Trying to have a successful relationship nowadays with two high achieving people is daunting. We have to do well in college. We have to get great jobs. We have to get to work early and stay late. We have to squeeze in time to stay in shape. We have friends calling to go out for drinks. We have weddings to be in. We have student loans to pay off. We have weddings to save for. We have houses to look at. We have family to spend time with. We have grad school and entrance exams and boards. And somehow we’re supposed to maintain a happy relationship with a high-achieving partner.
Brie and I don’t argue much at all. But if we do have disagreements, it tends to involve my work. Whether I’m working too much, or my mind is elsewhere or I’m constantly checking emails.
Last fall I was headed on our company sales trip to Jamaica leaving her behind. She had to stay home for class and labs. Once again, I was headed out of town and it’d created space between us.
Bored in the airport I got ready to listen to the latest podcast from one of my favorite authors, Michael Hyatt. I’ve said before his podcasts are like the Garden State of movie soundtracks – the best ever. This particular episode could not have been more applicable or had better timing.
Michael did a piece called, “Help! I Married An entrepreneur.” He included his wife on the interview and they shared their journey through 35 years of marriage – including successful businesses, getting audited by the IRS, failed businesses, raising 5 kids, and their own struggles. The honest stories were pretty incredible and hit home for a lot of the same things I go through with Brie. You can listen to the podcast, but they summarized 5 gifts that the entrepreneur/Type A person can give, and 5 gifts that the supporting person in the relationship can give.
Five gifts from the supporting partner, per Michael’s wife, Gail:
1. Gift of Belief
2. Gift of Appreciation
3. Gift of Affirmation
4. Gift of Perspective
5. Gift of Commitment
5 Gifts the Entrepreneur Can Give Their Spouse, per Michael Hyatt:
1. Gift of Honor
2. Gift of Awareness
3. Gift of Inclusion
4. Gift of Commitment
5. Gift of Trust
*Pretty sure they don’t mention posting cutesy shit on one another’s Facebook wall as a key to success, but maybe it just missed the top 5 list.
In all seriousness, the lessons from the podcast came at a time when I was struggling with balancing work and a happy relationship. Their interview provided a lot of hope and perspective at the time, as well as guidance for the future. Invest 30 minutes and give it a listen – it’s well worth it.
To all the power couples in training – how do you maintain balance? What’s your advice to other young professionals new in a relationship or marriage? Comment or share below!