Many women entrepreneurs I know are the primary earners in their families; their businesses provide the bulk of their family’s income. For those who are in an intimate partnership with a member of the opposite sex, this can turn traditional gender roles on their heads — or, at least, sideways — which can be a Very Good Thing. It can also, however, present challenges, both within the relationship and in the business.
If you are a woman entrepreneur in this situation, how do you and your partner decide on the nature and degree of your relative contributions to your household’s needs — financial and otherwise? How do you determine who will be responsible for what? Quite apart from the emotional aspects of these decisions, have you researched the legal consequences of your choices, should your partnership dissolve?
Look — we don’t enter into intimate partnership expecting it will end in rupture, but ruptures do happen, and like other contingencies that affect the world of your business, these are possibilities that must be accounted for. Sovereignty requires you to take responsibility for the choices you make, and the consequences that flow from them.
Does your partner work for you, in your business? Is your partner also a legal partner in your business? How does this affect your business in the event that your partnership breaks? Would they continue to work in your business, or lose their livelihood in case of a separation? How would this affect each of you financially? Have you discussed your values and desires in relation to this?
At home, do you divide financial responsibilities equally, or in proportion to your relative income, or in some other way? How do you divide other responsibilities, like childcare or eldercare, house- and yard work, cooking, laundry, shopping, decision-making, managing the family calendar, and so on?
Are your decisions arrived at collaboratively, through open and iterative discussions leading to mutual agreements, or do you stumble into them by default? Or are they the result of herky-jerky power struggles with undercurrents of resentment, anger, fear or disappointment on both sides? Do you support each other’s dreams, wishes and desires, even when they differ?
Sometimes, discernment requires you to establish clear boundaries, and stand your ground without yielding to external pressure. Other times, your internal GPS calls you to be flexible and generous. What matters is that you make your choices from a place of wholeness, inner power and integrity, and that you include your inner selves as well as each other’s needs, preferences and desires, and the needs of your business, in the process of decision-making.
The Universe interprets wholeness, inclusivity, generosity and sovereignty as just that — not as a message that you don’t want your heart’s desire, but that you trust yourself to make clear choices that align with your values.
When you take steps to protect the world of your business, you can meet your partner with solidarity and respect, knowing that you have the abundance, provision and power to be generous with what you have without losing your sovereignty, your boundaries, or your business, which depends on you for its life and well-being.