Working with Your Spouse

Working with Your Spouse

3 Secrets to Succeeding in Business and Love with the Same Person

When you work with your spouse, it can be too much togetherness. Plus, if you don’t see things the same way, it often creates tension both at work and at home.

There’s no pressure relief when the work conversation goes on through dinner. And no escaping the problems at home when you leave for work either.

This can stress your marriage big time–or it can be a great way to keep more money in the family and spend more time with the person you chose as your partner in life.

Having experienced it both ways, I’m grateful to know what makes all the difference.

Here are 3 secrets to succeeding while working with your spouse. Click To Tweet

My husband John and I are both entrepreneurs who work from home.

In the early days, I wanted to manage my husband like an employee by telling him which projects to prioritize and how to do them.

Not that I was very qualified to do this, mind you, unless you count getting fired from my job.

I was then going to help him count all the money after he did what I told him to, but that never happened.

He resisted my instructions mightily, and our business ventures floundered. Our personal finances were in chaos.

My marriage was in trouble too, for the same reason. I had become a porcupine wife he mostly avoided.

I thought the problems were because he was so uncooperative–never that I was overbearing. I believed I was smarter than him so it only made sense for me to “help” him.

I didn’t know that “helpful” in wife language is “critical” in husband language or that fear lurked beneath my urge to control the smart man I’d married.

I had no idea I could choose my faith over my fear in those moments, but now that I have a world-famous system for doing just that, I see the direct connection between the steps that revitalized my failing marriage and the dramatic improvement in our bottom line.

Here are the life-changing things I did that helped us both succeed:

1. I Stayed Out of His Business to Focus on Mine

When I was the armchair quarterback of my husband’s business, I wasn’t tending to my own life, which was like a car going down the street with no one behind the wheel.

It turns out there was a good reason I was avoiding my life: I was scared to show up for it.

When I switched my focus from his life to mine, abundance emerged. I was called to write a controversial book, which got me lots of hate mail but also became a NY Times bestseller translated into 19 languages in 30 countries.

Dateline NBC did an investigative report on my methods, which was terrifying (national TV–yikes!) and thrilling because the book shot up to #1 on Amazon and launched a worldwide movement. Next I was invited to give live talks, which I’d never done before, and I started an international relationship coaching company–also the source of free-floating terror.

I’m not sure if my calling will ever get less scary. Most recently, I was hyperventilating on the phone to my sister while preparing to film season 1 of my own TV series on Amazon Prime.

No wonder I just wanted to focus on what my husband was doing. That seemed less risky, but it was also less thrilling.

Now I know if something is utterly terrifying, it’s probably a good sign that I’m supposed to do it. That’s been my GPS for success the last couple of decades.

When I’m tempted to manage my husband’s life, I’m probably avoiding the next big thing in this adventurous mission I’m on to end world divorce.

My husband also ended up being very successful with his business when I gave him the space and respect to make decisions as he saw fit. Who knew?

Now when we work together, I just stay in my lane and admire the good work he does in his.

2. I Asked My Husband for Help With My Business

Even though I forgot for a while, John is wicked smart and wants me to be happy. He has my back, so he’s a fantastic resource for business advice. I’m constantly asking to borrow his brain.

In the bad old days, he would make suggestions and if I didn’t agree I would shoot them down, leaving us both frustrated and drained.

These days I know that I can listen to his ideas and if they don’t sit right with me, that just means I need to keep saying what I want or ask for more help.

For example, for a while now, my videographer husband has been expressing his view that my business would be well served to have a presence on YouTube. That sounded great to me on paper and, as a writer, paper is where I’m most comfortable. But I couldn’t imagine what the visuals would be for my videos. Actors? Illustrations? Hand puppets?

So I said what was true for me, which is “I would love that! And I don’t know what to show on those videos.”

John collected the videos that I already had but hadn’t crossed my mind, and he put them together for me. There are a few clips from my Cherished for Life Weekend up now, along with my recent media appearances and a preview of my Amazon series. Voilà: I have a YouTube channel.

(Cue “You Are the Wind Beneath My Wings.”)

3. I Focused on What I Wanted More Of

Long before my husband started his business, I had unwittingly been repeating a negative Spouse-Fulfilling Prophecy about how he could make more money if he would ask for a raise or get a better job. What my husband heard was, “You don’t make enough money.”

This is how good I am at manifesting what I focus on: He quit his job and wasn’t making any money.

When I realized I’d been sending the opposite message of what I wanted to manifest, I decided to switch it up. I came up with the Spouse-Fulfilling Prophecy “You’ve always been a good provider.” And, just for fun, I started calling him “Mr. Moneybags.”

Around that time, my husband started the video business he has now and became more successful financially than he’d ever been, as well as happier working for himself.

Now I make a habit of watching what I’m speaking into everyone on my team.

The results of focusing and speaking about the outcome I want instead of the one I don’t want have been breathtaking. It’s the secret to my success.


AAAND, REMEMBER TO SIGN UP FOR MY FREE FACEBOOK GROUP.

One more thing, if you want to hang out with me and lots of other women who care about having amazing relationships, be sure to click here to join my FREE private Facebook group.

17 thoughts on “Working with Your Spouse”

  1. Laura, I appreciate you so much! I wish I had your book when I got married 41 years ago because it would have saved me a lot of heart ache. But, I am still married!! Which I attribute to the grace of God Whom, I truly believe, led me to your book. Now, I’m sharing what I’ve learned and encouraging my future daughter-in-law to read and apply your principles for an intimate marriage!! She, like all of us, wants to “help” aka control, her man. I pray she will be open-minded and try and see. If she gives it a chance she also will be amazed. Thank you Laura for standing up for what you believe and for conquering the fear! You are a wonderful role model for us all! By the way, I make it a point to give The Surrendered Wife book to every young bride-to-be I know. I like to call your book “The Surrendered Life” because the principles apply in all of our relationships (girlfriends, work team etc). Thanks again! I can’t wait to see the new series and subscribe to your YouTube channel!! Take care. Love, Lisa

    Reply
    • Lisa, thank you for your support and beautiful acknowledgments. “The Surrendered Life”–I like the sound of that! I love how you’re using what you’ve learned to empower other women to transform their own marriages. They are so lucky to have you in their lives.

      I’d love to invite you and your daughter-in-law to my upcoming free Introductory Course on the 6 Intimacy Skills at https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/.

      Reply
    • The Surrendered Life!! I just love that!! Thank you Lisa for inventing that phrase!! And as always thank you Laura for inventing these skills and saving my Surrendered Life!!

      Reply
      • Hi Laura, I tried again, but unfortunately it is not available here in NZ. It says, this video is not available in your region due to geographical restrictions. So guess I can try requesting it from Amazon as you suggested for the Canada person.

        Reply
        • Jane, you are correct. In looking into this issue further, I found that Amazon doesn’t currently offer streaming of this video in Australia or New Zealand, so I’m sorry for the error. I appreciate your willingness to request the show from Amazon.

          Reply
  2. Hi Laura, did I tell you how much I LOVE YOUR BLOG!! Every Thursday I impatiently waiting for your email notification about the new entry.

    Ever thought of making the book from the blog? I mean it is so convenient. You have a particular “issue” or “situation” and there is quick “cheat sheet” how to improve the things :))

    Maybe also some kind of “easier” more convenient way to navigate the blog posts? For example, I really screwed up yesterday :(( … Been doing soooo good thanks to you!! And all of the sudden (hormones to blame.. lol) I really disrespected my husband :((( I knew it was wrong. I still did it (tried to unlock his iphone :(((). Now he is beyond man. And more than that, Im supper embarrassed and disappointed with myself :((
    I REALLY NEED HELP ASAP!! How to fix this ??? I did apologized for being disrespectful immediately. But what else can I do? Im so sad. He has been amazing man lately. And I felt so blessed and lucky to have the most wonderful husband (all bc of your advises). Now this 🙁 🙁 He was planning a gateway for us next wknd… Of course, now he does not want to go anywhere anymore and canceling everything. I do not blame him. :((
    Is there a blog on “what to do after MAJOR screw up”? I have read a bunch, but do not recall I saw one about it.

    Reply
  3. How can we view Empowered Wives in Canada. On amazon prime it always comes up as unavailable. That was one of the main reasons I signed up with amazon prime. So disappointing. I’d love to see it!!

    Reply
    • KM, I’m sorry to hear of your disappointment at not being able to see the Amazon series when that’s a big reason you signed up! I would love for it to be available in Canada. I invite you to submit a request for it to Amazon customer service since Amazon and the producers control its release.

      Reply
  4. Hello Laura
    I’m having the same problem but in France… We do not have access to this content. Is there anything you can do?
    I don’t yet have the beautiful marriage that I’d like but I’m chipping away at the old habits and dive back into your books whenever I lose the plot. There always seems to be some pertinent snippet that I can put into practical use and this sets me back on track and reminds of the bigger picture and of what is at stake. Thank you for this.

    Reply
  5. This is very timely for me, thank you for sharing this! I work with the same small company that my husband does and we’re both self-employed 1099 contractors with this company but our roles are different but criss cross often. I’ve been wondering though how to be a good help mate without controlling at all but also do both of our jobs well together? I use the phrase “whatever you think” a lot, but then there are genuine times he’s asking for input and I give it. Which seems to work well. But then there are other times I need a lot of information for my side of it and he seems to get a little irritated with all the questions and details I’m asking. But I genuinely need them for my side of it and I’m not sure how to handle that more gracefully where it doesn’t cause any irritation?

    Reply
  6. hi,

    this is such an very great information you have posted here which is very informative for me a swell as all three points which you have posted here these are very great for us for solving some
    problem so thanks for this posting ,

    regards,

    mansi desai

    Reply

Leave a Comment