Compartmentalizing Life? Aren’t We a Team?
What is it? He has his job, you have your job. He has his responsibilities, you have yours. He has his “jurisdictions,” you have yours. He has his side of the closet, you have yours. He goes to work, its his deal, what does it have to do with you? You have your work (even if it is in the home), what does it have to do with him? Get the picture?
Couples throughout the generations have been married and landed into categories similar to these:
They have either Thrived, Survived, or Failed.
They either experienced the thrill of the journey of marriage, or stayed contentedly married, or they have gotten divorced, or stayed married but experienced a stagnate or unfulfilled, maybe even depressing marriage.
Even tougher question is posed for those who not only are married, but also have a family business of some kind (working together or not).
How do we have a “thriving” marriage & run a business, and not just any business, a successful, thriving business?
Well if you are business owners of some kind, you’ve most likely asked yourself these questions or argued with your spouse over these types of crucial issues…
How do we NOT allow it (the business) to “become our life?”
How do we protect our marriage from the business?
Here’s an argument for you:
He (or she) is a Work Aholic! I never see them!
The Ultimatum: “It’s me or the Business!!!”
All they ever want to do is Build the business… is this our relationships Identity?
How many times could I have been tempted to say these things over the years! Wow! I am not going to lie… I’ve gone there before. Being married to a man who is a leader with a vision to make impact and do it well, not just well, but give it his best… well it can be hard.
You know the old term if you can’t beat em, join em. There were times in our marriage (in the early years) when I had to go on autopilot and “join em,” bc I couldn’t beat em’. I have to tell you, those were not our most successful years, for our marriage or our business. But I learned something in that season. In making the decision to “join” my husband instead of being “against” him (always nagging, frustrated with the work hours, etc) we experienced a change in our marriage as well as our business. The problem was that I wasn’t on his team.
When Isaac started inviting me to be more involved, our marriage strengthened and then our business grew even more, then I would get more involved, and our business would grow more. When I mention getting “involved” I don’t mean actually going to the office and “working,” no my work was different. It was supporting my man, trying hard not to be a thorn in his side, but a helper to him.
I could share much about the changes we saw, what roles I took on to be more involved, etc.
However, the most significant change occurred when our perspective on life changed. Isaac and I always saw a larger purpose behind why he was working where he was. It wasn’t just a “job” it was a mission. There was a purpose he was working with this company and we kept our focus on our faith and the confidence that we were where we were for a greater purpose than to make money, a greater purpose than to be “successful.” When that shift happened and we began to integrate more and more of the business with our family life even… then the business started to explode and thrive. A ripple effect was our marriage growing and making us a stronger TEAM.
I firmly believe we believe a lie called BALANCE.
We try to compartmentalize our lives… so much that wives don’t even know who their husbands work with anymore. This is dangerous bc most affairs are introduced through work- statistically. We have discovered that real life is best when our expectations of balance is put in its rightful place. Our philosophy concerning “balance” and “compartmentalizing” is that this type of lifestyle is not fully transparent and can lead to disappointment bc expectations can hardly be met when striving to run a thriving business.
What accountability is there for a man when his family life is so separated from his work life?
You can have a “successful business” and have balance…. but I recognize, being married to a man who is an engaged leader, that thriving has a different definition to him. A thriving business is one that is evolving, growing, inspiring & helping people, but is also relevant to today’s economy and ever reinventing itself to stay relevant. That kind of a business is not one that can go without dynamic interactions by a leader… therefor an ever changing, growing, adapting business is going to require a leader who can feed it. A spouse of a leader like that is going to need to have grace yes, but also needs to understand the vision and understand that balance the way it looks for “her friends” lives may never look like hers. She needs to find ways to engage her husband and help him so they can have time together. I find as I help my husband it frees him up to have more time with us as a family…
We engage all of Isaac’s businesses together as often as possible. We don’t compartmentalize our life. I try to support him as often as I can, going to meetings, get trained, learn, traveling with him as often as we can afford to, learning what he is learning, I even read some of the same books, I don’t just think “oh that’s his work.” I engage his people, I try to know who he works with and the significant others of who he works with vs. not trying to get to know them. We love & care about the people who work with Isaac and want to see them grow. When you are living on purpose and have a purpose behind what you do for a living, you believe in your product or opportunity, you can get behind the vision and embrace it, not fight it.
Yes we work hard, but with no regrets! Our work has purpose and we have the feeling of TEAM in our efforts. I often find myself editing late at night and giving advice on website aesthetics and so on. It is fun and engaging. Our marriage is so full of so much life and change and growth! Thriving is thrilling and my prayer is that if you are running a business… or married to someone who is… that you could be encouraged to work as a team and not expect compartmentalization but rather find realistic expectations that you can both be encouraged by and excited about.
From a biblical perspective, I believe God designed us to work better in teams. As a married couple, you are perfectly matched, you complement one another and make one another stronger. If you allow God to use your marriage to be a light and minister to those around you, you will find it is better to give than to receive. As you help others and work as a team, you will be blessed spiritually as well as in your marriage. There is no better feeling than to serve God by serving your spouse…
I know my heart overflows and I am so proud of my husband. I strive to be his biggest cheerleader! I hope and pray the same feelings overwhelm your marriage! May God bless you!