I have been married for 12 years, and I have three children. I have had a small business, with a partner, for seven years. It has been mildly successful. During the last two years, it has been really improving, and I have high hopes for some real success.
Recently, I was talking to my husband about the business. He blurted out that he does not like me to have the business, and he never has!
Now, I knew that once in a while he was frustrated because I have had to travel for the business. This occurs about once a month. I travel on weekends, so that it will cause the least amount of disruption to my family.
I do most of my work from home. When I do need to go places for the business, I do it during the day, while the kids are at school. I really try to limit how much impact the business has on my family.
So, I was shocked and saddened when he made that comment. I really didn’t know how to respond. So, I just simply said, “I’m sorry that you feel that way.” It was kind of a cop-out answer, I know. I would like to have a real conversation with him about it.
I’m kind of afraid to start the conversation, though. I’m really not sure how much I should give in to him about the business. I feel that his reaction is selfish, and that he is not acting like he is proud of me.
I am afraid that this issue is causing festering anger and resentment in me. Maybe it is for him too, I don’t know.
What do you suggest?
Signed, Back In Business
Dear Back In Business,
You have every right to want approval and support from your husband, especially now that the business is doing so well. I can understand your hurt and resentment in that you don’t feel you are getting these things from him.
However, you two have a serious communication issue. You need to talk to each other about the business, and you need to do it right away.
First of all, you need to find out more about what he is thinking and feeling. How are things going at his job? Is he doing well? Or, is he bored with his job? Is he worried about it? Knowing more about that situation will help you to understand his reaction to your growing success with the business.
The next thing is that you need to find out if your weekend business trips really are the least intrusive time for you to travel. Perhaps it would be easier for him if you did go during the week. You need to ask him.
Finally, take a look at how you have been treating him. Do you think that he is feeling like you don’t need him anymore? Do you think that he feels treasured by you? Or, do you think it’s possible that he feels that he is in third place in your life…behind your children and the business.
Think about these things, and then have a heart to heart talk. I hope that once the air is cleared that you will find out that deep down he is proud of you. He may just want to know that you are proud of him too.
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