How your relationship changes when you start a business

I’m writing this on the 8th of March because something inside me keeps pushing me to write about it.

Entrepreneurship is a roller-coaster. We don’t have enough words to describe the craziness, passion, and commitment you need to keep pushing against all odds.

I saw that people are not discussing how your relationship with your partner is impacted by your decision to start your own business, so here I am.

Let me share with you how I experience it.

Without knowing, you embark on one of your life’s most transformational journeys when you start your business. The one that will put you through many identity shifts and the one that challenges and changes your perspectives in so many directions and levels of your life.

The witness to this process is your partner.

Your partner is the one that probably knows you so well and sees your ups, downs, and everything in between. Your partner is also the one that, most often than we want to acknowledge, gets all the punches at the end of a stressful day.

I was lucky enough that Gabelu has always been my support system. He encourages me when I feel like I want to give up or when my healing process makes me doubt everything I ever did in this life. He is the one that reminds me why I do what I do when nothing has sense anymore.

Even if I have this support (and I really hope you do too! don’t settle for less! you deserve it!) I notice a few things and feelings:

Guilt

I always feel guilty when I prioritize working on Parentool rather than spending time with Gabelu. Little time is left when you run a business while freelancing and undergoing therapy. The trap that I also fell into is to focus all my attention and energy on the business. So what we are trying to do is to find small moments to reconnect along the day. Also, we try to follow some traditions: Couple Day, evening walks etc. We don’t always manage to do it, but we try.

Fear

Depending on your attachment style and childhood wounds, guilt constantly enters the chat with her friend fear. Fear of losing the relationship. I read somewhere that we don’t take care of our couple relationship because it takes time to degrade, compared to a business decision or task that often has an immediate effect if you don’t do it. I felt that to the core!

Identity shift

I already mentioned that entrepreneurship requires identity shifts from you. Constantly evolving. The uncomfortable zone becomes your comfort zone.

Before Parentool, I always said I was the type of person that would live in Cluj forever. As I open my mind more and more, I realize it is not available anymore. This is just a small example, but imagine what this can awaken inside your partner. He might feel he lives with a different person, probably leading to fear and his need to step back and reassess for a second. This doesn’t mean the end of the relationship. It means you spend time talking and understanding this new part of yourself.

Different paths

We are all reading the same book called Life, but we are reading different chapters. That is something that happens in our relationship as well. Gabelu is a full-time employee while I run a business. Our day-to-day challenges are different, and we need to constantly remind ourselves that we both need space to share our frustrations and challenges and celebrate our victories. My challenges are as important as his challenges and vice-versa.

Taking space

Society often tells us that women emasculate men and that we should know our place. In the beginning, I had this fear that I overshadowed my partner. We still have people around us who think that a woman earning more than her male partner is unacceptable. Not to mention a woman that ‘‘dares’’ to start her business. We navigated this by openly talking about my fear with him and checking if it is something that he feels pressure on from his friends.

Mental overload

The model that I had in my family was that my mom was the general. She has the to-do lists and delegates tasks that my father executes. This is the model that I also took. As women, we operate differently. We are the ones that, on our way to the kitchen, we notice something on the floor, and we pick it up, see the full trash and go to throw it all while having a mental board meeting with our thoughts, during which we decide the things to do on our next holiday.

Add to this daily mental overload the business tasks and you are like in that meme with 10 internet tabs open and you have no idea where the music is coming from.

We navigated this by splitting our chores at home and constantly discussing when new frustrations arose.


These are just a few of the things I have noticed so far.

My message for all the women is:

Ladies, take up the space you deserve! Speak your mind! Set boundaries! Split your workload! Be sensitive, be bold, and be how the heck you want. Find a partner who supports your journey and is unafraid to stand beside you. You deserve it! Don’t settle for less!

My message for all the men is:

Be there for your partner! Encourage her, give her advice when she asks you to, and love her unconditionally. Her success and her courage don’t make you less man. Her light doesn’t outshine yours. Be sensitive, be bold, and be how the heck you want.

Happy 8th of March!!

P.S: Thank you, Gabelu, for everything you are!

Share the article!

Keep reading

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *