We are proud to highlight Dr. Stephen Shu and Dr. Suzanne Shu as Modern Husbands Ambassadors who embody the values and spirit of the Modern Husband community by partnering with their spouses to manage money and the home as a team.
What are the most meaningful ways your spouse has supported your career?
"Since we view ourselves as a team, we have tried to optimize career paths with a long time horizon in mind, and we have viewed careers as a portfolio of careers, not individual career stints. So as an example, after business school Stephen went into management consulting while Suzanne pursued a PhD. Stephen focused a lot on opportunistic business situations, including raising money for a startup while Suzanne was in school. Once Suzanne finished her PhD, the decision was made to allow Suzanne to develop her career as a rising academic, which meant moving the family to university towns whenever needed. As such, Stephen utilized his skills to develop a career path that allowed for mobility and periodic relocations. For example, at one point he became an independent consultant and hunted for his own business. Over the years, these types of portfolio decisions were made to optimize for the family."
What does the division of labor look like at home (e.g., chores and managing money)?
"At times, we have decided to outsource chores, such as during periods when kids were young and when time was even more stretched between dual careers and rearing children. Outside of that, we usually divide chores or try to do them concurrently (if it will contribute to having quality time together). In terms of managing money, we usually divide up the tasks based on first-come first-serve, although we make all strategic decisions on a joint basis (e.g., what fraction of salary to save, roughly how to balance the portfolio, how to support kids for education). My wife and I are more alike than different in terms of skill sets, so some of the strategies we use may not work for everyone."
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with others that can help them have a happy marriage?
"Not sure if it is one piece of advice, but what has worked for us is always thinking about ourselves as a team. We try to slow down and reflect when it comes to important decisions. Slowing down and reflecting over several days or even weeks can help to guard against making bad decisions when emotional. Additionally, it is important to try to not live beyond one’s means or get caught up with what other people do too much. Living simply has its beauty."
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