Is the entrepreneur divorce rate high compared to the rest of the population?
To tell you the truth, I really don't know AND I don't believe that divorce statistics are compiled according to profession. However, since Inc. Magazine recently published an article on Why So Many Entrepreneurs Get Divorced I felt that this was an issue I should examine.
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It is especially germane to the online population that reads my articles, as a much higher percent of my readers are entrepreneurs and I network with many of them. Before I give you my own thoughts about entrepreneur divorce, let me summarize the Inc. article.
Basically, it states that the entrepreneur personality is one of "me" and what "I" can create, which is different than the "us" of marriage and co-creation of a partnership. The entrepreneur put most if not all of their energy into their "baby", their business and there is little left for the spouse or partner. In addition, the nature of the business is higher risk and the emotional and economic pressures of this put greater stress on the relationship.
From my perspective of knowing personally and working professionally with a large number of entrepreneurs, I would agree with the assessment of the Inc. article. Now let me add my own two cents and suggestions for keeping your own entrepreneur divorce rate low and your relationship satisfaction high.
I've worked with many successful entrepreneurs and business people over my twenty years as a psychotherapist and have helped many of them with their issues. First of all, the entrepreneur generally is a person who is highly motivated, highly creative, highly focused able to delay gratification and VERY willing to risk for what they believe in. Some are addicted to the adrenaline rush of creation, of business deals, of living on the edge. They live to go into "battle" for their business.
While these can be wonderful qualities, they definitely can put a strain on a relationship. Those of you who have read my previous posts on the concept of the "Imago" know that we are often drawn to someone who has complementary qualities from ourselves. So generally, the partner/spouse of the entrepreneur often is more interested in security than risk, and wants serenity more than excitement/drama and this is quite challenging for the two of them.
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As the entrepreneur focuses everything on their latest project, their latest product launch, they are working literally 'round the clock and often lose focus of their loving partner and family. If they are just starting out, often they are living from savings, from loans and from their spouse's income. Cash flow is tight or nonexistent. Free time is a luxury that isn't allowed. The financial strain can be enormous.
The entrepreneur partner will often say, "We just need to get through this launch and then we can go on a date, go on a vacation, fill-in-the blank." "Just a little longer, be patient, our ship will come in."