What do you do if only one spouse is the entrepreneur and it’s straining your marriage?
It can be tricky to navigate, but it’s possible!
Before we got married, we had to have a serious talk about how business could not be a priority over our marriage. And yet, it was.
During the first few years of marriage, we quickly defaulted to ‘roommate mode’ and didn’t even know it! The focus was always on the business. How did it come to this point? How did what seemed like such a good idea become a source of pain for my spouse?
This is a more common question than you may realize. Scores of magazines and blogs have been written about the drama married entrepreneurs face when it comes to their spouse and their “baby.” (i.e., business)
After taking inventory of our marriage in relation to our business, we discovered 7 reasons why your spouse might hate your business (and how to fix it).
Your spouse hates your business because he/she:
1. Is isolated from your company:
Knowing the big picture, learning the lingo, and understanding the goals can significantly help this issue.
Fix It: Schedule frequent meetings to update your spouse and invite them to offer their unique insight.
2. Has no idea what the overall vision is and where your marriage fits in:
Your business vision is a smaller part of your legacy vision. Your spouse should be clear on how it fits in.
Fix It: Schedule a legacy planning meeting with your spouse and discuss how/where your business can support your family’s legacy plan.
3. Underestimated the extra work/demand it would require:
This is the extra time away from family for business- miscommunicated expectations lead to misunderstandings.
Fix It: Discuss and agree upon a realistic workflow for your marriage- when it needs to be tweaked, discuss it early.
4. Feels replaced in your heart by the business:
The energy, affection, and time invested in your business may default your spouse to the back burner.
Fix It: Set sacred times to connect with your spouse where you will be 100% present and ask your spouse what their needs are around this. Listen and respond.
5. Feels that you only talk about the business:
If your date night turns into business 2.0 or if you’re not keeping your family commitments due to business.
Fix It: Prepare by making a list of non-business related items to spark new conversations (google some) and ask your spouse to hold you accountable not to derail.
6. It feels like you’re always ‘too busy’ and you sacrifice rest.
When you don’t rest, you don’t recharge- and your spouse gets the ‘rest of you’ vs. the ‘best of you’
Fix It: Schedule rejuvenation days solo and together. Fill your cup up, and protect it.
7. Believes there are no apparent boundaries around marriage in relation to business
(i.e., you’re sending emails during family time, you’re constantly distracted, etc.)
Fix it: Intentionally be 100% present during non-work times by incorporating a daily shutdown routine. Put the phone away and lean into strengthening your marriage.
Tip: Review each of these carefully and ask your spouse if these 7 reasons describe how they might feel. If so, ask questions and make changes quickly.