t mean you always have to shout it from the rooftops or even make note of it at all.

This marriage advice applies to your business life as well. Be flexible when it comes to making decisions and going the extra mile for your clients. Focus on making them happy, not reminding them who the boss is or arguing with them about why you are right about X, Y, and Z. Arguing with business partners or clients is a surefire way to make them look elsewhere for their needs.

5. Realize What’s Important: Sometimes your spouse can get upset about topics that make you scratch your head in confusion. Why is that important? Why are they getting so upset about this? The concerns of your spouse aren’t always as important to you as they are to them. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t important.

Similarly, the needs and issues that your client finds important may not also resonate with you, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat them with the utmost care.

6. Life Isn’t Always About You: Another piece of marriage advice that applies to both business and marriage is that life isn’t always about you. Being selfish in marriage will only push your partner away, and only after you’ve made them feel unimportant to you.
Being giving with your partner will remind them that they are your number one priority and that you will go out of your way to make them happy.

Imagine your client can only get together for a meeting after you’re already off the clock. Obviously, you’d much rather be spending time with your spouse or focusing on your hobbies after work. But being unselfish with your clients sometimes means being flexible, even when it isn’t convenient for you to do so. Your clients will appreciate your unselfish nature. Being unselfish also means letting your clients speak and showing a general interest in what they have to say. The better you understand their needs, the easier it will be for you to make them happy.

If you’re looking for marriage advice regarding your professional life, know this: business and marriage have a direct effect on one another. Communicate with your spouse regularly and take what you learn from your marriage, such as listening, never going to bed angry, and being generous, and make it your new business approach.

Rachael Pace is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. Her mission is to provide inspiration, support, and empowerment to everyone on their journey to a great marriage. She is a featured writer for marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy, happy marriages.