It’s one of the great ironies of working in the wedding industry: on the one hand we surround ourselves daily with hearts, flowers, and promises of everlasting love, while at the same time struggling with the gritty realities of our own marriages. And it’s not just us – divorce rates are higher among entrepreneurs in general. Between the long hours and working weekends, the financial pressures, and the intense highs and lows of launching your own business, it’s easy to find your relationship in serious trouble before you even realise it’s happening.
Even those of us with super supportive other halves can find ourselves struggling to relate. It’s sometimes hard for a partner to understand the time and passion we put into our businesses, often with little initial reward. Both can end up hurt or frustrated and distant.
I learned many hard-won lessons from the breakup of my marriage. One was how to be a good partner as well as an entrepreneur, and it’s something I work on to this day. I won’t lie – it’s a constant balancing act, but there are some things you can put into practice to make sure that growing a business doesn’t mean growing apart.
Here are my top marriage survival tips for wedding pros, as well as a couple from fellow HiveTribers!
ASK FOR SUPPORT, NOT PERMISSION
Your partner is not your boss. It’s YOUR business, and ultimately it’s also your decision about whether to invest, take on that project, or time out from home and family. Rather than asking your partner if a decision is okay, you can choose to reframe the question. Ask for support. It will give you more control over your business and ultimately prevent resentment.
When things aren’t exactly going according to plan, be open with your partner. Don’t try to gloss things over or pretend they’re better than they are. Getting a small business off the ground is hard! Share your failures as well as your successes so your partner can provide the support you need.
LIVE IN THE PRESENT, PLAN FOR THE FUTURE
As entrepreneurs, we’re geared towards the future, and that can mean failing to stop and enjoy what we’ve already built. I’m the WORST at this – it drives my partner nuts! His favourite saying is “what do you have right NOW?”, as I prepare to spend the money I’ll be bringing in six months from now 😉 And while I’ll always be someone who is dreaming and scheming for the future, his philosophy brings me back to the present where I am grateful for everything we have.
CREATE A WEDDING-FREE ZONE
Unsociable hours are something all wedding pros have to deal with, and they can be just as taxing for your partner. One way to deal with it is to schedule a wedding-free zone. Take time out, together. Plan a date night, book a spa day, go for a weekend away. No work. Reconnect and be YOU, not a kick-ass boss lady!
HiveTribe member Gemma Lander of The White Emporium agrees: “Make sure you put in some days away from weddings and work to spend time as a family or couple. I try and make sure I keep one weekend free a month without a wedding.” Melissa Booth of Elsie Love Photography also books we-time in advance: “We ultimately have the same goal financially and are happy for short term sacrifices. We know that in the end the goal of more time will come. However, I ensure that at least one weekend is free for family time, we make time for a date night mid week, family film night once a week and then at least a week’s holiday abroad. If we can squeeze in a couple of weekends away when my weddings are further afield this also helps.”
COMMUNICATION IS KEY
Melissa also points to communication as a vital to maintaining her relationship. “The biggest factor is also communication. We both ensure that we are always on the same page, if anything is getting too much we will talk about it.”
Do whatever you do with intention! When you’re working, work. When it’s family time, switch off the electronics, and give yourself fully. You’ll not only be more productive, but ultimately, more fulfilled. Not only will your loved ones appreciate you being fully present, but taking a mental break is good for business too, as it promotes creative thinking and fresh perspectives when you return to your laptop.
For more marriage tips for wedding pros, take a look at this article.
Top image: Plenty to Declare