I know what it is like to run a thriving business and also exactly what it takes to get there. The personal, emotional and time investment are huge, especially when you are starting up. The toll this can take on a relationship, even a strong one, can be quite immense and overlooked, especially when as ambitious women striving to make a change in the world we have a very direct focus.
Imagine though our partners perspectives for a moment, they’ve had all of us, or at least as much of us as we allowed to give, to all of a sudden agree to support us in pursuing our passions to be left hanging out on the sidelines not having a clue as to what we are doing or why. They see us working immensely hard, and although happy, I am sure they see the spectrum of all the other emotions too, as well as the struggles of start ups and the fear and doubt and they see us go through those personal and professional growth spurts. Now, for anyone who is not an entrepreneur, or an enlightenment junkie, can I just point out that this look like madness so it makes logical sense that all of a sudden in their mind the Business becomes the bad thing that is doing all these terrible things to us, their loved one? You can see where I am going with this, right?
As ambitious women who love our business it’s easy to find ourselves spending every spare moment checking our diary or phone for the next incoming alert or notification to spark the next surge of work. While our partners look on horrified by the connection we have to our devices.
What about when you’re in the middle of a conversation with your partner at the end of the day exchanging stories and updates and you suddenly have an uncontrollable attack of inspiration and you simply must get it out before you explode so you exit the room and conversation quick smart leaving a gob smacked loved one eating your dust, sound familiar?
Maybe you’ve even found yourself hiding late night text activity under the duvet, so as not to disturb your other half, because secretly you know when you’re caught there are simply no excuses or explanations that could possibly make your other half understand the love and commitment that you have to your business. And you just had to update that document then and there!
Well, when you get to the last stage ladies you might have to admit that your other half might actually be right and there is a little bit of an over commitment to the Business. At this point it is usually very clear, no two ways about it in fact that your business has officially become the third wheel in your relationship, and it’s time to do some work!
So what do I mean by the third wheel, well it’s the awkward entity that you know is there wherever you go but you try and avoid, or you skirt round the edges but it invariably lives with you, is involved in every aspect of your beings and there is no escaping it. Although you both hope the tactic of silence and avoidance will diminish its interference as much as possible, until you believe that it has met the criteria of acceptance that you have decided your other half needs in order to forgive the business for all previous, and thus far unforgivable, wrong doing.
Here are the things you can do to Consciously Create a more harmonious relationship and eradicate that third wheel.
- Consciously Communicate – acknowledge the issue that you perceive, or at least the behaviours you have cultivated and why you think you are not being as open about your business activities. Never assume your perception of the situation is the only one, be curious and forthcoming about your thoughts and ask for opinions and thoughts and dialogue for a conversation to be entered into, that’s an invitation not a confrontation.
- Actively call out the behaviours you agree to change and put boundaries in place to make those changes successful. Include your partner in your support circle so that when they remind you or a relapse it’s not a dig at you, but a reminder delivered in a way as per your request, from a place of mutual agreement.
- Share your truth of why you have allowed these behaviours to creep in, and encourage a calm and open dialogue to emerge without judgement, and with understanding that the other person loves and wants to protect you. Begin with framing those deep intentions and vows of love so that you have the foundations to fall back on when challenging moments arising in that conversation, just allow time to work through them and hear the other sides perspective from the point of view of a loved one.
- Agree that you are both working on it and that you will both speak openly about your thought processes. No more expectations of hiding activities, or assuming you know what the other is thinking. Once you have one another’s full support again in your pursuits, it is time to trust them with your personal goals and boundaries and you’ll work at them as a team.
When I started in business I was so desperate to meet the expectations I had made in my head and exceed them in order to make my husband proud I was doing the exact opposite as I was not looking after myself which is completely against his values for our family. Once I stepped back and readjusted my view and looked inwards and made these simple adjustments, taking the pressure off myself, taking the business out of our relationship as a third wheel, he’s now more like a weekend away with the girls. My relationship with my husband and my business has never flowed so well. So I urge you to get back to your relationship basics and remove your third wheel in order to thrive like you should be doing!
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