When your job interferes with your marriage it causes all sorts of problems. You know what I’m talking about. Too much time at work, thinking and talking about work when you are at home, and getting upset over things at home because of work stress.
With entrepreneurs, this stress is even worse. The weight of your company is on your shoulders. Every decision counts, and you don’t get to quit at the end of the day and let other people make the important decisions. Do you work from home? If you do, good luck separating your personal and professional life. It’s even tougher. Your children walk into your office, your spouse asks if you can take a moment to discuss something just when you are getting some steam rolling on a project.
Here are a few things that I do that help me keep the work stress away from my marriage:
When things go really wrong and you feel totally overwhelmed remember this: your marriage is more important. Honestly. When your priorities are in the right place that work stress that you were so worried about can just melt away. My wife (like most) is an amazing person and when I treat her well, she in turn helps me feel a lot better about myself. Every entrepreneur needs someone who supports and encourages them, and my wife is my biggest cheerleader. Because of that, I’m willing to put her first.
I bike about 10 miles each way 3 – 5 days a week. Besides being a great form of exercise it gives me plenty of time to mentally prepare in the morning, and to cool down after a tough day. I can take all of my frustration out on the bike pedals.
Whatever form of exercise you like, it releases endorphins, and releases stress. This can only be a blessing for your marriage.
Bring the focus.
Much has been made of a woman’s ability to multitask. I really admire that. You know what, though? Guys are pretty good at focusing in on one thing. It’s a strength all to its own. It helps you win in business, turn it loose on your marriage. When you are home with your spouse give them your full attention and ignore the work stuff.
Going along with focus, planning a date is a great way to get out of work mode. You know that when you leave work on date night that you’ll be doing something fun with someone you really like, and that shared activity allows you to leave the work worries behind.
Plan time with kids.
Just like your wife, your kids are more important than your job. I’m really passionate about organizations like The National Fatherhood Initiative because they teach people that having a father that is intellectually and emotionally engaged with his children is vital. No one ever laid on their deathbed wishing that they had spent more time at work.
One thing that I like to do when I’m stressed is give a good friend a call. We might just talk for a minute, or we might go out for a drink and a kvetching session. Blowing off some steam with a friend is healthy, and if you trust their judgement you can also get some additional insight into your situation.
Remember: It’s just business.
A company needs all types in order to succeed, including the emotional firecrackers. If, like me, you’re one of those firecrackers, remember that even when it hurts it’s just a business decision. Don’t make important business decisions when you’re angry, and don’t take out your frustration and anger on coworkers – you’ll find yourself less stressed at home if you make decisions deliberately and with care.
What do you think? What do you do to keep your work stress from hurting your relationships? Let us know in the comments below.
Cory Huff (@aGoodHusband) is best known online for AgoodHusband.net. He also works for an internet marketing firm that specializes in Search Engine Marketing. Cory hopes to leverage the Sparkplugging internship to help performers and artists make money using the internet.