Posts Tagged ‘wife’

Honoring my wife and killing myself

July 7, 2010

Here’s a question with a common theme:

“Dan, I have a successful side business built around a weekly podcast I’ve been running now, part time for the past 5 years. Successful meaning it fills a need, has a large, loyal following and it generates a good supplemental income.  I’m miserable at my full time job- not only is it an hour and a half commute, 50+ hours a week taken away from my family, odd working hours and the salary not being competitive I’m physically drained and not mentally or physically healthy.  I’m thinking of going full time internet business because when I put 100% of myself into it –  I come alive, the business financially comes even more alive and I’m able to balance my life out.

The problem is my wife is not supportive of the idea. She feels safer with the weekly paycheck and the health benefits. I feel as though I’m honoring my wife but suffering inside and cheating my kids of a Dad during the best years of their lives.”

Let’s just deal with three major issues here:

  1. The job is “safer and more secure.”  In today’s workplace that is probably not true at all.  No job is secure.  And if you are miserable, you are likely beginning to sabotage your position there.   You simply cannot do well in a job where you are miserable, physically drained and unhealthy mentally.   Your chances of success are greatly enhanced in doing work where you “come alive.”
  2. With your current state of misery your feelings of “honoring” your wife will certainly turn to resentment – sooner than later.
  3. The fact that your wife wants you to continue in something where you are miserable and killing yourself raises some real red flags about your relationship.  Sit down with a coach or counselor and present the facts as you have here.  Get some outside advice about your best options.

My wife, Joanne, would have been very content if I had just gotten a regular job with a paycheck when we first married – or anytime since then.  But she laughs in thinking about me having a “real” job.  She knows how I am wired for change and innovation and she supports that in me even though there has been little “security” through the years.  “Honoring” one another in marriage means embracing how God has uniquely gifted each of us – and trusting that passion and joy will release more success than obligation.

I think I need a wife!

May 14, 2010

How’s this for a thought-provoking question from a female reader:

“Men have the luxury of a wife to hold down the fort while they concentrate on their job. How can women prioritize and still make progress in starting a business. And I still need to work part-time at my former job as I begin my new career. I think *I* need a wife!”

We all have 168 hours a week.  Do a zero-based budget where you decide in advance how you will allocate those 168 hours.  You may in fact need an assistant – if you imply that a “wife” does all those things that could be done by someone else and keep you from doing your highest leveraged activities.  I tell people that in a small business like mine there are probably 20-25 different areas of responsibility that need to be covered.  I do maybe 2 or 3 of those really well.  And that’s where I want to spend my time.  So yes, I have lots of people whose skills compliment my own.  Not “employees” but simply service providers who are categorized as free-lance, independent contractors or something similar.  I have about 15 such people who then allow me to do what I love most – thinking and writing.

You can find a virtual assistant that can help you with lots of things you may be doing yourself – freeing you up to do those activities that give you a higher return.

Here are just a few places to find your “wife:” search  “virtual assistant”

Now that I think about it I am blessed with a harem – and Joanne approves — how cool is that?

“Find your strongest life” by Marcus Buckingham

October 5, 2009

In his newest book, “Find Your Strongest Life: What the Happiest and Most Successful Women Do Differently,” Marcus Buckingham continues his theme of helping people find their unique strengths.  While he does allow for a broad definition of “success” it still comes across clearly that a successful woman will be expected to be a great wife, mom and career climber. 

Chapter Nine —  Strive for Imbalance — is a great read for men as well as women – as it applies to work.  The author says to ignore balance and chose instead to find your “strong-moments” and find ways to spend more time in those.  “If you cannot find any strong-moments within a responsibility you’ve taken on, then diminish or relinquish this responsibility as quickly as you can.”  I agree with that position in the workplace, but find it difficult to recommend for a wife and mother. 

I suspect the subtitle – “What the happiest and most successful women do differently” will be offensive to a large group of women.  Buckingham’s research seems to indicate women with children are less happy, and that women become less happy as they become older. 

While there are useful exercises here for managing a busy life, this is not an encouraging book for women who have chosen to be homemakers or who are looking for fulfillment through spiritual growth and enrichment rather than in their careers.

Abused Wife Syndrome

July 1, 2008

No, this is not really about abused wives.  But I had a client use that phrase recently in describing his repeated return to the work of his professional training (yes, one more dentist).  In his mind, there was a strikingly similar pattern.  He would break away for something more rewarding, experience a challenge or setback, and return to the work he despised yet knowing it was where he could make the most predictable income.

Last night Joanne and I went to see the new Steve Carell movie, Get Smart.  In one poignant scene Anne Hathaway is afraid she is going to get sent back to a desk job, rather than being a field agent.  She moans and says, “Yes, I can imagine that, just like I can imagine scraping a cheese grater across my forehead.” 

Do you do your work only because of the paycheck you get?  Do you long to leave for something more enjoyable?  Have you tried another path only to return to what is more familiar?  Unfortunately, wives, dogs, and children often get trapped in these patterns of going back to negative and abusive situations.  The emotions and self-esteem issues there may be complicated and confusing.  However, the stakes are dramatically lessened with a “job.”  A job should not be the definition of “who” or “what” you are.  You can leave today and not change the overall purpose or direction of your life.  Your “Calling” is a much larger concept than what you do daily to create income.  No divorce is needed to walk away and into a more fulfilling and rewarding type of work.  

And you can leave the cheese grater in the cupboard.


“The tragedy of a man’s life is what dies inside of him while he lives.”  — Henry David Thoreau