Being in a relationship with an entrepreneur is never easy. It’s not a typical marriage where you go on romantic dates all the time. But what if your partner is running a failing business? But a marriage becomes even harder when your partner is not only an entrepreneur but also their business is failing. Even if you aren’t involved in their business, it adds a lot of pressure to your and your spouse’s shoulders.
So, nearly all marriages face problems at times. Relationships with entrepreneurs are even more demanding. But it gets even tougher when problems in the business arise. It can easily feel like your partner’s business is ruining your marriage. Seeing your partner struggle makes you feel like you don’t have much power at all. Maybe you secretly even blame your partner for messing some things up. All these feelings are valid but dangerous for your marriage.
That’s why in this article, we want to shine some light on scenarios you possibly will encounter and what can you do about it. Below, you’ll find all our best tips for when it seems like your partner’s failing business is ruining your marriage.
The Lie About Keeping Business And Private Life Separate
We often hear the advice to keep business affairs and private life separate from each other. But here is the strange thing about that. Especially when you are married to an entrepreneur, this is almost impossible to keep the two separate. Why?
The reason for that is that entrepreneurs can’t easily differentiate between work and private life. For them, it’s all one thing. It’s all life and it’s all free time. That’s why entrepreneurs don’t have a normal life – they view it completely differently.
They love their work because they are doing what they enjoy. But it also means they will think about their business even when they are with you. If you’ve been married for some time, you probably already made peace with it.
The thing is, it becomes a lot more stressful if your partner’s successful business turns into a failing business. Because now, they start bringing their worries and fears into their time with you. Even if you aren’t involved in their business at all, it will likely take an emotional toll on you regardless. Simply because you are seeing your partner stressed out and you relate to them.
It will also easily make you feel like you come in second. If your partner is constantly worried about their failing business they won’t have much bandwidth to listen to you or spend quality time with you. You feel like you aren’t appreciated – maybe feel invisible even. Their failing business is slowly ruining your marriage.
What To Do Instead?
Maybe this situation is completely new to you. Until now, your partner’s business was fine and you didn’t have to worry. But then the crisis hit and you both see yourself facing a completely new situation.
Trying to keep business and personal life separate in times like this will only make it harder. Your partner will feel like they can’t open up to you about their problems. Some parts of you won’t want to hear about their failing business. But if they don’t tell you about it you’ll probably also feel left out of their major life decisions.
It’s definitely better to openly communicate with each other instead of trying to shut it off. Communicate about how it makes you feel and ask them how they feel. You likely noticed that both of you feel scared. It’s a financial threat for you both after all.
If you haven’t been involved with your partner’s business at all until now, then it might be the time to step in. If there’s anything you can do, don’t let your partner suffer through this alone. If you already took part in their business before – keep supporting them.
You Might Feel Helpless
Your partner’s failing business will probably make you feel helpless. You notice you don’t have any funds to support your significant other financially. You aren’t sure there’s anything you can do at all. Feeling helpless about your partner’s struggles is extremely tough on your relationship.
Now the thing about that is, it’s just a feeling. You feel helpless and that’s okay. But by doing even something small, you might be doing a lot for your partner. It could be something small like just listening to them, discussing the next steps together, or even just not getting mad at them for zoning out during dinner time.
If you can’t help financially, there are still other things you can do to feel less helpless. The best way to go about is is to directly ask your partner what they need from you. Do they need you as a shoulder to cry on? As an assistant to help with paperwork? As an escape from your own thoughts?
Being married to an entrepreneur, you are already used to wearing so many different hats. One time you are their spouse, the next moment you are business partners, sometimes you might act as their assistant. Now is the perfect time to use this skill you have – to support your significant other in many different ways. It will help you realize you aren’t that helpless at all.
It’s Okay To Be Afraid
A failing business creates a lot of tension and fear in your marriage. Maybe you both depend on the income from this business. If it’s failing you also see your livelihood at stake. The thing about this is that it can leave you feeling betrayed.
Maybe you are subconsciously blaming your spouse for making decisions that led up to this point. You feel like they put their business and self-interest before your interests. If their business is failing how will you go on? How will you pay rent and food? You both invested so much time and energy into this and now it was all for nothing?
Those are all things which aren’t easy to accept. If you are subconsciously blaming your significant other for their failing business it can quickly ruin your marriage. Instead of supporting each other, you start to blame each other, get into fights, and add even more stress.
It’s a good idea to switch from blame to problem-solving. Yes, the situation isn’t great. Maybe both of you didn’t make the best decision. But it won’t help to dwell on these things. Wouldn’t you agree it’s much more helpful to look forward and focus on solutions?
Claim Your Spot
Do you sometimes feel like your spouse is married to their business instead of you? When they are with you, they often zone out and think about business-related things. They don’t remember anniversaries, other important dates, or even your friend’s names. Maybe they even make important decisions on their own – even if it concerns your future too. You can easily feel like you are only a second priority to your partner.
If that’s the case, there are two things you can do.
You can either make them realize that you feel bad. Nag them for never being fully present. Get mad at them for forgetting things. But that also means you’d add a lot more pressure to the relationship.
Think about it this way: your partner already has a hard time with their failing business. But even with you, they can’t turn off the negative thoughts because you keep adding to it. That’s a huge burden on your marriage.
The second option you have is to decide to support your significant other, even if it’s hard. Even if you feel mad, show them your caring side. Let them know you want to support them and you are ready to take on some tasks or face decisions together with them. Fully claim your spot as their spouse and partner.
Different Views On Failing Business
If your significant other’s business is failing, it’s often tough because you and your partner have different views on the situation.
Your partner might deal with regrets. They are thinking they made wrong decisions and could have avoided all of this if only they had acted differently. They feel like they are putting you at risk too and feel guilty.
You on the other hand wonder if all the effort and hard work were worth it. You dwell on all the time that you lost as a couple because your spouse was staying up late for work. So, each of you carries different emotions about the situation.
Our advice is to openly address how you feel and why. Not talking about feelings and emotions can ruin a marriage. Be careful not to assume that you already know how your partner feels. If you know them well it’s easy to jump to conclusions.
Go into a conversation with them to learn how they really feel. Also, make this an opportunity to talk about how you feel and what you think can be done to make it easier for both of you.
Why Entrepreneurship And Marriage Is So Hard To Combine
You love your significant other but sometimes you think it would be much easier if they weren’t a business owner. If they had a normal office job you wouldn’t go through all this.
We briefly touched on it already, entrepreneurship and a happy relationship are usually hard to combine – even if the business is running well. Most entrepreneurs are very driven. They have this mission and see it through, even if they have to do it alone. Owning a business comes with risks and your spouse might be willing to take those risks on themselves.
But the thing is, while this behavior makes them successful in business it doesn’t apply to marriage at all. In your marriage, you want to make decisions together. You take each other’s needs and wishes into account instead of just pushing through. It almost feels like owning a business and being in a marriage are opposites.“Entrepreneurship is a risk-taking solo act, while marriage is about security and togetherness.” - Inc.com Click To Tweet
That’s also why most partners of entrepreneurs find themselves working with their spouse sooner or later. It’s a sacrifice and you might feel like you are giving up part of your identity.
Does Their Business Become Your Identity?
You might decide to work with your partner for the sake of the marriage. Together you have a better chance of saving the failing business. But your decision comes with sacrifices. You give up some of your dreams, the things you want to do. You might even feel your whole life is revolving around your partner and their business.
Many spouses of business owners feel they are losing part of their own identity. In an interview, Jennie – Dan Lok’s wife – said she has been through the same. She is not only Dan’s wife but also his business partner. While she actively decided to do that, she still felt like she was giving up a part of herself.
But later she realized that Dan’s success has a lot to do with her. His success is her success. If you and your partner can do this together, then you truly become partners in everything.
Should You Leave The Marriage?
There might be times when your partner’s failing business is too much for you. Nobody can tell you when or if that looks or feels like. It’s a decision only you can make.
Getting a divorce is never easy. It’s one of the innermost personal decisions. We won’t give any advice on it as it’s not our decision to make. All we want to say it that you need to know what you want from life and if you can achieve that if you are married to an entrepreneur.
If their business is failing the decision becomes harder. You probably don’t want to leave them at a point in their life which is already extremely tough. But whatever you decide to do, communicate it openly.
Do you feel comfortable with supporting them in their business? Are the sacrifices you are making smaller than what you gain out of the marriage? Are you okay with running this life and marriage which aren’t normal or standard?
These are some questions to go over so you can gain some clarity.
Are You Too Financially Dependent?
Here’s one thing we want you to watch out for. Has your partner been an entrepreneur for some time and everything was fine? Only when the failing business become more apparent, more and more problems came up?
A financial threat is never easy to deal with. But it could be an indicator that you are too financially dependent on your partner. You might feel like you don’t have any skills and if the business fails there is no way for you to make money or be successful. Your partner will feel this too because they will see that you become increasingly concerned with money. You don’t want them to feel you only were in the relationship because of the money.
So, even if you plan to stay with your significant other forever, it removes a lot of pressure if you are self-confident enough to know that you also have skills and abilities which can make you money. You want the peace of mind that even if you would go through a divorce, you’d still be successful.
And you likely would. Why? Because so far, you were able to match the steps of your partner. You are able to keep up with their life and pace as an entrepreneur. It’s not a normal life but you can keep up, which means you have some entrepreneurial traits yourself.
Especially in times of recession like we are facing now, it might be time for you to step up and put your skills to use. Maybe you want to develop your first high income skill or start a side hustle? If you take some precautions you can do so, even in a time of crisis, and support your partner and yourself through all this.
Ready To Unlock Your Fullest Potential?
The reasons for a failing business are diverse. Maybe it’s the current state of crisis. Maybe your partner wasn’t able to run their business at all these past few weeks. Or maybe it was because of some wrong decisions they made.
Whatever it is, you have lots of potentials to support your significant other. You can step up and leave the feeling of being powerless behind. No matter if it is financial power or personal power you have potential that is not yet unlocked.
To help you unlock it is one of Dan Lok’s biggest missions. That’s why last year, he wrote his book Unlock It™ – which is now an international bestseller.
If you want to learn more about business, support your spouse to discover more of your own potential than this book is for you. Right now you can get a free copy. The book is already paid you only have to take care of shipping. Find all the details here.