Slip between the sheets of an entrepreneur, and you end up cuddling with their business. Marry an entrepreneur and your first and biggest baby is the business. As an entrepreneur’s partner there can come a point when being supportive is not easy. Maybe you feel you have to make a choice, am I in or out? It is a question that may take on many forms over time.
Am I in?
…. in for as long as this takes to be successful?
… in for what could be a lifetime of financial risk?
… in for the late nights working at home?
Or am I out?
… out of patience?
… out of tolerance?
… out of my mind?
As the entrepreneur in the relationship you may not actually ask the hard question outright, but you can feel your partners response in their body language and whether or not they giving and withholding support, encouragement, assurance, all the manifestations of love expected in a relationship.
Has your business become a home wrecking mistress in your relationship? What are you struggling with and how do you fix it? Are you in or out?
This is not an easy topic to dig into but it affects a lot of ambitious, creative, hardworking couples just like you and without delving into these issues, the struggle may start on a downward spiral eventually leading to the big “D”.
Hopefully if you are still reading this, we didn’t scare you away with this “heavy”, but important topic and you are “in it to win it” so to speak. I think we can all agree that neither building a business and sustaining a happy marriage are easy things to do, and trying to do both at the same time, can sometimes seem an impossible feat.
Henry Landes, who founded and operates the Delaware Valley Family Business Center in Sellersville, Pa., said that in a marriage where business is a priority, (the marriage) “has to be a stronger marriage than most. It needs better communication skills, better conflict-resolution skills, better specific planning skills, and a lot more resilience.” OK I know, so far the outcome of all this seems bleak. But guess what? There is NO evidence that the divorce rate among business owners is higher than the average and in a study conducted by the investment advisory firm Neuberger Berman, 42% of CEOs of fast-growing startups say that running their own companies has had a positive effect on their relationships with spouses or domestic partners. The idea however is to recognize that there are obstacles and once recognized, they can be overcome!
“Time is the No. 1 issue,” says psychologist Rachna Jain. First and foremost, keeping a business going takes time and then some. (as I am sure most of you know.) As a business owner, you are gone all day at work talking, thinking and breathing your livelihood and often when we go home at night, it doesn’t stop. This can easily make your spouse feel neglected, unimportant or even jealous. Take time each day for not only yourself, but your spouse away from your business. Have a meal together, go for a walk or plan a date night. This shows your partner that they are still a priority and will help you to distress and unwind at night.
Its not just about making time, but making time count and recognizing each others needs. A healthy sexual relationship with your partner is also important. Recently talking with a friend, she reflected on her divorce and counseling with her ex- husband, “ We forgot about one another’s needs and desires and let the passion fizzle out. It is a hard thing to get back. We let all of life’s chaos dictate our routine and forgot how to live and love.”
The third, most touchy issue after time and attention (and sex) is… money. The ups and downs of cash flow in a business cause stress, especially when you are not upfront and honest about what is going on financially. Allowing your partner in on this part of your business, so that you can plan spending and financing together will help significantly.
Supporting your loved one is never a problem, but when you forget to set aside time for one another and let life take the reigns your relationship with your best friend it make take at turn for the worse. Recognize these signs now and kick the business mistress out of bed for a happier, healthier and more balanced relationship.
© 2012 Inspired Living, LLC
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Keri Murphy and the Inspired Living team is on a mission to empower people to use their unique talents in a way that allows them to Dream, Live and BE all that is possible through speaking, coaching, celebrity interviews and original on-line content. Get Inspired at inspiredliving.tv