Has your startup caused your family, marriage, or relationship to go downhill?
Are you staying at work even longer than you need to just to avoid your partner back at home?
Do you feel like your success is resented instead of your hard work being appreciated, and is it making your relationship unbearable?
This scenario is more common than you might think, especially among today’s successful startup entrepreneurs. Your business needs a lot of time and attention, and it can leave your spouse or partner feeling left out in the cold. Even as you’re building something that can give you and your family the life of your dreams, you might find the person closest to you drifting away.
Remain stuck in your current relationship rut, and an emotionally and financially devastating divorce is all too likely to follow.
There are several key reasons that couples often end up splitting during or shortly after major changes in one partner’s career, including startup launches and acquisitions. Yet there’s no reason that any couple needs to go through the stress, pain, and destruction of a divorce.
If you can learn to identify the mistakes you’re making, you can have a successful marriage and a successful startup.
We’re going to show you how, starting with three common mistakes that can kill your marriage.
1. Not asking for what you need.
It’s hard to admit that sometimes we just need someone to be there. Someone to say, “I understand,” to give you the occasional shoulder rub after a long day at your desk, and to listen to you unload so you can actually unwind, if only for a few hours.
For high achievers and high earners, admitting that we need this kind of emotional support is even harder.
You expect yourself to have all the answers all the time—or at least to know where to find the answers you don’t already have—and that’s a big part of what has made you a successful entrepreneur. That same approach can easily kill a marriage, though; if you try to go it alone, alone is exactly where you’ll find yourself.
You might not be able to involve your spouse directly in your startup’s operations, but you need to invite them to be involved in the emotional journey that comes with a new business venture. You need to be open, honest, and direct if you sense resentment rather than enjoyment of your career successes, and you need to ask for the support you need—while offering the support your spouse needs, too.
2. Taking Wrong Turns with Your Sex Drive
Sex is a big part of making a marriage or other romantic relationship work, but it’s one of the first things to go awry for many startup founders.
Some entrepreneurs try to use work as a replacement for physical affection, intimacy, and plain old carnal pleasure. They ignore their sex drive and their partner’s sexual needs, which leads to increased stress, less ability to focus on work, and a cycle of reduced self-esteem and increased sexual frustration on the part of both partners.
Other startup executives go the hyper-sexualized route, indulging in strip clubs, pornography, and affairs—from rampant flirting to full-on physical flings—as a way to fill the void they feel an unsupportive spouse has left them with.
In virtually all of these situations, withholding sex from a partner is also an attempt to punish them. This is sometimes conscious and sometimes not, but it’s always a bad tactic. Instead of helping to identify the real problems in the relationship and work on great emotional (and physical) intimacy, taking the sex out of a marriage creates greater distance and makes it more difficult to connect with your partner.
You might also have a spouse who you feel is withholding sex from you as a way of showing their resentment for the time you spend with your business. You might both be punishing each other, with no one getting what they want—not in the bedroom, and not in the marriage as a whole.
It goes back to asking for the support you need, and making yourself available to receive it. Be honest about your sex drive, with yourself and with your spouse, and take steps to make sure everyone’s satisfied on that front.
You might be surprised how much fixing this one issue can change your outlook on your relationship, not to mention the spring in your step you’ll have at the office.
3. Waiting for a Better Time to Work On Your Marriage
This excuse is as old as humanity, and is used all the time to avoid all sorts of risks and challenges. We tell ourselves we’ll tackle some long-standing problem when our work life settles down, when we have a bit more money and can afford to step back, when there aren’t twenty other things clamoring for our attention.
With marriages as with most situations, postponing too long means losing your chance altogether.
Imagine if you had waited for the perfect time to launch your startup. You’d still be working for someone else right this very minute, because there would always be a reason that now isn’t the right time. You recognized this, and you decided now was always the right time to take your business and professional life into your own hands.
Your marriage and family aren’t less important than your startup, and if you wait for the “right time” to start fixing your relationship you won’t have a relationship left to fix.
You can start making changes today that can affect the course of your marriage, your happiness, and your fulfillment for the rest of your life. If you’ve been struggling to keep things happy at home, avoiding your spouse out of resentment or spite, finding yourself disconnected from your family and struggling to make sense of things outside of your work, then now is the right time to do something about it.
You were brave enough to take the leap in your career, and you know how substantial the rewards can be when you’re willing to gather the information you need and put in the work that’s required. You deserve the same in your marriage, and you can have it.
All you need to do is act.
Our Ignite Love programs are exclusively for high-achieving couples experiencing problems just like yours, and will give you the information, tools, and tasks you need to transform your marriage into a partnership as successful as your wildest startup dreams. Your problems are solvable, and your relationship is more than salvageable—it’s ready to blossom into it’s full potential, if you’re willing to tend to it.
Click here to have a conversation to put your marriage in a relationship incubator that delivers the most real and lasting return on your investment you’ll ever achieve.