In this segment, I continue to cover tips for small business owners dealing with non-supportive spouses or partners. For the rest of the tips, you can start here.
Your spouse doesn’t have the same mindset you do – Because we are all unique, beautiful human beings, no two individuals think alike. As such, it is very likely that your spouse thinks totally differently than you do when it comes to business. My son has a friend who’s parents own a couple of restaurants. The son has grown up seeing the long hours and crazy amount of work his parents have had to put into their business as well as hear their attitude about how having a business isn’t worth it. This young adult will probably have a very negative attitude towards his future wife ever having a business of her own.
On the contrary, I have a friend who’s husband grew up with parents that were very active but happy and successful business owners. They taught him the value of hard work and the importance of opportunity that a business can provide. She still has some struggle with a non-supportive spouse but for a very different reason.
As another example, it may be that your spouse has a fear of taking risks and needs to have a large amount of data presented before being able to embrace your dreams. Where as you may just “FEEL” that this is right, they may need to have that feeling backed up by research and evidence.
Action Step: Take the time to truly listen to your partner. Ask them questions about what they are thinking and feeling as you present your plans for your business. If they need more information, provide it. If you can’t provide it, they may take that as a sign that it is not a viable business. Give them time to process.
If your spouse has come into the relationship with different attitudes towards owning a business, explore those with them in a gentle way. See if you can help them to understand where those attitudes are coming from and whether or not they want to hang on to them. If they do, don’t push it. That will only create more tension.
If your spouse is not yet ready to let go of a different mindset, create a plan that will meet both of your needs together. Compromise and compassion is the key. Let them know they are being heard and that you are taking their thoughts and feelings into consideration.
As usual, it’s so much more about controlling how we react than it is in changing how they react. Taking the lead in accepting and understanding will go a long way towards creating harmony between your relationships and your dreams.
When to Seek a Life Coach
Sometimes we need extra help. Consider contacting us to set up a session in the following situations.
- Often, we find it difficult to talk to those closest to us. If you find this to be the case, consider a couples coaching session where an objective person can help to create better understanding for both individuals.
- If you find it challenging to come up with clear answers to some of the questions suggested above, it may be helpful to talk it out with a trusted coach or adviser before discussing it with your spouse.
I will be featuring more tips on how to deal with non-supportive spouses next week. In the mean time, I’d love to hear about your challenges and/or solutions in managing your own non-supportive relationships in the comments below.