I see it all the time. A passionate man dragging his wife through a dream that was never "theirs"—living a life of independent pursuits within a sacred partnership.
Tragically, many men love to neglect the covenant they made on their wedding day. They love to narrow the territory of the vows made to their bride. But most of all, men love to chase dreams and build machines that compromise the relationship with the woman they vowed to die for.
Entrepreneurship can be a dangerous thing for an immature husband. Without knowing it, he could put profession before a person, profit before priority, and dreams before the devotion to his very own wife.
Sadly, I speak from experience. From the outside, I was a good man simply pursuing a passion. I was providing for my family and paving my way. Interestingly, everybody was cheering me on. "Go, Dale!" and "Saw you on T.V!" and "Love that you're doing so well."
Their ignorance was bliss. They fell prey to our culture's disgusting abatement of relational responsibility. They saw one inch deep and believed it to be enough to validate the entirety of our story. But it wasn't. We weren't okay. We weren't doing well.
I was a man destroying my marriage through my business. I was an unenlightened husband gaining the whole world while losing my wife.
While we don't have the time to indulge in all the details of our marriage's revival, I will tell you the solution occurred through the gentle rebukes of an older man not giving in to my excuses or manipulations. He forced me to face the reality of my commitments through the eyes of my beliefs and essentially broke my own heart with my actions.
However, I would be doing an injustice to God if I didn't mention that this entire process was constructed upon a healthy, yet real fear of the Lord. As many of you know, I subscribe to the teaching of Jesus. But the life I was living, regardless of how shiny it may have appeared, was in opposition to how the Bible had instructed me to live, to love, and to lead.
Over these past two years, I have learned many things in regards to cherishing my wife and leading our family well, but there are three areas in which I believe set the stage for the repair of not only our marriage but our business as well.
A spirit of independence has no place within a marriage. Now, I don't mean a husband and wife must submit themselves to some unrealistic uniformity. Furthermore, I don't mean we should abolish the need for leadership within a marriage. What I am saying is we must be of one mind.
When we vow to live life with another, we must crucify those me-centric dreams and aspirations that are not also supported by our spouse. Because love without sacrifice isn't love, it's two people sharing independent lives with the convenience of sex, companionship, and emotion.
Moreover, there is also tremendous freedom in oneness. A wife who is cherished for her opinions and leveraged as a reservoir of wisdom will want the dreams of her husband to be fulfilled. Ultimately, this requires a husband who is pursuing "our" dream not "my" dream.
Bottom line, invite your wife into your passions. Yield your heart to her desires in the matter. Let her know not just by words, but by behavior, that you will never lose yourself in something that doesn't include her.
The statistics are clear, 85% of affairs begin at work. As I mentioned in another article, "Remaining naive to the risks of infidelity at work is the first bullet shot at the heart of your marriage." Men, as the owner of your business and the provider for female employees, it's easy to place yourself into a heroic position in the eyes of a woman who may already have favor toward you.
When you leave our homes to build the business that creates the life for you and your wife, your bride must feel confident in her position. She must be made secure in her priority, in her visibility, and her right to your faithfulness.
I can't tell you how many businesses are restrained because of the unaddressed insecurity of a spouse. Remember, good men fall every single day. As a self-employed husband, you must be proactive in the protection of the woman you claim to love. I promise you this. There's nothing more powerful than an entrepreneur with a wife who can confidently cheer her husband's dreams toward the finish line.
Priorities seem to be a difficult topic for men. But not in words. I'm sure if asked most self-employed husbands to list them out, almost like a chant they'd say, "God, family, friends, work." It's almost cute. But what's not cute is a wife who heard the chant their entire marriage but never felt the results.
Look, you can say sorry a million times. You can tell your wife you love her every day before you leave. If you're not going to back up the words you say with the behaviors you live, then you're only offering her a reason to shrink.
Men, we must realize that the report card of respect comes not from the size of our paychecks, but the level of radiance from the woman we claim to be a priority in our lives. She is the symbol of your success. She is your life's greatest achievement.
Marriage is a challenging commitment in the face of entrepreneurship. There is a cost involved. Maybe this is a dream that cannot be chased, an advancement that cannot be taken, or a schedule that can't be followed.
At the end of the day, your business should never compromise your marriage. So before you search for the next marketing strategy or hire the newest executive consultant, check if that time might be better spent investing into the woman to whom you vowed your life.
Start A Business Without Losing Your Family
It's my hope to help people launch businesses that not only make you more money but strengthen the relationship between those who matter most. If you're ready to start something well, consider my 12-month, step-by-step entrepreneurship program below.
What are your thoughts about marriage and business? Was this article helpful? Do you have anything to add? Let me know in the comments below.