Even though little research exists about the actual divorce rate among entrepreneurs, it is said to be higher than that of the general population. With the average divorce rate in the U.S. hovering around 50%, that’s a scary statistic.
There are a number of reasons why business owners wind up divorced, some of which I’ll share with you today so you can avoid these hazards in your relationship.
Your business swallows you whole
It becomes all consuming. Boundaries can get thrown out the window and you can easily lose yourself in your business.
You often hear the analogy that your business is like a baby. It’s very true – it requires a lot from you, it needs you to survive (especially at first, anyway), it keeps you up all night, and yet it’s a labor of love.
Babies often drive wedges between partners, but this is especially so if the baby isn’t your partner’s, or even human for that matter.
Set boundaries with your business.
Another analogy that I like to use about businesses is that they can be like affairs.
If you’re like many women business owners that I talk to, you might feel like your partner resents your business. As a result, you may choose not to bring things up with him around your business, or even sneak off to spend time with it.
Maybe you’d rather spend time with a client than with your partner. At least she appreciates you, and she even pays you.
Perhaps you might be guilty of “financial infidelity,” when you invest in your business in a way that you wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing with your partner.
You are passionate, excited and lit up by your business.
You’re in love with your business.
And these are the same feelings that have maybe faded for your partner, especially if he isn’t supportive of your business ventures.
A vicious cycle can develop that causes you to turn toward your business and away from your partner, while your partner just grows more and more resentful of your business, causing you to turn even further away from him, and causing him to hate your business that much more.
And then there’s the money conversation.
Being a business owner requires a tolerance for financial risk that few can stomach. When you’re married to someone, your money is often shared, and sometimes when you’re taking big leaps in your business, you might need to tap into those personal funds.
You might have totally different mindsets and perspectives around money and not be able to see eye to eye about the money.
The money stuff just exacerbates whatever other issues are already there if you can’t agree on it.
So what’s a biz owner to do to be as madly in love with her partner as she is with her business?
It’s what anyone in a relationship should do for their relationship:
Take care of it.
Know what constitutes a strong relationship and go after that in your own. Happy couples prioritize each other and let each other know how much they matter to one another.
If you’re partner is getting the message that your business is more important than he is, it’s no wonder why he resents it!
Spend time together.
Put your phone or laptop away and actually be together. Schedule it if you have to. Automate it so that it happens regularly, no matter what.
You need boundaries in your business. If that means better time management or hiring extra support, so be it. Your relationship is more than worth it.
Treat your partner as well as you treat your VIP clients or customers.
Stop neglecting each other and stop taking your relationship for granted.
Address your relationship stuff together.
You use a strategy with your business, do the same together. Have meetings about the shape you are in together and create a safe space with each other where you can both be seen and heard by each other.
Does this feel weird?
Talking about your relationship stuff might feel weird – it requires vulnerability.
So does intimacy. And that’s what you want, right?
Keep it simple at first. Here’s a conversation starter to play with:
Ask each other to rate your relationship on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the best.
Talk about what each of you would need for it to be either one point higher, or, a 10.
A road map exists about how to make love work.
If you have drifted so far apart from each other that these conversations are impossible to be had in a way that is not self-defeating, let me know.
Hit me up for a consult by claiming your free call with me here: https://mybestrelationship.com/apply
One thing I know for sure is that you can kill it in business without killing your relationship.
Cheers to thriving in business & love,
Elsa Alexandra says
Hi Jenev, thank you for the reminder to keep healthy boundaries between business & love. We’re already doing many of the things you prescribe, but it’s always good to remember them. Also, seeing your expert advice gives me the confidence that we’re doing things right 🙂 Elsa x
Jenev Caddell says
Thanks for your comment, Elsa! So glad you both know what’s up 🙂