September 28, 2016
Mark rang my office wanting an urgent appointment. He could not hide his devastation. He was absolutely stunned. His wife, Christine, of 12 years, had just dropped the bombshell that morning that she had had enough, and was leaving.
He was beside himself. How had it got so bad? He could remember her complaining a few times about him never being home, or being grouchy when he was home, but he had no idea she was this unhappy.
Now he was panicking. He was about to lose his wife, his family, half his assets, and many of his friends all in one foul swoop…..and he hadn’t seen it coming.
5 years ago, Mark had started his own Finance Business, and was now doing very well, and was very proud of it. The business, though, had gobbled up his time, to the tune of 12 hour days and 6 days a week ever since he started.
To begin with Christine had been supportive of these long hours, but over the last couple of years she had begun to feel it was coming at an enormous cost – to their relationship and their family life.
For the last 6 months, they had not even had one night together to talk, no more romance than a peck on the cheek at bedtime, and, not surprisingly, their sex life had evaporated into thin air.
Charlotte, their daughter kept asking when dad would come to the playground with her, and Shaun, their 10 year old, spent his entire time in front of the X box.
Christine was absolutely sick of doing it on her own at home, and was feeling completely unimportant in Mark’s life. She had brought this up a number of times with him, but he had largely dismissed her conversations as a bit of complaining that didn’t mean much in the bigger picture.
There is a story like this for many business owners with families. This is one of the most common problem that clients present to me in my Relationship counselling practice.
Juggling the needs of your business and your family and relationship is no easy task, but if you don’t get the balance right, there can be devastating consequences.
And many men, with their eye on the “Business ball” don’t understand what is needed in their relationships and home life, to be there for their family. It is so easy to take your relationship, and your family for granted, and not realize that they too need time and nurturing, if you want rich and rewarding relationships with both your wife and your children.