I’m writing this in response to an article written by the wife of my entrepreneur friend. You can find the article here: http://mommywinning.com/blog/love-and-marriage
Listen to this post here:
It saddens me to read this and I felt so compelled to write about it because reading it is my worse fear for my own marriage. A world where entrepreneurship seems to be the top of the totem pole in a relationship.
My friend’s wife speaks of becoming a “doormat” because their entrepreneur spouse is so driven. She speaks honestly and without resentment, but as if to say “this is how it is”.
I’m struck because it’s not too far from home to have experienced this and dealt out the same attitude to my husband. Speaking from the perspective of a has-been 9-5er to being full-time entrepreneurs at home, Kevin and I have definitely struggled and put ourselves under an immense pressure to learn how to grow and work with each other at all times.
It was not easy. We’re better at it now, but there are definitely times, where we often ask, “where is the line?”
However, without that pressure, I couldn’t feel so much in love, but also still feel the sting of her article so close to my heart. As entrepreneurs who burn with passion on a daily basis to acquire a lead, make relationships, talk with clients, produce our own art, design and craft our own products, it is easy to forget about your spouse.
And we’ve developed systems like “it’s hustle time” or “it’s launch week” or “it’s editing day” and that helps. But every so often there is a creeping feeling of someone not getting the attention they want and having some sort of pride or timidness get in the way of communicating that.
Sometimes, it’s so hard to simply blurt out “can you just be here? Can you be present?”
I have no idea how Kevin and I would be together if we didn’t have this similar drive for working for ourselves. It’s consuming. At the same time, I’m so driven because my model is my husband. Ever since he taught me how to shoot, I’ve never let go of the idea of waking up to something I love.
And so the age-old question rears again, how to balance hustle and love? I think it goes back to a question that I posed to myself because I knew someone would ask me eventually.
“What’s it like being married? What’s the difference?”
On a surface level it’s so much love you can’t get enough. It’s almost felt like our first days together. Just googley-eyes and a resolve to love this person completely. But underneath that it’s much more powerful and simple.
I married an entrepreneur and I answer “everything is mostly the same, but you forgive faster.”
And that goes for both of us. Kevin has never been analytical about what goes on in our relationship, that’s me I write, and Vlog and create content from it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not very real. He forgives my tendencies to prioritize my business, just as he does for his. Because here’s the thing, we’re redefining what it means to “be your own boss” or “work for yourself”.
There’s Kevin Le Vu Photography, there’s Coverve, there’s Get in the Lab, there’s Clean Media Productions, in the end it’s all one pile. It’s ours. This is our marriage. We forgive our faults and ambitions, and we also love each other for it. I know my drive pushes him as his has always pushed me.
We have learned that “we’re working for each other”.
I think this goes back to that saying of “take care of your partner and your partner takes care of you” so there’s no need to be worried, that you’re not getting yours.
But I truly believe our relationship has to fight for attention, and it’s only fed because we are both so similar in the attention that we want from each other. We either lucked out or learned to accept that’s how we choose to live and choose to love.
And it sucks to hear when others who are cut form the same cloth of wanting to love full-heartedly and work for themselves full-heartedly can’t seem to find an agreeable ground.
In any case, I think everyday will always present a choice for us in marriage. And it’s up to me and my husband to chose forgiveness when the business seems to rise above each other as it does on a regular basis. In this sense, I’m so happy we’ve chosen to not have children, I have no idea what that looks like or how we could keep the life we’ve built.
To sum up, I’ve been able to have a glimpse of what my friend’s wife feels, but I only write this to speak on my own thoughts on marriage and to remind ourselves of our true path in life. I sincerely hope with all my heart that my friend finds his happiness and they can find agreeable grounds to move forward as I know all too well what it feels like to be stuck.
And while I don’t pretend to know her well or their relationship, I do know that a business without love is an empty one. In the same sense, love also has many forms.
In a way, you do give up a part of something you used to own (your alone time, your own frivolous wants) and you replace it with your partner’s wants. You forgive that you don’t splurge on yourself, but on your spouse or the life you’ve built together. This has been a great lesson for me, once again initiated by our re-defining of what it means to “work for yourself”.