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have you ever noticed that a doctor always prefer to marry another doctor and an engineer chooses to marry an engineer. This is because it is believed that couples in the same profession understand each other better. They know the challenges of the profession and can thus empathize with each other. But there is the other side of the coin that has a different story to tell.
Is this your dinnertime conversation? -Then it is time that you wizened up and damn fast.

Well, it is nice to marry someone in the same profession. The logic being... we understand each others work and lifestyles better. But there is catch. What if, one is better than the other or is doing better than the other? -Remember Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan in Abhimaan? -when tere mere milan ki yeh raina almost became tere mere divorce ki kahani.

Guys, lets accept it. Competition drives people apart. Sibling-rivalry is common and often parent-induced. But spouse rivalry is in vogue. Couples in the same profession regularly find themselves in this situation where they need to take call whether to live in the shadow of the other. Life as a working couple is hard and for working couples in the same profession it is often a Catch 22 situation. For Vinay and Renuka lyer, software professionals, work was what got them together. "It was great to find somebody who could understand what I was going through and the difficulties I faced. We could even laugh together at insider jokes. And when I reach home late, or work nights, Vinay understands the work pressure," says Renuka. "Yeah, but this understanding has its flipside," retorts Vinay. "If I come home late after a night out with my friends, I cant fob off my wife with any technical mumbo jumbo problem at work. She will catch me right out!"

Shoptalk however is forbidden in the Shukla household. "We are both in the business analysis departments working for fairly competitive firms and we have to be very careful about what we say to each other about work," says Neeraj. Confidentiality was one of the points stressed by the bosses of both Neeraj and wife Meena when they got married. "Though my boss tried to make a joke out of it, it was a fairly serious warning of not letting any discussions about business plans out of the office into the home. We are used to this by now, but now and then especially when working on some really difficult schedules, it feels quite bad not being able to share stuff or take guidance from Neeraj," recalls Meena.

As for Abhijit and Pratima, technical troubleshooters at different call centres, work has created the weekend marriage. "When I get in, she is leaving for her shift and when she gets back, I would have already left for my office," says Abhijit. "The only time we get to meet is on Sundays and by then both of us are too tired to go out so we usually stay in. But since we both knew what our profession was going to take from us, we are fairly coping with it. However, I dont see us doing this in the future especially when we decide to start a family," says Pratima quite decisively.

Too much of anything will kill you and sometimes the advantages can turn out to be the ones causing most problems. Here are a list of a few things that you should do to be always in sync with each other.

Shelve that ego
True you have a tough job, but so does your partner. If you need to talk about your one great achievement in the day, so does the other person. If he/she makes a point, remember that is not to make you look bad. Take it as you would all the other advice or tips that you would get from your colleagues. You have to be willing to accept advice and suggestions from your partner at home in the same spirit that you would from a co-worker in an office.

Think before replying
Tough one agreed. Working in the same profession might give you a better insight into your partners work or work related problems. If your partner comes to you with a problem, use your insight to empathize with the situation instead of telling your partner how you would have handled it. You could also opt to talk about alternative solutions than assuming a critical attitude or adopting the I told You So tone.

Take out time
Too much understanding and empathizing with each others work pressure and schedule has its flipside. You are busy and working hard. True. You understand each other and let each other work peacefully. Good. But that is not the sum total of your life. There is much more to it. So take time to simply turn off work. It works. Go shopping, to movies etc. If you have kids, it works better. Decisions made in office are not parameters for your success or failure within the family circle.

Workspace
This is a rather important one. Sometimes it may happen that she is getting calls from office while having dinner or is with the kids. Try and stay away then. She is hassled enough because something has gone wrong. And you need not add your two bits to it by saying enough of office calls or some other crap like that. Surely, you will have similar days sometimes and you do not want her to think that you are carrying work back home or chatting away with the latest office eye candy.

Over with office
Be through with work when you are through in office. Carrying that extra luggage back home is something you guys can do without. Anyway being in the same profession means you are dealing with similar tools and services. Just imagine two finance professionals coming back home from office and discussing how the debt-equity ratio of one company is better than the other. Hello??? Debt and equity at 10 in the night will give even the most workaholics a few nightmares.

Lastly remember that you people chose to get married knowing that say, her people skills are better whereas your analytical skills are better or vice-versa. And this very fact has brought you guys together. There is much more to life than a work place and its success and failures. Lose sight of that and you will lose a lot more.
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Posted on : 31/10/2005
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