Marriage and the Freelance Lifestyle

Tricky territory people! Back in my cubicle days, I’d come home to my cohabitator and be so glad to see him. Now, because he works at home too, I see him all the time. On the one hand it’s great. But on the other hand, if he asks me to help him with a chore one more time while I’m in the middle of working I might have to kill him.

But divorce is not yet on the horizon. This is because I have a few coping techniques. (Oh and enough self-control not to actually kill anyone. Not yet, that is.)

1. Close the door

This is easier now in my new house where we have discrete rooms with doors that close. Before that, we just tried to stay out of each other’s hearing. If I worked in the far corner of the kitchen I couldn’t hear him on the phone upstairs. Maybe if you’re stuck in a studio approximately the size of a Columbia Encyclopedia (shout out to Laurie Colwin), you can just put on headphones. Or work in the bathroom.

2. Cultivate outside relationships

No, jerkface, not those kinds of relationships, I mean unless it’s approved by all parties, in which case go on ahead. I mean find someone new to complain about your work to. Because, trust me, your cohabitator is tired of hearing about it. Think of it as preserving the mystery. Also it might get you out of the house and wearing something other than the fabled bunny slippers.

3. Prioritize work

If she wants to take a break and watch a movie while you’re editing a legal history of Australia, she has to wear the headphones and laugh quietly, while you get the prime space to work.

4. Make sure to experience marital relations during working hours

I mean that’s why you work at home, right? But make it quick, you’ve got work to do.

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5 responses to “Marriage and the Freelance Lifestyle

  1. My husband also works at home, and we’ve developed an unspoken agreement that we maintain separate spaces during the day. I would kill (okay, not literally) to have a door, though.

  2. One condition: if you must work in separate rooms, you need to make sure that your better half is within shouting distance. Otherwise, how can you get their feedback (another reason, possibly, you decided to go for it “a deux”)?

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