Should You Run Your Marriage Like a Business
Read this scenario:
Jack meets Jill at a party. They fall in love. And within a year, they’re married in front of all their closest family and friends. Six months into the marriage, Jill finds out that Jack isn’t the man she married–he’s mean, selfish and can barely keep a job. She goes to file for divorce but finds out she’s pregnant. They decide to work it out because they love one another and for the baby’s sake. Five years later, Jack hasn’t improved. So Jill files for divorce. There goes another marriage that has ended in divorce.
Did this couple divorce because they didn’t love one another enough? No, they probably loved each other too much and didn’t pay attention to details and to their foundation. Instead of entering a marriage with a clear, level head, they thought love was going to “see them through” the rough times.
So back to the “age old” question? How can marriages survive today? Do we need to love more, seek Christ more and forgive more? Of course, but one crucial element is missing: We (men and women) need to run our marriages like a successful business.
Now before I get a million people saying to me that love is sacred and has nothing to do with a business, follow me. Why do so many companies such as Coca-Cola and Chick-fil-A survive in hard economic times; where other companies are going under? It’s because they have a strong foundation as a company. So what’s the difference between a marriage and a company? Nothing! If more couples built that strong business foundations, we’d have more couples surviving these times when divorce rates are so high.
So how do you run a marriage like a business? Do you draft up a contract and start to pay your spouse and children? Of course not, but employing some of the same successful strategies can help make your marriage stronger. Here are four ways to “run your marriage” like a business:
- Develop a mission statement for your marriage/family. Any successful company starts off with a mission statement to let the public know what their values are so there’s no confusion 10 years down the line. If we can do it for our company, why can’t we do it for our marriage? My husband and I dated for 7 years before we got married. During that time we had to brainstorm, rework and then solidify our family’s mission statement. After almost 13 years of being together, we live by our mission statement which is: “to love one another through the good, bad and ugly”. This statement has been tested, criticized and ridiculed by others. But it didn’t matter. We understand the importance of it and that’s how we focus our union. Every couple of months we look at what we’re doing in our lives and we reevaluate if it’s in-line with our mission statement. If it’s not–we stop doing it because we’re wasting time. We are focused.
- Pick a partner in your “business” that you not only love deeply but is trustworthy, dependable and honest. When my husband and I were dating for seven years, I honestly thought that was too long to just date. But once we were married, I was appreciative for the amount of time I spent with my husband BEFORE we got married. I got to see the good, bad and even worse days of being with him. And now, I know who I’m in “business” with. I know that he has my back in those tense moments when it’s easy to “jump ship” and vice versa. So many times people get married because they’re in love. But just because you love someone, does not mean you are supposed to marry that person. While love makes rough times more bearable, it can’t get you through those really rough patches. You need to know that deep down your partner is a good person who “has your back” at all times.
- Everyone needs to understand their roles in the business. This is a crucial element of any marriage. Everyone (the kids, husband, wife, etc) all have a role in the business. If it’s been agreed upon that I’m the “breadwinner” of the family from the start, then I’m not confused two years down the line when something comes up. Yes, sometimes in any business you may have to take on more than one job. But if your job is “inline” with the company’s mission, it makes the importance of the role apparent.
- Be responsive to your partner’s needs and wants. Any good company understands that to keep their business running with high morale, there has to a system in place where their needs and wants are addressed. Otherwise, there will be a high turnover rate. In a marriage, there has to be good communication where everyone can talk about what makes them happy, sad and angry. Then based on the feedback, the owners (husband and wife) make any needed adjustments. It can be as trivial as spending more time with the kids, to responding to your husband’s wishes that he gets more attention. No matter how trivial the needs –they have to be addressed.
In the end, marriages have to have love but there also has to be a good business foundation for them to survive.
BMWK family, do you agree should marriages be ran like a business? What other business strategies can be applied to marriage?