Maintaining personal relationships while building a company is one of the hardest things about being an entrepreneur.

First off, there are obvious work-life balance issues to being an entrepreneur. Starting a business is an all-consuming job that can be mental and emotional torture. If you can barely even take a moment to do the basics for yourself, how are you expected to do them for another able-bodied adult in your house?

There’s a reason for the old saying “don’t mix business and pleasure,” but with so many successful entrepreneurial couples in the workforce, it’s obviously possible.

So, what are the tricks to balancing happy home life and successful business?

Make SURE You’re Ready

Forbes writer Hanny Lerner has talked to married couples with extreme opinions about going into business together. It’s either the best thing that happened to them, or the worst.

Being able to successfully work with your spouse depends on many factors. Before taking the leap, Lerner says, couples should make sure they have at least these 5 things in common:

  1. Equally committed to the business
  2. In roles suited for each other
  3. Have the same vision for the company
  4. Respect each other
  5. Know how to shut off

Protect Your Personal Relationship

“Couples who choose to own and run a business together must take extra care to look after their personal relationship,” according to the coaches at Business Coaching Insights. There has to be a constant effort to keep a barrier up between business and personal life.

So-called “copreneurial” businesses don’t have the luxury of partners using each other as sounding boards to discuss work out problems or disagreements. They’re in it together, for better or worse.

In order to protect personal relationships, Business Coaching Insights listed 5 of the most important habits and behaviors copreneurs need to adopt:

  1. Communication: Good communication is critical to a partnership because it determines how well you work together. If you make an effort to have honest and respectful conversations with each other, you will be in a much better position to navigate the sometimes-tricky terrain of running a business together.
  2. Good listening: A large part of what will make your communication effective with each other is listening. And we don’t mean using your ears. You know the old saw about hearing versus listening. Listening means working hard to pick up the signals between the words.
  3. Mutual Goal-Setting: Review your goals each year with each other and check that both of you remain happy and satisfied with your roles in the business.
  4. Respect your differences: It is possible that you were attracted to each other initially because of your differences, but those same things might start to irritate when you work together. Allocate tasks and roles according to each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
  5. Financial Reserves: Financial stress is a top risk factor for divorce. Business is cyclical; sometimes the money flows, sometimes it doesn’t. Having adequate reserves in place will ensure that down times don’t strain the relationship.

For couples willing to conjoin their work and personal lives, there are two sides to the coin. From combined family and business travel to simplified tax statements and getting to spend more time with your significant other, there are plenty of perks. It also goes without saying that there are plenty of challenges. Think of it as trying to juggle two marriages simultaneously: possible, but potentially very tricky.

And remember, you’re not a CEO at home.