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There are pros and cons to marrying someone who works in the same profession as you. Your partner will understand, and have, the corporate wellness issues you face, but there may be a feeling of competition between you. Marriage can turn into a battlefield for couples to play out and resolve their personal differences and conflicts, and this battleground takes on a different meaning when there is a commonality in the chosen profession of the partners.
They say that opposites attract, but that isn’t to say that couples who are similar, and work in the same profession, can’t still have a successful marriage. On a day-to-day level, you’ll both understand erratic shift timings, work pressure, stress-levels and debatable salary figures, but what happens when it comes to your overall career? The Job market in itself is a maze where people race against each other to reach a desired destination, so how do you cope when your partner is one of the participants in the same race?
In her book Double Fault, American writer and journalist Lionel Shriver details the marriage of two professional tennis players in which an injury affecting the rankings of the woman player while the husband continues to get further and further ahead in his career. What follows is insurmountable jealousy and competitiveness, which costs the couple one thing: their marriage. But is this always the case?
Indian TV actor Debina Bonnerjee, argues that her marriage to TV actor Gurmeet Chaudhary did not invite any scope for career rivalry or resentment. ;The truth is we discovered a critic and a well-wisher in each other,’ she says. ‘It has happened that we have expressed our creative differences and analysed each other’s scene shots but we have done that as an exercise for our own growth and development.’
However, Dr. Gitanjali Sharma, psychologist and family therapist, warns that working for rival companies can make openness within your marriage problematic: ‘When spouses share the same profession there is a risk factor. I remember a case where a couple, both of them in the electronic media, had difficulty observing secrecy about their respective channels they were working for. Lines between personal and professional space blur bringing trouble for the couple.’
So maybe it’s the profession that makes the difference. Vikrant Sud, a paediatrician soon to tie the knot with his long-time physician girlfriend, explains that an alliance of medicine practitioners works best. ‘Explanation or clarification on things like extended shifts, a call at one in the night would not be needed when I know my partner is on the same career ship as I am and would understand me regardless,’ he explains. ‘Conversation on medical cases would not have been possible had I decided to marry a girl of other profession.