When you run your own business, the long hours and constant stress can really take a toll on your personal life -- especially when it comes to your marriage. Even if you and your spouse talked in advance about how life would change once you became an entrepreneur, it's still a difficult transition to make. And while you're putting your all into running and growing your business, your partner may be feeling ignored, taken for granted, and taken advantage of.
To help you prevent your business from destroying your marriage, here are the three most common relationship mistakes I see business owners make, plus how you can resolve them before they damage your bond.
Mistake #1: Treating your clients better than you treat your partner.
As business owners, we know how important it is to treat our clients with respect and consideration. After all, they're the people who keep our doors open! But when it comes to communicating with our spouses it's a completely different story, because they have to love us no matter what we say or do -- right?
Wrong! If you treat your clients better than you treat your spouse, trust me: he will notice, and it will make him feel resentful and taken for granted. To prevent this from happening, try treating your spouse the same way you'd treat a V.I.P. client. When you're with him, be with him 100 percent. Make him feel special. Listen to him. Be generous, kind, and helpful, and show him how grateful you are for his support.
Mistake #2: Not making time for sex.
At the end of a long day, do you climb into bed to have sex with your spouse, or do you pass out the second your head hits the pillow? Or worse, do you lay in bed answering emails, writing articles, and researching new opportunities until you fall asleep, instead of spending that time connecting with your partner?
When you run your own business, it's normal to be so stressed out and exhausted that sex is the last thing you want to do. But not making it a priority is a sure-fire way to damage your marriage, and make your spouse feel unwanted.
Try making sex a priority by cutting back on work, and using that time to get in the mood. For example, if you usually do some extra work after dinner, try taking a hot shower or a bubble bath instead. Slip into something that makes you feel good, put on some music, and light some candles. Try to look at this time with your spouse as a welcomed respite from your crazy work day, instead of a chore that needs to be crossed off your list (or scheduled in your calendar!).
Mistake #3: Using working from home as an excuse to work 24/7.
As someone who has worked from home for years, the best advice I can give you is this: Just because you can keep working doesn't mean you should.
Although working nonstop can feel productive, it's actually not good for you, or for your relationship. For your own sanity -- and for the good of your marriage -- it's important to power down the computer, leave the office, and connect with your spouse. And don't worry about getting it perfect. Even just cuddling up next to him with a magazine while he watches ESPN is better than nothing. If you find this really difficult to do, try scheduling working hours and non-working hours on your calendar to make sure it gets done.
I want to hear from you! Since starting your business, what are some of the mistakes you've made that negatively affected your relationship? Leave your comment below!