Recently, I was working with a client on making the decision to work with me as her coach, and we came across this fork in the road:
“I know that I really want and NEED to work with you,
but I’m concerned about my spouse’s reaction..”
If I had a dollar for every time this question came up with potential coaching clients, I’d be a wealthy woman!
This is an excellent question and I want to address the concerns you have about your partner/spouse when confronting ANY business or personal decision as an entrepreneur. Many of us use our partner’s potential/future reaction as a reason for inaction.
The idea presents an interesting paradox often grounded in the mindset of some deep sense of unworthiness. I know – that may be hard to swallow, but, there may also be some truth to it. Let’s unpack it to see if it’s true for you.
When you want to do something for yourself, first ask – Am I TOTALLY SURE that I want to do this?
If the answer is YES, then ask – Am I TOTALLY 100% SURE that my spouse will absolutely, without question react in the way I’m hypothesizing?
[Tweet “When you want to do something for yourself, first answer this question.”]
If the answer to this is well, not really… then ask yourself –
Is this a projection of my own making disguising MY FEAR of what I’m doing, asking for and becoming??? Am I relinquishing my own decision-making, authority and power to stand in my own skin, make my own decisions and ask for what I need?
This is a very different question, but worth exploring for yourself.
Most often, in my experience, when you encounter resistance or hesitation from your partner/spouse, it really comes from a place of them wanting to understand and (believe it or not) support you. It shows up as resistance because chances are, your spouse has not done much of the research or relationship-building that you have done to get you to the decision-making point.
Many of my clients get caught up in the role of “martyr-preneur” and feel that they have to do it all with no support. This thinking tends to leave out the critical factor of enrolling your partner/spouse in your struggles and journey. It’s no wonder they resist… often, they are not aware of your struggles and day-to-day to-do’s you’re managing to try to run your business and meet your personal needs. AND – in my experience, my clients (typically mompreneurs) are making most of their compromises on a highly personal level. Their personal vitality account has been drained for some time, and they’re often pretending on the outside – that everything is fine… Often clients forget all the steps they take to get to their decision points, and in keeping those to themselves, they forget the unknowing perspective of their spouse/partner.
Although the resistance you encounter from your partner feels at first like confrontation, it represents an opportunity for you to educate, inform and be totally honest with your partner about what you’re feeling, what you’re going through, where your barriers are, and how you came to the decision place of asking for help. Partner resistance can be seen as conflict & confrontation – as well as enlisting the critical support you need to succeed. It all depends upon your perspective.
So, first – consider your perspective (what I call your already-always listening for your partner) and then sit down with your partner and discuss how you got to where you are. Be honest. Tell them how you’re feeling. Share your vulnerabilities, questions, and concerns. Then, ask for their opinion and ideas. See if you can generate a conversation of shared concern and support. Often, your partner just wants to know you are sure about your direction and will support you if you ask and are honest, open and transparent about the struggles you encounter. (Thanks goes to my husband for teaching me this one!)
I look forward to helping you achieve your goals!