News Flash: Both Marriage And Freelancing Are Hard

Because everything is more attractive in black + white...

Four years ago today, Michael and I promised each other our undying love and devotion*. We said “I do,” danced the night away, and rode off into the sunset. [Okay. We passed out in our hotel suite, but same difference.]

Within a month, I also went full-time freelance. Michael added me to his health insurance plan, and I set about trying to see if I could make it as a writer or something.

Since then, both our marriage and our careers have had their major ups and downs. Michael went from feeling stuck in a direct mail copywriting job to excelling in the start-up web development world. I lost a permalance gig at the start of the recession, and struggled for a year to regain my footing before learning the power of diversification. We tried unsuccessfully to sell our condo. We tried unsuccessfully to conceive a child. And in the midst of all this, we lost sight of each other.

In fact, I recently wrote a piece for YourTango on how Michael and I almost separated.

The truth of the matter is, neither Michael nor I are the same people we were four years ago. And neither are our careers.

And at first that worried us.

But it doesn’t anymore.

Because we learned that, as we changed, so did our love. And even though our love was different now, it was still strong. Neither of us could live without the other, and that was the most important thing. Once we realized that, we felt a renewed commitment to working hard at our marriage.

And the same holds true for my freelance career. I started out wanting some very specific things. But as I changed, so did my goals. And at first, I was worried that turning my back on one dream was tantamount to admitting defeat. But when I took a good, hard look at that dream, I realized I didn’t want it anymore. I wanted whatever it was that my career was turning into.

And it changes every day.

How have you changed since you first started freelancing? How has your business changed?

*Michael also promised to bring me cats in bed whenever I was sad. I can happily report that he has upheld this promise.


  1. Happy Anniversary!

  2. Bring you cats in bed when you’re sad – aww … it’s the simple things in relationships that bring us joy, isn’t it? Congrats on weathering a rough patch together.

  3. Funny, I read the article and thought, gee, I wish someone would legally bind me to freelancing the way that marriage binds you to another person. I’ve been married for 13 years this week, and we’ve weathered many, many a rough patch. I’ve been freelancing for about two weeks, and I’m already thinking about packing it in!
    Just like marriage, though, I think freelancing and I just need to find our groove. 🙂

  4. I look at marriage as a performance based contract with a one year renewal option. The performance is mine. The renewal rights are my partners. Each year, I do my best and still get to see if I get to stay another year. I’m going on 25 years. Two kids, four cats, seven cars, two houses, and five careers and I cook and have wine ready when my wife gets home. Her favorite question is ‘what’s for dinner dear/’ If you are committed and stay focused on performing so that you please the other person, you get to stay another year.
    You might enjoy an article I wrote a couple of years ago about working for one’s self as a writer. It’s called smart, intelligent, and broke and what to do about it. Here’s the link:
    It contains some strategies on how to survive and thrive working for yourself.

Speak Your Mind