Advice to an Entrepreneur’s Wife

Hi Wilson,
I am married to an entrepreneur and it is affecting our personal life as there is no work life balance and my partner feels that i should participate and support him without fail or else i should not reap any of the rewards of his hard work. i feel that he is a difficult person to work with and hence the problems. any advice?


Wilson answers.

Hi Lisa,

I wish it were as easy to change attitudes, but it is not. I will give you some of my viewpoints, but I also know there is a certain truth in the saying which I used to share in gist: The man marries the woman hoping that she will never change, but she does. The woman marries the man hoping he will change, but he doesn’t.

Men ( and increasingly women) are facing a lot of pressures from society and friends, and foremost among them is to excel in business, and be economically well off — that is, whether in Asian or Western society, to succeed in life generally means that first, you be rich and prosperous. We all go through the same cycle — we work hard to earn the money to gain that respect. After we have succeeded and made our pile ( often unfortunately at much sacrifice to ourselves and especially to our family) , we find out that money does not usually do its trick — it does not automatically grant happiness to those who slave for it. Then we say that money does not buy happiness. Thousands of generations have gone through the same cycle and make the same conclusions, and we will continue trying — because at least half of it is true. That while money does not buy happiness, the lack of it does generate a lot of unhappiness. It is a need that cannot just be ignored or hide under the bed sheet. Its lack will continue to haunt and be a subject of arguments between family.

I know a lot of women who have a slightly different problem than yours — their men are content not to earn their place in society, and not having work that keeps them fulfilled, whiles their way on idleness, and more often, in foolish pursuits like gambling, womanizing, and drinking. Believe me, a lot of women would rather to be in your shoes having YOUR problem.

That being said, let us try to go back to your issue — which I think is that while you recognize that family, a reasonable amount of leisure and other pursuits are worthwhile, your husband will probably look at these needs and wants after he has been successful with what he believes is a fundamental need that comes first — being successful in business.

There is not much you can do to change this, and maybe instead of fighting it, you can have better fulfillment to support it — talk to your husband, and show him your support. Tell him that while he continues to focus on his pursuit, you are helping him by making sure his other needs are taken care of, and that balance is maintained.

I am pretty much sure that when his need to succeed is filled, your husband will start to appreciate other things in life, and as much as I think when he understands that you have helped him in his needs, he will soon find time to help you with yours as hopefully business success will convince him that its rewards is not all it is touted to be, and he have to start looking for that elusive happiness in you and in family bliss.

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