Slowly they have learned to work better together. It helped was when Carlos did some work with the children, and began to understand Natalie's point of view.
"It's only recently that I have changed my mindset, and he has also changed his way of looking at things," Natalie says. "Both of us have learned how to trust each other, that we mean well and we want to share our partnership."
A WORK IN PROGRESS
Amber Wallace and Jill Kingdon have been a couple for 10 years, married for 4 Â½ years, and owned Dowitcher Designs for nearly seven years. Although it can be rewarding and fun to be a couple running a company that provides web and print design services, there are times when they're not sure they want to do this forever.
"When we're very busy and something didn't get done, one of us will get upset and it will turn into an argument â¿¿ those are the sorts of things that usually heat up to a 'maybe we shouldn't be doing this' scenario," says Wallace, CEO of the Santa Barbara, Calif. firm.
But it's not just the heat-of-the-moment discussions.
"We do talk about, what if we have kids? One of us would have to be less involved, and how would that be structured?" Wallace says. The couple married in 2008 during the four months that same-sex marriage was legal in California.
Wallace and Kingdon can still find it hard to stop their business from taking over their personal life. They try to keep weekends work-free by scheduling a Monday morning meeting to talk about what's going on at Dowitcher Designs. But sometimes, in the midst of what's supposed to be time off, they find themselves strategizing about how to solve a problem or handle a project.
They also have to remember sometimes to be spouses, and forget for the moment that they own a business together.