Owning your own business is not easy. As an entrepreneur, you have to put all your focus into your business endeavor in order for it to grow and succeed. You work long and unpredictable hours – often taking your work home with you. You stress over every detail and there is a lot riding on every decision you make – from your own income, your family’s wellbeing, to your employee’s welfare. While many entrepreneurs start their own businesses to gain more autonomy over their financial future, “being your own boss” is not without its significant challenges. And these challenges can spill over into all aspects of your life – including your marriage.
Marriage itself takes purposeful commitment, energy, and work. It’s no surprise that, with the added demands of owning a business, the divorce rate among entrepreneurs and business owners is much higher than among couples who are traditionally employed. Here are some of the reasons why:
Your Time Is Spread Thin
When you own your own business, it can feel like there are never enough hours in the day. There is always one more thing you feel like you need to get done or goal you need to meet, and this can lead to longer hours at work. It can also mean that the lines between work and home life are blurred when you’re tempted to just answer that one email after dinner or take weekends that would normally be reserved for your family to work on your business.
In a marriage, time spent together is critical. While sacrifice and patience is necessary when one or both partners are building a business, resentment can quickly build if one spouse is not able to commit time to the marriage.
What you should do: schedule time for your partner
While scheduling time for your marriage might not seem romantic, it can be necessary in order to make sure you’re continuing to invest the time and effort in the relationship even amidst the demands of your business. Treat your time with your spouse as non-negotiable – they are your most important client or customer and this time should be blocked on your schedule. Put a weekly date night on your calendars, or pick one day of the weekend that is dedicated solely to your spouse and/or family – no business allowed.
Business Ownership Can Mean Financial Stress
Of course your start your business with the goal of gaining financial independence and building wealth for you and your family. But entrepreneurship, especially in the growing stages, can put a strain on your finances – and money stress is the leading cause of divorce in most marriages. Whether you’re having to invest savings, or skip your own paychecks, or cut back on luxuries and expenses, these can cause strain in your relationship that can ultimately lead to the break down of a marriage.
What you should do: be honest about finances and make a plan together
One of the biggest things that can drive a wedge between a couple when it comes to money is not money itself but a difference in expectations and/or lack of communication and collaboration. Be open and honest with your spouse about finances and work together to develop financial goals and plans. Approach money like a puzzle you fix together instead of something that pulls you apart.
Your business can feel like “the other man/woman” in the relationship
If all of your time and emotional energy is being invested in your business, your spouse might begin to feel resentful of the business itself – just as they would if you were carrying on an affair with another person. And it goes beyond actual time spent away from your spouse. It’s easy for an entrepreneur’s mental space to be taken over by your business, and for your spouse to feel like they are no longer the most important thing in your life.
What you should do: be present in your marriage
This goes beyond scheduling time with your spouse – though that of course is important. It’s critical to make sure that you are truly present with your spouse when you are spending time with them. Put your phone away at dinner. Ask about their day and make an effort to not let all conversations focus on business.
Even the best marriage can be put in jeopardy when you layer on the stresses and challenges of owning your own business. If you own your own business and are facing divorce, contact the experienced Tampa divorce attorneys at Anton Castro Law today: 813-907-9807.