December 9, 2013

Seeing marriage as business partnership is often considered distasteful, but marriage is indeed a business partnership with 50/50 shares. Regardless of how you prefer to see your marriage, our legal system forces it to be a business partnership. All of the assets and liabilities you acquire during the course of your marriage is split 50/50 by law. Our legal system do not care if you love one another but it will ensure that your business partnership abides by the law. This means that you should not marry anyone whom you would not choose as a business partner. If your spouse would not work well as a business partner, your marriage is doomed at the start. Compatibility as a business partner is a minimum requirement for a marriage. If you don’t have that, you should remain as a strategic partner and operate your own business independently. 

But strategic partnership could never be as powerful as real partnership. Firstly, it’s inefficient because you have to manage two separate entities; the overhead cost is inevitably higher. Secondly, the separation of entities/accounts is motivated by your desire to protect your own shares. It’s fear-driven. In contrast, a true partnership is motivated by your desire to contribute more than your partner. The latter is a necessary condition for true synergy to take place. This does not mean that both partners have to earn money. Even in a business partnership, not all partners are assigned to income generating departments. So, if you are a kind of wife who expects your husband to take over the childcare as soon as he gets home from work, you don’t have a true partnership. And, if you are a kind of husband who expects your wife to serve you when you get home from work, that’s not a real partnership either.  What counts in a true partnership is your desire to outperform your partner.