Recently, I went to lunch with some old classmates, and we spent our entire time talking about the other classmates. Our conversation pretty much revolved around one of them, who married just after College with the wealthy heiress of a powerful group. All of us were jealous. He quickly became the deputy CEO of his wife’s father, and got all the extras such a job can bring: the car, the house, the luxurious holidays, … He had everything. I didn’t hear about him until my meeting with my old classmates. He got divorced recently. One of my classmates told me he could keep his job at his company. Luckily for him, things didn’t get sour with the rest of his former wife’s family. In fact, she left him for another man. And his family-in-law didn’t blame him for that. Still, his situation must be very odd because he has to deal with his ex’s family. Not really helpful if you want to turn the page of your failed relationship. Some people can deal with this, though. I’m not sure I can.
This is a good issue for such a story. But sometimes, things don’t come out so nicely. Especially if you’re the cause of the breakup. One of my acquaintances used to be married to the daughter of a brewery owner. He worked for his father-in-law at the brewery, and loved the job. But he committed one mistake of cheating on his wife, and unfortunately for him, he got caught up. His wife told him to get out of her life, and he got quicked out of his company too. He lost a lot in this relationship.
When a relationship goes belly up, there are always some collateral damages. It depends on how your life is twirled with your partner. If you work in his/her father’s company, or run a business together, the aftermaths of a break up can be delicate to manage. And you can lose a lot just like that. It’s not pleasant to have to look again after a new home and start your new life as a single person. But if you add to that a job loss, it’s even more unpleasant.
This is why some of my friends say that they will never mix business and love. You never know what will happen in the future, says one of my friends. I agree with her.
One of my coworkers got separated very recently, and he told me that the only disadvantage he had when he broke up with his wife was that he had to find a new dentist. His father-in-law used to be his. He said that his in-law didn’t quick him out. “I was just afraid he could butcher me with his tools. I don’t trust him” he said.
In some African cultures, the sons in law and family-in-law practice the passing relationship. I do think it’s a wise thing.
So, do you try to separate your professional life from your private life?