The life of an entrepreneur is an exciting one. Female entrepreneurs learn to be tech-savvy, hone interpersonal skills, and manage money as they build their business. But there is one downside to the entrepreneurial life that is all too common for married businesswomen. Getting a divorce!
Building an empire (even if only from your living room) is fantastic, but your spouse may not always feel that way. Statistics show that for every 1000 US women, 16 will end up divorced each year. These are not great odds for those looking to marry their forever person.
So, what about a strong female pursuing her professional dreams? Does her professional aspiration put her marriage in jeopardy? These are the 5 most common causes of divorce in entrepreneurs and 3 steps to take to make sure your marriage stays strong and healthy as you follow your dreams.
5 Causes of Divorce for Female Entrepreneurs
1. Not Enough Quality Time Together
Women entrepreneurs are passionate and feisty so it’s no surprise that they put their whole being into building their businesses. But sometimes this passion comes at the cost of their marriage.
Research indicates that couples need a 3:1 ratio of happiness to succeed in marriage. And when are couples most happy? Studies say it’s when they are spending quality time together. In fact, survey results revealed that couples experience a boost in happiness and a decrease in stress when they are spending alone time together.
When you are putting all of your strength and energy into your business, there’s little left at the end of the day for your spouse. Not spending quality time together can be a real relationship killer.
2. Added Stress
As wonderful and exciting as marriage is, it can also be an incredibly stressful experience at times. In-laws, maintaining a romantic connection while raising a family, buying a house, and other ins and outs of your daily routine can sometimes feel overwhelming.
Now, on top of all of these normal aspects of marriage, throw running your own business into the mix and you’re in for some stressful times ahead.
When couples don’t form a strong partnership as a unit, this stress can drag the relationship down.
3. Financial Worries
One study surveyed 748 instances of conflict between 100 different couples and found that money was the most repetitive and salient topic they argued about.
This survey highlights how tricky the topic of money can be in a marriage. Especially if you don’t have enough of it. Research shows that low-income couples are more likely to be affected by stress and mental health issues than other couples.
Starting your own business is certainly an adventure, but it’s also a big risk. Working for yourself, especially if you are just starting out, means that you won’t have a steady income for quite some time. You may not even be able to take a paycheck for several years.
Not only does this put a strain on your household finances, but it may also force your spouse to become the breadwinner of the family. They can cause resentment and anxiety to form within the marriage.
4. Not Leaving Work at the Door
One of the biggest problems for both men and women entrepreneurs is the inability to create a work-life balance.
Because you work for yourself, there is no way to “clock out” of your job. Getting back to work after a long day is as simple as picking up your smartphone and answering emails. This behavior is great for your business and bad for your marriage.
Furthermore, studies show that spending too much time on your smart device and social media can threaten real-life communication, even with family and close loved ones.
5. Lack of Stability
Research shows that 90% of startups will fail. This is a frightening fact for most entrepreneurs, not to mention their spouses.
When most people get married, they expect a certain standard of living. That isn’t to say they expect to sleep on a bed of hundred-dollar bills, but they want to come home to a loving spouse, perhaps buy a home or start a family together.
But when married to an entrepreneur, there is no stability. There are no set hours for work, no guarantee that they will be there to support the household or engage in family life.
What a Marriage Needs to be Successful for Female Entrepreneurs
There is no such thing as a perfect marriage. All couples are bound to go through some lulls throughout their relationship, but this doesn’t mean your love is destined for divorce.
Here are 3 key tips for keeping your marriage alive as a female entrepreneur.
1. Open Communication
In a survey of 886 troubled couples, 53% admitted a lack of communication as one of the most common reasons for filing for divorce.
This statistic highlights the importance of talking openly and honestly with your spouse.
Communication is the basis of every strong relationship. Not only does communication help couples get to know one another better, but it also helps partners avoid miscommunications and grow closer.
If you are going through a stressful time trying to get your business off the ground, don’t shut your partner out. Talk to them about what you’re going through. This will help them understand your emotions and behavior. When your spouse knows what’s going on in your life both emotionally and otherwise, it also gives them an opportunity to show you their love and support.
2. Putting the Marriage First
For women entrepreneurs, their business is their baby. They would do anything to care for it and ensure its success in the world.
Many times this passion and drive to put the business first causes entrepreneurs to put their spouse on the backburner.
Not being a priority can make a spouse feel hurt, betrayed, and neglected. This can lead to serious relationship problems.
Don’t let your business come before your spouse. Or at the very least, make sure they are on equal footing.
3. Quality Time Together
Having a regular date night will strengthen your marriage for years to come. Research conducted by the National Marriage Project found that there are both emotional and physical benefits to spending quality time with your spouse on a regular basis.
The research results showed that couples who practice date night one or more times a month experience more eros in their relationship. Eros refers to the romantic love that we often feel during the beginning stages of a new relationship that creates excitement, overwhelming attraction, and passion for each other.
A regular date night also strengthens commitment and reduces stress in a marriage. The study goes on to say that couples will also experience an increase in sexual satisfaction and that “spouses who experience high levels of couple time are significantly less likely to report that they are prone to divorce.”
Women entrepreneurs put their heart and soul into building their businesses. This is great for your professional life, but don’t let it be a drain on your marriage. Make time for your spouse, learn to create a work-life balance, and communicate openly. These keys will help you avoid the curse of entrepreneurs – divorce.