Reaching out for help and support isn’t easy to do because that means acknowledging you have a PROBLEM.
Naming the problem then means getting out of your COMFORT ZONE to change it.
Comfort zones are cozy places because they are FAMILIAR.
Even when a comfort zone becomes extremely uncomfortable it is what you know. So, you stay there, safely tucked up on the sofa that is your suffering.
It sounds like a sucky scenario.
And, it is.
At times over the past 8 years I have lived it and, at other times, watched on as the women around me have done the same.
You’ve watched and held the energy of ‘supporter’ as your husband, or other half, slogs his guts out working too many hours in the business, wearing so many hats he can’t see the forest for the trees.
You’ve watched on as the sun sets on yet another day where the kids have barely seen their dad.
You’ve watched on as exhaustion and stress slowly eat away at your husband’s health, wondering all the while how long he can keep this up.
You’ve shouldered the bulk of the work on the homefront, playing single parent/housekeeper/cook/chauffeur as well as working in the business.
You’re over it.
And I’m over it too.
I’m over standing reasonably quietly on the sideline watching it happen, and instead of ‘supporting’ actually ‘enabling’ the continual and horrible cycle of slow-death.
You deserve way more than that.
You deserve to have a husband back. To have a hand around the house and at meal times. To be scratching the itch of your brain that gets pushed aside to manage everything but the one thing you’d love to be doing.
The simple fact is he’s never going to see it – the need for change – but you do. Women always see it and feel it; we want it first.
And the truth is, lady, that you are the one to lead that change. Not him.
Sure, he may have started the business and be on the ground delivering the service or product . But YOU are the glue that will hold your relationship, your family and that business together through good times and bad.
Without YOU, your strength, your skills and quiet intuition, there is no business, there is no marriage and there is no hope for freedom in your future.
Don’t wait for a trigger to BE THE CHANGE that your business needs.
You can start right now.
Simple steps and support can move you, your partner and family out of suffering to reclaim your husband, your relationship and your life — and establish a sustainable business that achieves reliable results long-term.
It’s shit right now. Your world is crazy. You are supporting your butt off, working when you can, managing a household and managing a husband.
You get the kids up, out the door, off to kindy or school, home again, fed, bathed and bedded. By yourself. Every night.
Meanwhile, your husband is working his butt off. He’s running provider mentality like a bull and the parts he has left for you – and your kids – is slim to none.
You’re over it.
He’s over it.
Even if the kids can’t tell you as much, they’re over it too.
Someone needs to make a change and, let’s be honest, you’ve been waiting patiently on the sideline long enough waiting for him to be that change.
He’s not going to be.
Your husband is not the business. Most of the time he is simply a product of the business.
You have the power to Be the Change and Make the Change.
So, get ready, because you are about to Own It.
You are both overworked and over each other. But, what if you weren’t? What if you did have spare time and six-figure months?
If that was the case, what would your life look like?
What would your role in the business actually be?
What would his role actually be?
Who would you have around?
How often would you have him home?
What would you do in your spare time?
How will you feel?
Stepping up and naming the problem is one thing, but you will not bring him with you can sell the bigger picture. You need know how you want your world to rotate in order for it to happen.
He can’t see it, but you can. Look at where he’s replaceable and document the ways in which this this could be achieved.
No-one knows his Genius, or yours, better than you do.
Start looking at the structure of your business and factoring your respective Genius’ in to that. When you are both playing in your strengths, the world is your oyster. Being a couple in business should not be a weakness. If it is played right, it is a super power.
Here you need to, as internationally renowned author Stephen Covey puts it, start with the end in mind. Then, understand what you need, who you need and how you need to get to your desired destination.
Get clarity on your current position: Know your numbers.
Get clear on what you are both responsible for.
Understand the first key moves to get you there. We do this in a 2-hour session called a Game Plan, because it is exactly like heading into a match of your favourite sport. There is going to be a bunch of people involved, who need to have set plays in order to win. Know if A happens, then result B will roll out. If X occurs, then Y will be the person to set this up.
This is a time to get detailed. If it’s not your strength, get help.
Have you ever received criticism, instead of feedback?
You thought you had done a good job, you knew that there were things to improve on, but overall you were satisfied with the outcome of your week. And then, like a bat to the head, someone blinds you with a whole bunch of things you are doing or did wrong.
Your confidence gets smashed.
You hit a funk.
It can last for a moment, or a mile.
Delivering this information to your partner will be just like that.
“This is shit. I hate the way our life is. I’m always tired and I’m sick of getting the shit bits of you that are left-over from the rest of your commitments”.
Partner reads that as: I have failed. I am failing. I can not handle this. This is bullsh#$, I am working my butt off and I’m not getting any gratitude.
Criticism, not feedback.
So, while it’s important to get the message across that things CAN NOT continue in the same way, don’t go for the jugular …
Try this: ‘You are doing awesome. We are blessed for what you contribute to our family. However, right now, the way we are doing things is putting everyone under pressure. I need it to change. Here’s how I see we can do it.’
He’s already feeling the pressure of life, of being the provider, or bringing home the bacon.
He does not want another thing to have to do … Like change the way he does things. Because, it’s worked for him this long, right. And, you guys are doing OK financially and you have a roof over your head.
So, you lead the change.
Get to know your own style and way of operating intimately. Get him to know his. Naomi accredits this step to being the biggest player behind her ability to get her husband out of working 80-hour weeks and back to the family home to help with dinner and getting the kids to school.
If you can build the structures of the business around your Genius, and massage (or in some cases retrain or rewire) the team you have around you,
You see it, so you change it.
Then, bring him with you.
If you recognise the need for change in your business and could use some skills and support to make that happen, email Bec here with ‘Empower Me’ in the subject line and let me know a little about you and how I can help you to lead the change that your business needs.
Rebecca is the Co-Founder and CEO of The Institute for Couples in Business. Bec is also trusty wife to husband and business partner Ed, and mum to Samuel, 4, and Charles, 2. For the past seven years Bec has been working with business owners, and her Super Powers include making complex problems simple, creating strong connections, and motivating teams by building kick-arse culture. Bec is also author of #1 best-seller Lead-The-Ship and hosts popular podcast Boardrooms & Bedrooms.