When your home life is stable, happy, and supportive, you are tremendously more effective at work. A stellar example is the marriage of Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck. Since their relationship began in 2004, they’ve enjoyed tremendous personal and career success. Ben has directed and played in several movies, and Jennifer has starred and played in many of her own. They’ve done all this while having and raising their three children. How are they so unstoppable? They clearly have a wonderful relationship. In every photo of them I’ve seen, they’re smiling and affectionate.
What’s at the core of their happy marriage?
1. They are both conscientious.
They keep things organized in a way that’s respectful and effective. According to SheKnows.com, “Garner has her life together and acts as the head of the household in a way that merely keeps things organized, rather than emasculating her man.” This kind of conscientiousness is a huge factor in the kinds of relationships that set people up for success. According to Inc. Magazine, “Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis found that people with relatively prudent and reliable partners tend to perform better at work, earning more promotions, making more money, and feeling more satisfied with their jobs.”
2. Jennifer and Ben appreciate each other as individuals, rather than trying fit any certain mold.
They’ve found a working harmony in the household that not only leverages, but even celebrates, each others’ strengths. In an interview with E, Jennifer says, “For better or worse, I tend to be the one who says, ‘This is what needs to happen.’ I know who wants what lunch, and I’ve done all the school paperwork and filled out the emergency cards. Ben doesn’t even know that stuff exists. He is in charge of laughter. No matter how much I tickle them or toss them or chase them around, it’s not the same. If I’m the slow, steady drumbeat, he’s the jazz.” Jennifer doesn’t expect Ben to do exactly what she’s doing; that would be ineffective because they’d be stepping all over each other. Instead, she thrives in her own chosen role, and Ben shines in his. Together, they create a beautiful, loving environment for themselves, each other, and their children. In addition to being conscientious and appreciating each other’s unique strengths and dispositions, Ben and Jennifer have another strength:
3. They find solace in trusting and confiding in each other when the going gets tough.
This trifecta creates a cocoon of harmony, which does wonders for each of their careers. For example, when Ben and Jennifer were first dating, he had a few ill-received films in a row, which got him a lot of negative public attention from critics and fans alike. He shares with US Weekly, “I sunk into a morass. My wife was definitely around then. Getting to know her, falling in love with her and being connected with her gave me a foundation to reach out and say, Okay, I’m going to do Hollywoodland; I’m going to direct Gone Baby Gone. Those were the steps forward I needed to put positive stuff on the board. She is by leaps and bounds the most important person to me in that respect. Over the past 10 years, she has allowed me to have a stable home life while accomplishing my professional goals.”
So how do you choose the right partner who will help set you up for success?
1. Choose someone who’s stable, conscientious, and has their life together.
Jennifer and Ben are both stable people who know what they want and who they are. This kind of stability is a bedrock of support in a relationship. So many couples are chronically putting out fires that would have been completely avoided if they’d given proper attention toward the right things first. True stability comes from taking personal responsibility for one’s wellbeing and life.
2. Choose someone who appreciates uniqueness in his/herself and others.
The best relationships are beacons of love and celebration. People are so fun and unique, and when we are celebrated that way inside a relationship, we are inspired to show up even more that way. Imagine if Jennifer was always nagging Ben about the kids’ school paperwork. He wouldn’t have the buoyancy and joy to “be the jazz” as she calls it, which doesn’t get the paperwork done but does add happiness and play to everyone in the family, including Jennifer. She’s happy to take care of the papers when he’s making everyone laugh.
3. Choose someone who you feel comfortable with and can confide in and trust.
When Ben was having a hard time in his career, he went to Jennifer for non-judgmental love and support, which she freely gave. When each partner in a relationship does this for the other, they become a united front and take on life’s challenges together. This is a huge advantage when it comes to building success, not only on a practical level but an emotionally soothing one as well. We are social creatures, and to have another creature at home who we’re partnering with, who we can trust and enjoy life with, helps us become successful with a special sense of ease.