Marriage is a rewarding and challenging journey. All married couples sail through troubled waters and being married to an entrepreneur presents its unique challenges.
Every marriage can have lasting success, even when business is a part of the mix. Entrepreneurs are passionate about their endeavors and the partner they choose to marry. The key to success in any area, including marriage, is priorities.
Focusing on your marriage can help your business thrive while concentrating on your business can produce financial success and stability within your relationship. However, married entrepreneurs must dedicate themselves to finding a harmonious balance in both areas.
If you want to find more stability and peace on both fronts, here’s a look at eight practical ways to balance marriage and business.
1. Measure your words, especially work talk
Your new client does not want to hear intricate details about your marriage. Similarly, your partner may not want to hear about work all of the time. Strike a balanced conversation, especially if your partner feels intimidated or inferior when discussing certain business aspects.
2. Eliminate ‘technoference’
Your smart device can make your life a lot easier, but how about your marriage? Your mobile device can send and receive messages, photos, emails, and manage your business social media accounts with ease. You can do all of this on your commute to work, lunch break, and yes, from home.
It may be convenient for your phone to never leave your side, but your spouse may not be as appreciative of your reliance on technology. Research suggests that mobile phone usage can keep you connected to the world and disconnect your relationship at the same time.
- Do you feel neglected when your partner is on their phone?
- Is your time together regularly disrupted by texts or emails?
- Has technology intruded on your relationship?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, according to Psychology Today, you’re hardly alone. “A new study from Brigham Young University examined how technology interferes with relationships. The researchers concluded that “technoference” can be damaging not just to a relationship but to your psychological health as well. While the big 3 disputes for couples’ arguments used to be sex, money, and kids, it seems smartphones are rapidly rising up that list.”
When you are around your partner, make an effort to be present. Turn off notifications and place your phone in another room. We all crave undivided attention. A marriage on the rocks can easily find solid ground when a mutual focus on being present (with less tech) is a primary goal.
3. Dedicate yourself to the little things
A healthy marriage is dedicated to the little things. For example, having morning coffee together, being thoughtful toward one another, shared smiles and attentive listening.
Take an intentional approach to master the little things. Ask your spouse what makes their day happier or easier. Make breakfast, tidy up around the house, offer to pick the kids up from school. These are simple acts of service that can make your partner feel loved.
Gratitude is another simple way to make your partner happy. Studies show that gratitude was one of the highest predictors in marital happiness.
According to a study published in the journal Personal Relationships, the secret to having a better marriage is to show gratitude. “Research conducted by the University of Georgia … emphasizes how spousal gratitude is the most consistent predictor of marital quality. Couples who express gratitude more often were less affected by common marital stressors…”
Couples who regularly expressed appreciation for one another also report higher levels of intimacy, commitment, and relationship satisfaction.
4. Place a high value on communication
As a business-minded person, you know the value of communication at work. It leads to employee satisfaction, strong company culture, happy customers and more sales. The same is true for communication in your marriage.
Couples who communicate are more satisfied in their relationship. They feel heard, respected, and validated. These are important aspects of both business and marriage. Talk to your partner regularly, practice vulnerability, and connect on an emotional level. This will create lasting bonds and help to keep your relationship strong.
5. Check-in regularly
Monthly marriage check-in’s (or as we refer to in business, status updates) are a great way to achieve balance and harmony in a marriage. Set aside twenty minutes to talk about work, life, finances and the areas you want to grow in individually and as a couple.
6. Prioritize date nights
A regular weekly or biweekly date night will ensure your partner has assured quality time.
The National Marriage Project reveals how spending time together boosts communication, intimacy, and lowers the probability of divorce. “… individuals continue to change, and as they and their relationships develop, they experience new challenges and problems over time. Date nights may help partners and spouses to ‘stay current’ with each other’s lives and offer one another support for meeting these challenges.”
On date nights, leave work talk at the office. Time spent together is important to your marriage and individual happiness. The happier you are at home, the more productive you will be at work.
7. Work smarter
Work smart and set small, achievable daily goals. Create to-do lists, calendars, and self-imposed deadlines. Prepare for meetings in advance to use your time wisely.
When you are married to an entrepreneur, you know your spouse doesn’t adhere to a typical 9-5 schedule. While there’s more freedom in an entrepreneur’s schedule, it also increases the likelihood of bringing work home, especially if they work from home.
If you or your spouse works from home, schedule “office hours” and work from a dedicated distraction-free space. This way, your partner knows you’re in work mode. Practice the art of the full stop each day.
In writing, “Only when the full stop arrives can the meaning of a sentence be fulfilled. The full stop offers the reader relief, allowing her to close the circle of meaning and take a mental breath. Full stops also give writing its rhythm.” In the same way, a full stop can give your days cadence, and offer you mental and emotional relief that is needed to succeed as an entrepreneur.
Your business deserves your time and energy, and so does your spouse.
8. Improve your mental health
Entrepreneurs are not immune to the stressors of life and business. When we are overwhelmed and overworked, it’s natural to feel stressed and anxious. Running a business and maintaining a happy marriage are significant roles.
Depression (situational and clinical) and anxiety affect millions of people worldwide. They can take a devastating toll, impacting productivity at work and depleting the energy you should be giving to your spouse.
Make self-care a priority. Learn your triggers and take a proactive approach to mental and emotional wellness.
Sylvia Smith is a writer who likes to write about relationships and how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. She is currently associated with Marriage.com. She is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt its principles in their relationships. By taking purposeful and intentional action, Sylvia feels any relationship or marriage can be transformed and truly enjoyed.
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