By Malini Bhatia
You do everything with your partner: You work, play, and support your family together. Since your partner is such an integral part of your life, it seems only natural that you’d also want to share your business time. But will the extra burden of running or starting a business together bond you or tear you apart?
Statistics suggest that entrepreneurial couples have a higher rate of divorce than other married people; however, there are steps couples can take to avoid this trouble and keep their marriage healthy.
Common reasons why married entrepreneurs experience trouble
Emotional stress—Emotional stress is the anchor that can pull down happy relationships and turn them into stressful nightmares. If you and your partner are worrying about the future of your business while also dealing with personal stress and anxiety, who will you have left to lean on?
Financial burdens—Finances are a huge part of starting a business. Oftentimes, entrepreneurs will put their last pennies into their businesses. Funding a new business out-of-pocket, on top of paying for home expenses, can cause an enormous stress on married couples, especially if there are also children. Added to these burdens is the fact that income and financial stability is rare in the life of an entrepreneur.
Too much time apart or the wrong kind of time together—Quality time spent focusing on things other than business is extremely crucial for a happy relationship. Relaxing, vacationing, laughing, being physically intimate, and having fun with one another, however, can all fall to the wayside when you are running a business together.
Fear of additional responsibility—As an entrepreneur, you likely have the “go, go, go!” attitude that makes so many self-starters successful. However, the thought of adding additional responsibilities such as pregnancy, children, pets, or even taking time off from work may make you think twice about family life. If one spouse feels like the other is putting business responsibilities above growing a family together or starts to feel unimportant, a marriage becomes jeopardized.
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How married entrepreneurs can strengthen their marriage
If you are truly committed to a happily ever after with your entrepreneurial partner and mate, here are some steps you can take to keep your marriage healthy:
Have patience—Business success is not a guarantee, nor will it happen overnight. As an entrepreneurial couple you will need to exercise patience: patience for long nights and extra hours, patience regarding personal and financial sacrifices, and patience that while your relationship might change by working together, you will both find a new rhythm you’ll feel comfortable with.
Make time—There is a saying that goes: “You don’t have the time, you make the time.” You may not feel like you have a spare minute in the day to even stop for coffee, but if you treasure your marriage, you will make sure that you carve out time for one another each day, business free. This could mean one date night per week going out and doing something fun together, or spending an hour before bed talking or relaxing together. Even 30 minutes spent talking after work can do wonders for maintaining your relationship.