One of the scariest obstacles that many female would-be-entrepreneurs face is the worry that their spouse might hate the idea of them starting a business.
First of all, let’s acknowledge that a husband’s reticence can be understandable. After all, building a business requires a time and energy commitment from you that could otherwise be spent elsewhere. New businesses also need (at least a little) financial investment which can be nerve-wracking for some families. Finally, becoming an entrepreneur represents a big change, especially for a mom who hasn’t been working outside of the home, and change is scary.
That being said, there are a few ways to approach a resistant spouse, and we’ll walk through them below. Above all, we want our decisions to be respectful of ourselves, our spouses and our marriages.
Here’s a common scenario: a stay-at-home mom suggests starting a business to her husband, the husband expresses disfavor, and then the wife shuts down and just harbors resentment. For the record, this is not a healthy response!
The first step is to set aside some time to talk with your husband, without kids or other distractions, and lay out everything you’ve been thinking. Tell your husband about your big “why” – maybe you really need something more fulfilling than diaper duty, or perhaps you’re feeling God push you to share one of your talents. Make sure the hubs fully understands how this will benefit you.
Explain what you’ve already learned about your business idea and what you still need to explore. Talk about time and money commitments, child care and other changes that might need to happen.
Then last, but certainly not least, explain how you see this business benefiting your family. Even if the main aim of your business is just to make you feel more joyful, it will be worth doing. Make sure you remind him that your happiness is important.
Stay out of his model
If you’re familiar with life coaching, then you’ll know that every person’s feelings are created from the thoughts they think. Too many of us waste days and years of our life trying to change someone else’s thoughts and feelings. No matter what you do, your husband gets to think and feel whatever he wants.
And you should let him! But you need to also be fully responsible for your thoughts and feelings. You get to choose uplifting and inspiring thoughts about your business, even if your husband never approves of it. He doesn’t have to “get it” for you to be able to build a beautiful, thriving side hustle.
It’s also good to remember that our spouses love and enjoy things that we will never understand. I mean, fishing?? Golfing? I don’t get it. But I love that he has hobbies and interests that fill him up. Don’t forget to make time and space for your interests, too.
Do not be a martyr
We women have a special ability; it’s the ability to sacrifice ourselves for the benefit of our family. Sometimes this God-given selflessness is beautiful, as in when we give up our comfort, sleep and bodies to carry and birth another human being. What a miracle!
But this self-sacrificing can sometimes show up in ways that do not serve us or our families. Allowing your husband to shut down your business idea without communication is not selflessness, it’s martyrdom. And martyrdom breeds resentment.
Marriages are a partnership, which means that you make decisions together. I don’t always love the decisions my husband wants to make (you’d be horrified at how much money my better half has spent on his gardening habit this year) but I love him enough to support his wants, as long as they are in alignment with the future we’re building for our family.
The same goes for you. I hope that you are married to a man who supports the desires of your heart, but even if he doesn’t, you can fully support them yourself.
YOU are the only one who needs to believe in you.
I have faith in you, my friend!