Dear Amy: My wife is a wonderful person who has left nursing after more than 10 years, due to burn-out and differences with our medical industry.
She is looking for a new path and for two years has pursued life coaching and is looking into other business opportunities.
While she has many strong attributes, being a natural entrepreneur is not one of them.
I want to be supportive, but it’s hard watching my loved one spin her wheels pursuing dead-end ventures.
This hasn’t affected us financially yet, but that’s on the horizon.
For instance, we both may be looking to leverage our equity for a business loan soon.
I already have partners, a business plan, and contracts and customers lined up, and I just don’t see the potential in her business ideas (I say ideas because there is no business plan).
How can I be supportive?
– Loving Husband
Dear Husband: In an honest, earnest relationship, it should not be necessary to endorse every idea your partner has in order to be supportive. Nor is it wise – in the name of being supportive — to go into debt to fund a business idea that isn’t yet viable, even on paper.
Sometimes, being a frank and honest broker — and offering to talk things through and provide considerate feedback — is the best way to be supportive.
Accurate statistics on the failure rate of new businesses are a little squishy (depending in part on how “failure” is defined), but the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 24 percent of businesses failed in the first year, and 48 percent didn’t make it past the second year – pre-pandemic.
(It is also safe to assume that many small businesses that don’t fail don’t actually turn a profit for many months.)
If you and your wife are prepared for the downside and your family can afford to fund two entrepreneurial ventures (one or both of which may fail), then you might be able to endorse one another’s dreams without question. But a failure in this regard would prove a huge strain on your financial future, as well as your relationship.
I suggest that you and your wife might want to “pitch” to each other in a scheduled and formalized setting (even if it is at your kitchen table), presenting your ideas, plans, and market research, followed by a frank discussion about the pros and cons of each business. She critiques your plan, you critique hers, and you both discuss – as a team.
You should also discuss the impact of your startups on your household expenses, such as housing costs and health insurance.
Dear Amy: I’ve been married to my husband for 28 years.
Before we married, we had regular relations, but after the wedding we rarely did, and I always had to instigate it.
We have two lovely children that I stayed home to raise.
My husband has a decent job, but we barely get by.
A few years ago, I learned he has cheated on me since the birth of our first child.
This broke my heart. I feel so betrayed. The worst part is that he was with prostitutes. I am so disgusted.
I now live with an STD.
I wanted to divorce him right there and then, but I didn’t want my children to go through all of that and have a dad that lived out of a car, because that’s what would happen if we divorced.
He half-way apologized and swore he’d go to counseling.
My children don’t know because I’m so embarrassed.
If I bring up the counseling, he rolls his eyes. We sleep in separate rooms.
He’s Mr. Goodtime guy, whom everyone likes.
I’m staying in this marriage in name only.
How do I get rid of this rage I have for him?
– Sad in San Diego
Dear Sad: You should not wait for years for your husband to join you in counseling. Go yourself!
The job market is good right now; I hope you will pursue employment and financial independence, in order to increase your options.
Dear Amy: “Sad Pet Mom” needs to fill the void in her life after her dog’s death with the rescue of a new dog.
A new dog will not replace her lost pup, but will fill that space in her heart with a new joy and love.
It has worked for me.
– Been There
Dear Been There: I’m glad this has worked for you, but I respectfully disagree that this would work for every grieving pet family.
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You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: [email protected]. Readers may send postal mail to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or “like” her on Facebook.