Can a marriage really survive leaving corporate America to be fully self-employed and home 24/7? It can if you just go back to the old idea that you have to continually grow with your partner.
Many times when I have seen marriages around us fall apart it comes back to the simple idea that neither partner was willing to change and grow together. The marriage you had in year one will never be the same marriage that you have in year ten. If you say it will, that is the first mistake you will make in being together 24/7. We as human beings are not the same people from year to year. You are not who you were at 15 or who you were at 30. Humans have always had a basic need for evolution in all aspects of our lives and marriage is no different, you and your marriage have to continually be evolving.
Now, I am not a marriage therapist but as someone who has been with their spouse for 15 years, I can tell you the guy I began dating is not the same guy who I have dinner with each night now. I also know first hand that I am not the same person I was from 15 years ago – the good, the bad, and the ugly are what makes us change as people. In order to make marriage work daily, you have to be willing to put all that on the table, grow with each other, and even change with each other.
If I thought 15 years ago my husband would go out on his own, take daily meetings with clients and pitch ideas to a room full of people, I would have laughed at you in the face. My husband is an amazing man, but 15 years ago he hated interacting with people. He called me the overly involved college kid. Suddenly now, years later, our roles have changed. I like to be a homebody, I like to hide behind the safety of the things I know and keep my circle small. He now goes out on a weekly basis with clients and others in his industry. He is the one setting up lunch dates with former coworkers. We switched rolls over night it seemed, but it works, and it has been working really well since becoming self-employed and home together 24/7.
We have never felt we needed to be going in a thousand directions at once. What needs to be made a priority, his job or mine, when I was working, is what makes our marriage work.
Now almost 7 years out from me having left a corporate job, I find myself changing again, this time to learning his industry, just a bit, in order to make this new stage in life work and to allow us to now grow together as he grows our empire. I never imagined in a million years I would have not had a “job” for the last seven years. I don’t think I ever could have imagined that we would have a life that allows me to not have a “job” but we do, and it’s wonderful to be able to be at home with my husband every day. Most days are routine, but the stress of all the things that go along with working outside the house are gone, literally overnight it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders and I love it.
It is not that it doesn’t have its own stressful moments, but they are very different from the typical 9-5 daily stress events that we had prior. It also is not a life for everyone so don’t for one moment think that this is something we just woke up one day and decided to do. We have planned and over planned to be a self-employed household so that we would not have to change our lifestyle that much. But it takes a lot of planning and preparation to be at this point in our lives.
I joke that I am living a retirees life, but I can say my days are busier now than when my husband left and went to an office. It may be that he is around more so I can’t just zip around and get everything I need to get done quickly, or it may be that I feel more motivated to get more done each day because he is at home and I don’t want him to think that I am “lazy” or “not doing a thing” (which he doesn’t think these things at all, it is just a conversation in my head I sometimes have, thanks over-thinking brain for that).