Starting your own business is a huge commitment, especially when you’re trying to balance your business commitments with married life. It may feel as though you never have enough time to concentrate adequately on your business or personal life, which can lead to stress and tension. This in turn puts pressure on your business, marriage or both.
At the very least, your spouse might be feeling under appreciated or ignored while you put everything into making a success of the business. It’s important, therefore, that you do everything possible to make the transition to business owner as easy as possible both for you and for your other half.
1. Balance your clients’ needs with your spouse’s needs
Although it can be difficult not to put your clients before your spouse, especially when the business is just getting going, you do need to find an adequate balance so he doesn’t become resentful of the business and, by extension, you. Stick to business hours as much as you can for communication with clients – don’t let them invade the time you should be spending with your spouse in the evenings and at the weekends unless there is an emergency which has to be taken care of. This will set a good precedent with clients anyway – they will know they can’t be too demanding or pushy with you – and it will help ease potential pressure on your marriage.
2. Be with your spouse 100% during your time together
The best way to ensure your spouse feels his needs are being taken care of is when you give him 100% during the times you’re together. This guide from Quality Solicitors follows on from the point above in recommending that you rid yourself of distractions when you’re with your spouse in order to strengthen your marriage. Turn off your phone and computer, even if you’re only watching television together, so you can connect and ensure he knows how grateful you are for his support in your professional endeavors.
3. Don’t work from home just because you can
There’s nothing wrong with working from home a little bit if a task absolutely has to be completed by a certain deadline, but you shouldn’t work relentlessly just because you feel like you can (or should). If you work for literally the entire day and only stop to sleep, you’ll go insane. Kim Pisolkar on the Huffington Post suggests scheduling working and non-working hours in your calendar so you have specified downtime. You might feel guilty about not doing anything, but it’ll be good for you and for your marriage in the long run.
4. Try to delegate (if possible)
If you’re just starting your own business by yourself, you might not have the option of delegating some work to an employee or partner. If you can do so, though, you should recognize it as an option. For instance, if you have a date night scheduled but you have to get something done urgently, delegate the work to an employee or ask a partner if they can take care of it as a favor that you can return later on. Showing your partner that you are willing and able to compromise on your work commitments will ensure he continues to feel loved and important in your life.
5. Ask him to be honest about how he feels
As much as you can try to be available and present with your spouse, there are times when it may not be enough and he might not feel as though he’s getting everything he needs from you and the marriage in general. You should ask him to tell you whenever he thinks work is taking too much precedence in your life so you can dial professional commitments back and redress the balance to take him into consideration to a greater degree. You might not be able to recognize this, so it’s important he lets you know if he feels he’s being marginalized.
6. Make time for what’s happening in his life
If work is taking up more of your time than you’d like and you’re constantly talking about it, be mindful of the fact that this can be draining on your spouse. Make sure you maintain an interest in what’s happening in his life and his work – he might need someone to talk to or vent at, and even if you’re only providing a sympathetic ear without contributing or trying to solve a problem, it can do your marriage the world of good because it promotes a give and take attitude.
It might feel like a lot of work to ensure your marriage remains strong while your business gets on its feet, but it shouldn’t be much of an effort to go the extra mile and ensure that your spouse doesn’t feel neglected.
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