Relationship Help: Building a Stellar Resume as a Partner

Fredrick has been working on his resume for the last month, examining in detail the skills and strengths he brings to the table as a graphic artist. In this sluggish economy, he knows he must stand out; he has to appear uniquely qualified and totally committed to the long hours and hard work that advertising companies demand in this competitive field.

Fredrick’s work resume was indeed impressive. Like many, Fred hones his skills in his professional life, staying up-to-date on the latest trends and making time to feed his creativity. 

But his resume as a husband is a completely different matter.  He was totally stuck when I asked him to write up a resume that would be both realistic and also highlight his unique strengths as a husband for the last six years.

Couples Help: What Would Your Resume Look Like?

“If I had to write a resume about the type of wife I’ve been, I’d be hard-pressed to find as many strengths as I have in my professional life…I’m a little embarrassed by this.”  ~Brenda, married five years

Most of the couples at the intimacy workshop struggled with the exercise of writing up a relationship resume that would sell them as a husband, wife or partner—many became overly conscious of the things they would not want to include in this resume, rather than their unique relationship strengths and skills.

But what became obvious as we proceeded was that many of our professional strengths, the traits and skills that make us excel in our careers, are pretty similar to the relationship skills that would strengthen a marriage or relationship.

Here are a few qualities these couples would include in a professional resume—Do you think any of these would also be important ingredients for a successful relationship or marriage?

  • Dedication and perseverance;
  • Effective communication skills;
  • The ability to motivate and support others;
  • Flexibility and the ability to change course when necessary;
  • The capacity to deal effectively with adversity;
  • A willingness to nurture a creative and open mindset…

As we discussed these vital work-related skills, it quickly became apparent to all of us that the A-game we bring to work includes many of the traits and skills needed to keep our relationship or marriage healthy.

Relationship Help Tip Action Step

Are you ready to begin writing your spousal/partner resume? 

You might find this relationship exercise helpful in teasing out the strengths you already have, while also examining the less-than-flattering weak spots you’d like to improve upon. 

Here are a few questions to get you and your partner started:

  • What would you include in your resume as a spouse/partner?
  • What strengths would you highlight?
  • What weaknesses would you try to hide and why?

Here’s to a stronger relationship!

Dr. Rich Nicastro

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