Building a business with your spouse as both your romantic and work partner is one of the most satisfying things you can do as a couple. However, that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
With the divorce rate swaying anywhere from 35-50%, married couples already have their work cut out for them when it comes to maintaining healthy relationships. Now throw in trying to start a business with your spouse and that work becomes even trickier.
When it comes to being a successful entrepreneurial couple there is only one essential element: love. Just like building a business together, love in marriage requires dedication, time, energy, and excellent communication skills.
Many entrepreneur couples are categorized as “high risk” for divorce and here are the top reasons why:
1. Business Partners Only
In healthy relationships, couples need to be able to communicate about any topic under the sun. It’s how you bond, connect, and learn about one another. However, if all you are talking about is work then you start to create a relationship barrier.
Entrepreneurs can lose their marriage identity when they view their spouse as more of a business partner than a romantic one.
2. Not Making Time for Each Other
If couples with a 9-5 workday need to practice a regular date night, the same should be doubly true for entrepreneurial couples. As entrepreneurs, your “shift” can start as early as the break of dawn and not end until you go to sleep at night – 7 days a week! It’s great to be passionate about your business, but you cannot put it ahead of your marriage and expect your relationship to survive.
“If you put your spouse first, your marriage will last your lifetime.” – Mel Robbins
3. Financial Stress
Being an entrepreneur does not necessarily mean you are going to start out or end up being successful. One of the biggest issues with entrepreneurial couples is the financial stress that comes along with building your own business.
Research analysis done by the Bureau of Labor Statics in the United States found that of the businesses started in 2011, only 3% of them made it to their fifth year. Small business failure largely has to do with lack of experience, neglect or fraud, and lack of funding.
Furthermore, research done By Wells Fargo found that 77% of new businesses relied on personal funds to start their company. These harrowing statistics can fill a marriage with anxiety. Not knowing how you are going to pay your bills or when your next paycheck is coming can add a tremendous amount of stress on a marriage.
4. How to Show Love in Marriage as Entrepreneurs
One of the many positive sides of being a married entrepreneurial couple is that you have a freedom that most other couples don’t have. You don’t have to deal with higher-ups, you don’t follow orders. Not only do you get to be together every day, but you have the freedom to travel wherever the wind takes you.
Here’s how to take advantage of your amazing jobs and show love to each other every day:
1. Have fun together
Part of what makes marriage so enjoyable is that you’ve partnered up with your best friend in the world – and never forget it! Being friends as well as lovers and business partners means you should be having fun together regularly.
2. Leave work at work
This can be hard to do, especially considering that as entrepreneurs you don’t have a set schedule, but it is in the best interest of your marriage to create one. Set a schedule and stick to it. Once you are off work, power down your smart devices (for at least an hour) and spend some much-needed quality time with your spouse.
3. Be Patient with Each Other
Starting up a new business takes a lot of time, has many challenges, and isn’t going to be successful overnight. Similarly, you and your spouse are going to find a lot of reasons to snap at each other as entrepreneurs. Showing patience will do wonders for keeping love in marriage.
“Patience is the companion of wisdom.” – Saint Augustine
4. Take up a New Hobby Together
Healthy relationships benefit when couples have activities in common outside of their shared responsibilities. Taking up a new hobby, such as learning an instrument, language, dance, or sport can help you both bond closer together and strengthen your marriage.
5. Date Night
A couple’s weekly date night will show up on nearly every ‘how to have healthy relationships’ list for a good reason. Spending at least one night a week together outside of work will help you both get back to basics and connect on an emotional and physical level.
6. Share Your Feelings
In order to be wonderful spouses and business partners to one another, you’ll have to be honest, and part of that honesty means facing your hopes and fears together. Be willing to be vulnerable, humble, and honest with your spouse about your feelings regarding business and love.
7. Express Appreciation
One of the best things couples can do to maintain healthy relationships and love in marriage is to show appreciation for one another each and every day. Tell your spouse the things you love and appreciate about them.
You can tell your spouse you love how they always know how to cheer you up, how they are always there for you in times of distress, or because they always put their dishes away. Whether it’s big or small, always let your partner know what you love about them. Being married entrepreneurs has its own unique set of challenges. Don’t let your love of business get in the way of your healthy relationships.
Cultivate love in marriage by making time for each other regularly, laughing more, expressing appreciation for your spouse, and by leaving work at the door. By doing these things you will strengthen your relationship both in love and in business.