BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 29

COUPLES
WHO
WORK

A GUIDE TO
COUPLE
CONTRACTING

Couple contracting is a tool I've
developed through my research that
can help working couples. It involves
reflecting alone, then discussing three
areas as a couple - values, boundaries
and fears. The aim is to build common
ground on the first two areas and a
deep appreciation of each other's
concerns in the third.
Values are the yardsticks by which we
measure our lives. Be specific about
what will make for a happy life as a
couple, then make sure none of your
choices undermine this.
Boundaries that are clear make
shared decision-making easier. Consider
boundaries such as: Time - how many
hours are too many at work? Location
- are there places you would like to
move and live? Presence - how much
couple time do you need each month?
Fears Ask yourselves what you dread
happening in your relationship and
careers? And what you fear for your
family life? If you worry about financial
stability, for example, agree to a stricter
saving regime to give yourselves a
buffer and hence peace of mind.

THE BEST THING
COUPLES CAN DO
IS NEGOTIATE AND
BUILD A "COUPLE
CONTRACT"
29



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