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When Your Spouse Doesn’t Support Your Work

by Jean Murray on March 4th, 2009

Home business owners are like other business owners - we need the support of our families to succeed in business.  But what if your family doesn’t support you in your business?  That can be very tough.

My husband is very supportive, and our children are grown, but it’s difficult when you have young children and your spouse isn’t helpful.  So what do you do?

I’m helping a woman start a home-based business, and she is struggling with this question. She said her husband told her, “I think this is a dumb idea.  Don’t get me involved.”  Well, at least that’s not downright hostility, but it certainly isn’t support. I shared some of my thoughts with her, but I’d sure like your comments too.

What’s the issue? Find out why your spouse/significant other/partner is negative.  Maybe it’s the specific type of business he/she doesn’t like.  Maybe it’s a concern about the time and money it will take to get started.  Getting the concern out in the open will help you both figure out how to deal with it.

Play “What If”? I believe in expecting the best and planning for the worst.  Spend some time talking about “What if?” - “What if the business runs out of money?” “What if one of the kids gets sick?” “What if I can’t work?”  By describing and working through these potential negatives, you come to discover that you can in fact figure them out.  Something

Work Together on the Business Plan. I’m a firm believer in creating a business plan at the beginning of a business.  The ability to sit down and talk about the plan may be enough to get the other person excited about the potential of the business.  Working through the financial statements gives both of you a picture of how the business can succeed.  For example, you might find out that you can make more money than you thought, or that you don’t need all those expenses, particularly if you work from home.

Put ‘em to Work. This may or may not be a great idea.  Some spouses don’t want to work in your business.  But even a small job, like doing the accounting may be enough to give the other person a feeling that he or she is needed.

Set Limits. Often, the other person is fearful that the business will take all your time.  The woman I mentioned above found out that her retired husband was sure they wouldn’t be able to go on vacations.  When she showed him how she was going to hire an employee to take over when she was gone. he was happy.  Of course, in the beginning you may not be able to get away, but if you build in the systems to have the business run itself, you should be able to leave occasionally after it gets up and running.

So, what suggestions do you have for the person who says, “My spouse isn’t supportive?”  What has been your experience?  What have you done?

Image source: StockXpert

Tags: , , working couples

POSTED IN: Disadvantages & Concerns, Family, Kids & Business, Work Life Balance

1 opinion for When Your Spouse Doesn’t Support Your Work

  • When Your Children Don’t Support Your Work
    Mar 10, 2009 at 7:01 am

    [...] week I wrote about un-supportive spouses/significant others/partners.  But un-supportive children are a different [...]

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