Wives, how much input do you think you should have in your husband’s work endeavors?
I recently heard from a woman whose husband runs his own construction business, and even though he’s in charge she says it really does feel like “their” business in most ways. She used to be in the industry, so she knows the market. And she’s been very supportive of him dipping into their personal finances to personally pay the staff when things have been tight. He knows she’s on his team, and that she really believes in him and trusts his ability to grow a great business. But the last few years, cash flow has been really tight and every time she makes a suggestion for a new market to try or bring up a caution why one of his ideas might not work, he’s been getting more and more defensive. It’s affecting their marriage, and she really resents that. She recognizes that he feels like she’s criticizing him, but she thinks she should have the right to say and do whatever she needs to, for what is essentially their family business.
Do you get similar push-back when you try to offer what you see as valid and helpful input into your husband’s professional decisions and activities?
To wives in this situation, I say: Yes, you should be able to say whatever you want and need to say to your husband. Absolutely! Just as if you happened to be an equal partner in a purely business relationship, you should be able to raise issues, make suggestions, and shoot down ideas with 100 percent impunity. But in Dr. Phil’s immortal words, “How’s that workin’ for ya?”
For most women, it doesn’t work very well. Here’s why.