If Your Partner Starts A Business, Here’s How It Affects Your Relationship

July 4, 2019  |  
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work and relationship balance

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My partner just left his corporate job and is in the process of starting his own business. I’m very happy for him, since his previous job caused him stress, anxiety, and nightmares every day and it was all for something he barely cared about. He was just doing it to pay his bills. But, ultimately, he was just enduring stress to help someone else (his boss) fulfill his dreams. He’s saved up enough money over time and gained enough business insight that he’s just at a place of thinking, “Rather than dedicate time, hard work, and knowledge to somebody else’s business, why don’t I just devote those assets to my own business?” And I think it’s a great idea. It does, however, create a new and very different dynamic around our home and relationship. His work isn’t confined to some off-site office between the hours of 9 and 5. The major worries of running a business don’t fall on someone else—they’re all on him. And I can feel that sometimes. If your partner starts a business, here’s how it may affect your relationship.

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He might be working from home

If he can’t yet afford an office space or just doesn’t need one in the beginning stages, he may be working from home. This can be an interesting change, especially if you both work from home, and you’ll have to find ways to make it work without driving each other insane. Even if you don’t work from home, you’ll need to adapt to the fact that your guest room or TV area is now suddenly an office. You’ll also see your partner’s “business” face and hear his business tone with clients. It’s just a different way than you’re used to seeing him.

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So home time isn’t always playtime

If he’s working from home, that also means the dynamic in the house changes. It used to be that, if you were both home, that probably meant you were both free to joke around, talk, cuddle, have sex, and just play. Now, seeing him at home does not necessarily mean that. You’ll need to respect the fact that just because the other is there, doesn’t mean they’re free to hang. You have to feel it out to know when a good time is to shift into social hour.

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And others may be stopping by

He may have work-related contacts stopping by at your personal home. Between colleagues, an assistant, or just someone to fix his work laptop, there may be strangers there. And that gets weird when you wander out into the kitchen wearing a towel or just sing loudly in the shower, not knowing anybody is there.

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You might be on a tight budget

He will likely need to reserve all liquid cash for his business. So, while you may have previous had plans to, say, hire a housekeeper or subscribe to one of those food prep services, those plans will have to go out the window. You’ll be back to basics, cleaning the place yourself because your man can’t spare a dime for non-essentials.

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He’ll have high highs

There will be days when he feels on top of the world. Getting paychecks from those initial clients and feeling like he’s finally free of corporate life will have him flying. Doing what he loves will make him ecstatic. Setting his own schedule and rates will make him feel in command of his destiny.

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And low lows

All of the above being said, starting a business is also terrifying. The safety net that comes from a salaried job just isn’t there. Not getting new business for a while or losing a client can be devastating. Your partner will be on an emotional roller coaster like you’ve never seen before. You’ll almost wonder if he has started menstruating.

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That will affect you, too

You’ll be on that emotional roller coaster with him whether you want to or not—especially if he is running his business from home. You may walk in the door from the gym or drinks with friends, feeling happy and ready to share about your day, only to find him banging his head against the wall and throwing documents everywhere.

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It’ll monopolize conversation for a while

In order for his business to succeed, your partner will have to live, breathe, drink, and be that business, 24/7, for a while. It’s like a baby that needs constant attention and nurturing. Every hour or so, when you’ll just be sitting around reading a book, he’ll come in with a flurry of thoughts and ideas he wants to run by you.

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And it will monopolize his thoughts

When he isn’t talking, he’s probably thinking about the business. So, a lot of things you tell him will go in one ear and out the other. You’ll say, “Can you walk the dog?,” he’ll give you a zombie-like, “Uh-huh,” without looking up from his computer, and hours will pass and he won’t walk the dog. He wasn’t listening.

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He can always travel…technically

If he’s his own boss and isn’t confined to an office or office hours, your partner can technically travel at any time. He doesn’t have to miss your friend’s wedding across the country or Christmas with your parents in another state. That opens up a lot of possibilities for you two, and reduces those heartbreaking times of spending major holidays apart because he had to work.

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But, he won’t be fully on vacation

Just because your partner can go on all the trips doesn’t mean that he’ll fully be there. You’ll wake up in your hotel bed to find he’s been down in the business center, working, for the past three hours. You’ll hit the pool alone and he’ll just join you for a lunch break. When you go away for a four-day wedding, he’ll skip most preliminary events to work from the room, and just join for the big ceremony.

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You’ll interrupt important phone calls

Any phone call he is on could be a work call now. So when you want to run the garbage disposal, use a blender, or just put on the TV, you don’t know if it’s fine because he’s just talking to his brother, or if he’s going to give you the death stare because he’s on a conference call with an important client.

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And you’ll feel a little like he runs the house

You can feel like you don’t get to be at home in your home because your partner’s business is taking over. You can’t so much as walk around in your underwear, for fear he could be on a Skype call in the living room, and you’ll show all of his colleagues your goods.

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He may ask for your contacts

He may need to dip into your contacts to get his business going. Maybe he’ll ask if it’s okay for him to hit up some of your friends or family for new business. Or he may ask if he can get a special rate from your graphic designer friend. You’ll probably mostly be happy to make the call, but times it doesn’t feel appropriate, things will get a bit weird.

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Your contacts may ask him for a job

Meanwhile, now that your partner runs a business, people may come out of the woodwork asking for things like a job. This can also get awkward, since, while you love your friends, you know the track record of some of them when it comes to employment.

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