002 When Work Interferes with Love with Justin and Laura Oldaker

Jan 9, 2019

Jay and I have been binging the show Mad Men on Netflix for the past several weeks. For those of you who haven’t seen it, the show is set in New York City in the 1960s. The characters work at a Manhattan advertising agency, and other than the excessive drinking and smoking that seems to be commonplace, I am most captivated by the plight and transformations of the female characters.

We all know immediately that the female characters are smart, but we also instinctively know they will never advance beyond their assigned roles as housewives or secretaries. Again and again, their contributions are overlooked and their importance downplayed.

And while plot twists, such as being denied a raise despite the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, make me cringe, perhaps their efforts were not in vain. Their quiet battle may have led to the female entrepreneurial revolution we see today. According to a report by the Service Core of Retired Executives, women were slightly more likely to start businesses than men in 2018. Businesses that provide the primary source of income for nearly 62% of women surveyed.

As record numbers of women launch businesses and assume executive roles, men are left wondering how they can contribute and what makes them important.

Gone are the days of traditional marriages where male/female relationships are hierarchal with the male as the dominant partner. But are we also seeing the demise of egalitarian relationships?

Egalitarian relationships established a new way of looking at gender roles within a marriage. Egalitarian couples assume an equal distribution of power in decisionmaking, and partners equally share the household duties, child rearing, and financial responsibilities.

But what happens when a husband works for or in the shadow of his wife? Today, our guests, Justin and Laura Oldaker, speak freely about their transition from power struggle to power couple with amazing vulnerability and transparency.

Laura launched an in-home care business after her and Justin lost their construction and real estate business during the recession. As the new business grew, Laura continued to grow as the face of the company, and Justin continued to run the business operations from the shadows. Over time, the unequal distribution of power between them grew, until it impacted their marriage and their business.

Listen to today’s episode to hear Justin and Laura openly take responsibility for the roles they played and discuss how they stood at the brink of divorce before an unexpected move changed the course of their business…and saved their marriage.


Resources Mentioned in the Episode


Academy for Caregiving Excellence website and Facebook business page

The Gift of Caring website


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