HomeLifestyleKelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos sentenced: I worked with my husband, we...

Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos sentenced: I worked with my husband, we divorced

When Suzanne Darmory married the 6-foot-4, brown-haired, blue-eyed man she met while working at an ad agency in her 20s, she thought he would be her biggest support as her career grew.

Instead, it became a thorn in his side.

The couple eventually ended up at different agencies, but their professional lives were closely intertwined and they often worked on the same accounts.

Darmory was creative, while her husband was on the sales side.

It felt like they were competing with each other.

“[We were always] wanting to outshine each other with better work, better results and a happier customer,” Darmory, a 50-year-old Greenwich, Connecticut resident, told The Post.

Things got even more complicated when they had children, and Darmory felt she had to be the one to put her ambition on the back burner.

“I ended up spending most of the time at home,” he said.

The turning point came on a transatlantic flight to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, a global event for advertising and communications professionals held every year in France.

Dating experts say working with your spouse can be tricky, as seen this week with Kelly Ripa, 50, and Mark Consuelos, 52, who began co-hosting “Live!” from A.B.C. together. By most accounts, the couple, who have been married since 1996 and have three children together, bombed.

While her husband slept, she was left comforting her crying baby for hours, surrounded by her colleagues.

“All my old bosses were on the plane. I had to walk [my son] up and down the hallway all the time,” he said. “It was not funny.”

If they had been in different industries, and if she hadn’t had to watch her husband doze while dealing with a hysterical child, Darmory said it wouldn’t have been so bad.

Working in the same industry eventually drained their marriage.

They divorced in 2013, splitting their industry’s major conferences, so they can each have their separate moments.

“He’s going to Cannes and I’m going to South by Southwest,” she said.

Suzanne Darmory poses for a portrait.
Suzanne Darmory, president of her own agency, says that working with a spouse and in the same industry can cause unwanted competition.
amanda kaye

Working with a spouse can be complicated. This week, Kelly Ripa, 50, and Mark Consuelos, 52, began co-hosting “Live!” from A.B.C. together, and, by most accounts, the couple, who have been married since 1996 and have three children together, bombed.

Viewers heavily criticized his “false and painful jokes” and his on-air PDAs and TMIs.

Experts say such a hectic transmission is to be expected.

“Couples who work together have to deal with toggling between these personal and professional roles, and understanding what that means for their relationship,” says Smriti Joshi, chief psychologist at Wysa, a Boston-based mental health app.

“Sometimes we also see challenges arise in this case around power dynamics and independence. For many of us in relationships, work is an outlet for independence and provides a separation from our home lives. When these blur, or when a partner’s status is different in the professional setting, say they are a manager or a boss, compared to the level playing field we strive for in relationships, more understanding is needed.” .

Sam and Rob Massabni.
Sam and Rob Masabny, owners and managers of Woods Maine, in Norway, Maine, divide and conquer to make working together as a married couple work. Sam runs the retail arm of the company, while Rob handles the numbers. Still, respecting each other’s space and disconnecting from work at home can be challenging.
Courtesy of Masabny’s

Bela Gandhi, a relationship coach and host of the “Smart Dating Academy” podcast, noted that if both partners have big egos, there is likely to be a power struggle.

“You cannot be looking to compete with each other, competition is the death of a relationship. You are a team,” he told The Post.

Those who decide to mix marriage and business should strive to keep things level playing field and celebrate their partner for their strengths, instead of showing resentment.

“[If] They’re in business together [it’s] Because you bring something to the table, and they bring something to the table, it’s not about who gets more attention,” Gandhi said.

That’s how it has worked for Sam and Rob Masabny, who met more than two decades ago in Hoboken.

They first worked together at the technology company HubSpot, he in the billing department, she in customer service, before starting their own company.

They now run a lifestyle brand and treehouse called Woods Maine, in Norway, Maine.

Sam is in charge of the employees and the retail operation. Rob handles all finances. Each of them divides parenting duties equally.

Darmory on the red carpet accepting an award.
Darmory accepting an award in advertising.
Courtesy of Suzanne Darmory

“We have found our complementary spaces. Even when we were at HubSpot, our roles were very complementary. I saw him as an expert. I respected his experience and he respected my perspective,” Sam said.

But, he admits, working with the old ball and chain can force the joint. They are both passionate about their work, but Sam says that her husband can de-stress the day more easily than she can.

“It’s hard [for me]Sam said, “Rob has a man cave.”

For Debra and Ed Ruh, it took some practice to get the balance right.

The two had been married for decades when, in 2006, they began working together at a technology consulting company that Debra had launched.

It proved difficult and Ed left after a year, then returned in 2008 to try again.

This time, they pushed for healthy boundaries.

“At first he was very patient with me. I think after a while she probably got tired of being so patient, so I started learning how to make things work,” Debra said of Ed, who passed away in March.

“I am more impulsive than him. I didn’t want to worry about business rules and spreadsheets. We balance each other out.”



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