Tips on Being Married to an Entrepreneur
There are a lot of people that see the 9-5 grind that these entrepreneurs are going through: the social media magic, and the wonderful websites that these all-stars are publishing. But there are not many of us that see the 5-9 grind that happens behind the scenes. The late nights to release a product and weekends spent in the office trying to make their dreams come true can sometimes lead to trouble in a relationship. For those of you who don’t know, I’m Zach and I happen to be married to the wonderful woman who runs this whole business. Today, I’m to share 3 tips on how Emily and I have been able to keep our relationship strong since the beginning of the dream.
1. Make Time for Each Other
One thing that has been incredibly important to us in keeping our relationship stable is spending time together. Time is the one thing that can’t be bought and can’t be stopped. Once it’s gone, that’s it.
Time together looks different to every couple. Early on in Emily’s business, it was incredibly tough for us to etch out some time together. Without consistent hours or workflows for her business, and with my job at UNC along with grad school, we spent many nights and weekends in the same apartment but in different rooms. It seemed like when one was working the other was off, and vice versa. We knew we had to do something so that we could actually spend time together.
For us, it came down to doing chores together (yay… chores), working in the office, or taking a mental health day to just sit outside and get some fresh air. Regardless of what it happens to look like for you, dedicating time throughout the week to spend together will make the grind feel more bearable.
2. Set Clear Expectations
I don’t know about you, but there are occasions where we expect something from our partner and think they can read our minds. We’ve all heard phrases like “What were you thinking?” or “Why would you think I would want you to do that?” or “You’ve been with me long enough to know…” These all have one glaringly obvious issue most of the time: we have not communicated our expectations to our partner in a clear manner.
Take some time to sit down and talk through the expectations that you have for each other. Realize that change won’t happen overnight. There are things that Emily and I still fuss over that have been habits of mine (or hers) since leaving home.
An example of this for us is doing the dishes. In her home growing up, dishes were cleaned as they were dirtied. In my home, they were cleaned once the meal was over.
For months she was upset that she was doing all of the dishes and I wasn’t helping. It took our pre-marital counseling before we realized that we never really addressed the issue of expectations. Now this doesn’t mean that old habits are easy to break, but knowing what the root of the issue was and addressing it between the two of us led to less hurt feelings and more collaboration on the chores.
3. Do The Little Things
My last big tip for those of you reading is that the little things add up, and that is where you can really do wonders for your relationship. What are the little things? They can be as simple as surprising them with flowers or even doing an extra chore you’re not expected to complete. These little things are often the nuggets of joy that get us through the day or relax us after hours.
For me as a full-time employee at a traditional 9-5 and grad student, if I walk through the door and smell dinner I am ecstatic. It doesn’t have to be anything special. It can be chicken and rice or something that she picked up from Wendy’s. That is one of my “little things” that she can do to help me relax. For her, if I clean the house or take out the dogs without her asking (that’s the key) I can see the joy on her face.
You Can Do It, Too!
There are pressure points in everyone’s lives where work is more hectic or things in general are just tough. Some days feel like a 24-hour workday, and others feel like you’re waiting for some work. So take the time to be together, set some expectations for when the times get crazy, and do the little things. In no time your relationship will be stronger than ever!
Zach Moore is an Educational Consultant with the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Education, Masters Degree in Educational Media, and is currently pursuing an Educational Specialist Degree in Higher Education at Appalachian State University. He is the proud husband to an amazing photo editor and proud dad of two puppies. In his free time, he enjoys watching football, traveling to the mountains, and spending time with his family.