Lentil, I have read you post from the same angle as Pan in the last post. While I am relatively new to this business I am not new to business. I built several successful businesses during my business career, sold the last one to retire at 42 yo, THEN the now EX wife (read partner) decided SHE wanted it all...she got just what she wanted.. so she thinks. I am much happier now enjoying something that I love to do..it is great to have the passion back.
My advice about creating a sucessful partnership, is to plan for the what if scenerio. I have done that in the past and it has seemed to work. Plan for the failures...if you do that you will succeed regardless. Spend time talking about failure with your proposed partner, BEFORE THE MARRIAGE. Sorry that could be a real fact, hopefully not, but none the less it is a real possibility. You both need to keep in contact of that part and the fear of failure. Sometimes it "scares" you into going the extra mile. The failure part may have nothing to do with either one of your efforts, there are many things that cause businesses to fail, outside of the business model.
Also consider this: What is wrong with letting your proposed partner, EARN their part, Figure a way to allow them to "buy in" over time up to (NOW HERE IS THE KICKER) 49% OF THE BUSINESS. NEVER NEVER GIVE UP CONTROL.
You have built, molded, and developed what you have today through countless hours of hard work, I am sure at some point at the expense of your family. Never give the ultimate control away. This can be accomplished with incorporating and "voting stock" ...work a formula to allow the partner to earn 15% of the voting stock, each year, each quarter whatever. Maybe you can give your new partner 1/2 of the value of the business but KEEP CONTROL.
Also decide who gets what and how much in the event of a sale of the business, or your partner just wants out to persue other interests. What if the partner does not measure up to your expectations, you need to either sell your share or buy her share, all within a specified time frame (called Put and Call options) and she the same with you.
I truly believe one of the great things about our country is the philosophy of working hard, working smart, being fair, and having a sense of pride about what you do...you will ALWAYS make a living. I am sure you are "scared" about this decision, you should be, if you are not...Then maybe you should sell the business to her.
I truly wish you the best of luck and let us know how it works out.
As far as the Kitchen goes, it is a long, long day that is never really over, you just go home at some point