If your relationship is not the same way it used to be. It’s become like a roommate situation. We are here to help you get back to feeling like soulmates.
1. Have a plan for your stress.
Running a business is stressful! There is always a problem to be solved; there are new questions, someone needing you, and something to learn all the time. And it’s easy to pull that stress home. This stress may at times, make you moody with having so much on your mind. You already have that level of stress on you trying to figure out problem-solving, training, new software, and learning how to market better. Then your sweetheart comes wanted to have a serious talk about your relationship.
Think about the amount of patience you need for the relationship to work well. You’re not going to have enough patience unless you have great ways to deal with your stress. That is why the 1st relationship tip is to manage stress. Some of you will say: “I just push through; I do what I must do.” “I’ll be okay, or I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” That’s not a healthy plan for stress.
Create a morning strategy. Think about what you can do in the mornings. Although, we can’t predict what will happen throughout the course of a day nor how much time we’ll have at night. The most predictable amount of time in a day is typically in the mornings. So, I want to challenge you right now to do at least one thing for yourself in the morning. It could be exercise-related (i.e., yoga, running, aerobics, walking). What are you doing to really rejuvenate in the morning? For many, upbeat music are a big motivator and mood booster. Other options aren’t limited to but include prayer, meditation, affirmations, aroma therapy, reading inspirational literature, or listening to inspirational youtube videos. What are you intentionally doing to feed your heart, mind, and spirit? To feed your body with the stamina and focus that you need to be an entrepreneur and with something left over for your spouse or partner. Create a stress plan. And if, by chance, attempts remain difficult: see somebody about it. There are plenty of therapists and plenty of wellness coaches that could help you create one.
2. Have a hard conversation
I know what you might think: I’m NOT TRYING TO HAVE ANY EXTRA ARGUMENTS! Why would I want to be intentional about having hard conversations? I do mean some specific ones. You know what might be coming up in your business (i.e., when your schedule will be busier than normal, out-of-town meetings, etc.). You may be in the beginning stages of your business. It’s important to have a conversation about the sacrifice of time or finances that is coming. Discuss and plan for finances to be tight in the beginning. It is better to have those challenging conversations than to be on the other side of your partner feeling blindsided. (Ie. They had no idea that you were planning on dedicating these many hours during the day, and they have no idea that certain plans like vacations or new purchases need to be put on pause).
Share in advance if you know you won’t be able to help with the mortgage that month. Grow the courage to talk about it even if you’re afraid. Be prepared to give suggestions of what you are willing to do because of those challenges. (Ie. Are you willing to go back to your full-time job after a certain time period? Or will you get a part-time job if there are financial challenges along the way? If you know it will take a lot of hours to get this thing to where it needs to be, have you dedicated a consistent time slot for each other in addition to those long work hours that you will do?) You want to show that not only are you committed to your business, but you are committed to your family. You are committed to your partner as well.
The success of your business matters, but so does your partner’s needs too. And I know many people have this idea: “I am doing this for my family. I am doing this for the legacy, so they don’t have to ever struggle in the future.” “If they would just understand that and stand by me, we would be okay.” But here is the reality: no one wants to feel ignored, neglected, or taken for granted. Placed on a shelf. “I see you when I see you.” When your business is thriving and moving the way you wanted it to, they are gone. Either emotionally or physically. That is why we have candid, challenging conversations. Be open to hearing their suggestions. They also have suggestions that might make them feel better and a little more considered.
3. You must have a NO Work Zone.
We all benefit from having limits and boundaries. Boundaries are for you AND your family. You cannot let your business take over your whole life. You must create boundaries to live without common regrets of times you can’t get back. But pertaining to your relationship. Say, in this block of time, there will be no business tasks. If you do not set these boundaries, you run the risk of always working or thinking about work. At the end of life, people often regret chasing money so hard that they didn’t get to enjoy quality time with those they love most. And what did we say before? If we don’t spend that quality time, they will leave either physically or emotionally. An example of knowing that you are creating a no-work zone is you are going to having a consistent date night. Something will always come up. Whether it’s a pandemic or no babysitter, your marriage needs a consistent date night to keep that spark. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Go to dinner, a park, or have a romantic bubble bath by candlelight. Make it happen! Our marriage is more important than any business. But this is shown not with our actions but with our words and our time. Whatever you value is shown in the amount of time you dedicate.
Written by: Natasha D. Oates, award-winning therapist & relationship coach