When I first started Delovely Details, it was my business. It started out as a hobby but quickly grew. As it grew, it no longer was my business, but also Drew’s. Drew is 100% my partner in this. I would not be able to do any of this without him. While he also has a regular day job, he spends a lot of his nights and weekends helping me manage everything. The impact our business has had on our marriage has been a surprise in many ways.
Drew and I have always been great at communicating with each other. I’m sure sometimes he’d agree that maybe I communicate “too well”. However, I find that it’s been a big strength in not just our marriage, but also in working together professionally. Most business owners will say, “time is money” and so we try not to spend a lot of time beating around the bush. We can be very direct with each other. It can be hard to hear, and even harder to leave it at the door when we are home sometimes. Whether it be a problem with a design, how to handle a customer, accounting; we both are always more interested in solving the problem than exacerbating it with complicated dialogue.
We both are big idea, creative, and passionate people; which can make compromising extremely hard if I am being honest. This is something we both regularly have to check ourselves with and something we both can probably get a little better at. One thing that has helped us is to have our main goals (for business and home life) clear and sometimes even visible. That way, when we are struggling to make compromises, we can look at our main goal and revert back to it to see if our compromise will help direct us to that main goal. If we have goals for our family, goals for the business, and goals for our marriage, it can help us make the RIGHT choices (most of the time anyways). The more we’ve compromised with the business side of things, the easier I find compromise is on the family side.
I’ve been with Drew since 2001. We’ve known each other since we were basically kids. We’ve been each other’s support systems, cheerleaders, and back up for quite a bit of time now. When I started this business, it was mine. However, because Drew is my biggest support, it wasn’t long before he jumped in to help me. It was just his nature to do so. With that, I have a trusted partner in my business. I trust that he will do what is in the best interest for my company and therefore our family. I also respect him and he respects me. This makes delegating work very easy. It’s also great for our marriage in that the business only helps us further trust in each other.
4. Work-Life Balance
We struggle with this big time. It’s one of the biggest downsides that our business has been for our marriage. Even though we regularly make goals of changing it, somehow it never seems to happen. We both work 24/7. When we take date nights, we usually end up talking about the business. It’s really hard to completely turn off work when your spouse and you are both working for the same company. I can’t remember the last time we didn’t look at our emails for an entire weekend. We’ve never shut down our shop for a holiday or vacation. This is not ideal or healthy and we are constantly fighting off burnout mode. Having weekends be work-free is a dream of ours though, and while it sometimes seems impossible, we are both constantly working towards that goal. I am grateful however, that if I am going to be working on a Saturday, at least it is with my husband and my daughter can be with us both still.
We are far from the perfect couple or business partners. We disagree, we argue, we can even hold grudges. However, sometimes if we have a fight about family life, it doesn’t mean that the business doesn’t have a deadline the next day. Or sometimes, we will disagree over a business matter, and then we have to go to dinner with each other’s families. So while we may want space from each other, it’s usually impossible and that can be frustrating. We’ve learned to compartmentalize a lot of our issues to get through commitments and then we find time to discuss them and work through them. I think at the end of the day, most times, we both understand that our disagreements are usually a small pebble in our journey and not worth more energy than necessary. We both also respect each other’s feelings if we just can’t get past things and might need to just be frustrated for a little bit.
This is how Delovely Details has impacted our marriage, it isn’t all good and it isn’t all bad. For better or for worse though, I think we would still choose this road. It has been far more fulfilling than not and we both feel that the business has overall strengthened our marriage. Is owning a business within a marriage for everyone? No. I’m actually quite surprised how well our marriage has adapted to it. Like most things that impact a marriage, if you’ve built your marriage on a strong foundation, it’s usually capable of weathering any storm. Our marriage is built of faith, love, trust, and empathy. So far, we’ve gotten through every storm we’ve had come our way. And believe me when I say, we’ve had our share!