My Wife Refuses to Work for Me!

Reader’s Question:

My wife and I have been married for about 13 years and things are great. I’m writing to ask about my attitude more than hers, I suppose. I’d like my wife to quit her job and come work with me at my company. I am a general contractor and could use her help with office stuff and such. My wife is a nurse at the hospital and loves her job, and would like to keep things the way they are. We don’t need the money and it would give us more time to travel and spend more time with our kids. Plus, working together has always been a daydream of mine. When the kids were old enough she decided to go back to the hospital instead of coming to work with me. I feel resentful and I don’t want a fight. I don’t like having these ill feelings and it really does bother me. What’s the deal here and what should I do?

This is a good problem to have…realize how lucky you are, first!

While you might not need the income, your wife clearly needs her career right now. I’m assuming from the way you worded this, she is a good mother and wife. So, it is understandable that she likes the rewarding feeling being a good nurse provides, too.

Thank goodness for good nurses!

It’s hard to find a job you absolutely love, but if the myth is true, she seems like one of the very few lucky ones to feel like work is not work at all.

She either loves her job OR she doesn’t want to work with you.

Maybe she likes the time away from the family and home. A little independence is often needed to appreciate what you have. My husband and I have worked together for many years throughout our relationship (we run a business together right now) and we truly love spending a ton of time together. Why else marry someone, right?

But, the lack of separation and distance does cause agitation and issues…just as you would imagine. Plus, working together creates a new dynamic that may or may not be positive.

I get why this would seem like a dream for some people, and maybe depending on the type of business, it differs on how well it can go. In my experiences, working with your spouse is not an easy job at work or at home. The stress you could normally leave at the office will no longer be an option. Think about it.

I would just let this play out.

Your wife knows what you want and how you feel. Maybe over time she will soften to the idea. Don’t push her to do this if she really doesn’t want it. That can cause resentment and make things at work and home more difficult.

If someone is miserable because they are “forced” to do something, it can change them. They can harbor ill feelings and create a negative atmosphere…which you don’t for your marriage or your business.

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