Take Action!

We encourage our members to comment and provide Heartfelt solutions to a "better" way.  A Member Account is required to post Heartfelt comments.

Login to post a comment or access member-exclusive resources


Register to become a member.

Benefits of membership include free exclusive resources including videos, exercises, quizzes and step-by-step tips to bring out the Heartfelt Leader in you and a guide to creating and leading a Heartfelt Leadership community in your part of the world.  Once you are registered and logged in, "Member Resources" under the "Connect" tab will be visible.


Entrepreneur vs. Homemaker - Pillow Talk

Pillow Talk

Entrepreneur Spouse: What’s wrong now?

Homemaker Spouse: Nothing.

ES: Why are you in such a sh-ty mood?

HS: You don’t really want to hear it.

ES: Stop the game playing.  Yes I do.

HS: You just don’t listen.  All you care about is your business.

ES: I listen, but I’m a problem solver and a damn good one if only you or the kids would listen to me.  And you and they never seem to want to hear my solutions or advice.  In fact you resent it.  And you’re right my business is always on my mind. It happens to be what pays our bills.

HS: You don’t do your business because it pays all our bills. You do it, because you love it and only it! And you’re right, I don’t want your solutions or advice, I want you to listen to me occasionally with your undivided vs. your distracted, checked out, impatient, “can you get to the point” attention.  If I want your advice I’ll ask for it. Let’s face it… you hate listening to me especially when you tell me I go on and on.  And don’t bring the kids into this.  That’s a whole other subject that you are clueless about.

ES: And now you can’t stand me. And for the record, you do go on and on.

HS: I told you that you didn’t want to hear it and for the record, you’re the one who can’t stand me!

ES: There you go again, always having to have the last word.

HS: Silence

ES: Silence

HS (thinking to herself): “What an a-hole!”

ES (thinking to himself): “What a b-itch! (or possibly the “c” word)”

HS or ES: (gets up and goes to another bedroom before she or he becomes angrier)

Does this sound familiar? Maybe time will heal it?  Yeah! Sure!

What chance do you give this marriage to last until the kids go off to college?

What chance do you give it if the Entrepreneur male* is focusing even more time on his business and/or is already succumbing to the flirtatious looks from or spending time with another woman who thinks he is adorable, smart and funny and if the entrepreneur’s spouse is already spending money like water on things he couldn’t care two cents about, resents and thinks they shouldn't spend?

Rx: If the above scenario is too familiar, try this... 

Share the above dialogue with your homemaker or entrepreneur spouse and ask them: "How close to us is this?" Then while they are thinking say, "I think this is close to what goes on too often between us, except I would make the following changes from my perspective." By doing this, you are baring your neck into the conversation first and hopefully they will respond and this may get a dialogue going.

Then, if you are motivated to make it better say, "I can't speak for you, but I would like us to fix this, because I dislike disliking you and feeling disliked by you more than anything in our relationship. Are you willing to try on your end?"

If you both agree that you want to make it better, read the following and tweak it or change it to fit your way of communicating with each other.  Each of you should say how you would improve upon these suggestions.

Good luck.

If you are the advice giver who gets rebuffed or jumped on for giving unsolicited advice...

When the other person wants to be understood instead of figured out ask them near the beginning of a conversation that is escalating: "Before we go any further is this a conversation where you want me to understand what you're saying and feeling or want advice on what to do?"  If they respond with the former, then you as the advice giver can relax and just behave like an interested reporter asking questions such as: "What?" "When?" "Where?" "Who?" "Why?" and most importantly, "How did that make you feel?"

If the other person's frustration and or anger is aimed at you personally the advice giver, realize that becoming defensive will only make it worse and instead, listen intently, pause and then say, "I feel defensive, but I don't want to get defensive and make this worse. Did what I do (or fail to do) frustrate, anger, hurt or disappoint you? And how much?" Then let them answer without your interupting. Then say (and this will take all the self-restraint you can muster), "I'm sorry about that. Going forward what positive things do I need to start doing and what negative things do I need to stop doing completely so that I don't do that to you again?"

If you are the person who wants to be understood...

Instead of venting your frustration or jumping on the other person say to the advice giver, "When would be a good time to get your undivided attention, because there are some things I need to tell you and when I do, I just want you to listen and not give me any advice?" Then pause. 

Just your pausing, respecting that their mind is always on something and it will take effort to give you their undivided attention and also showing self-restraint vs. bombarding or venting at them will often make them more receptive or at least curious. 

Then when they tell you what would be a good time -- and their curiosity/paranoia might make that good time now -- say to them, "When you do x (and/or fail to do y), it really ticks me off and underneath I feel blown off and disregarded which brings out the worst in me.  Going forward, it would mean a lot to me and I think avoid a lot of arguments if you would consistently do x (and/or completely stop doing y).  So that you don't feel it's all one sided against you, what would you like me to do and/or stop doing going forward so that you feel I'm also trying to make the situation better?"

It's going to take a lot of time and practice to develop the self-restraint necessary to accomplish the approaches above, but it might just save your marriage and get it back on the path of being a happy one.

* Although less likely, the Entrepreneur Spouse is increasingly the female with a “supportive” less financially contributory male Homemaker Spouse.

Additional Reading:

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.
Member Account Required
You must have a member account on this website in order to post comments. Log in to your account to enable posting. If you do not have an account, register to get one.
« Stuff Your Turkey With Giving Thanks | Main | Human Cooling, Global Warming and Childhood Obesity »