Paul is a successful entrepreneur. Eleven years ago, his marriage became strained, and it quickly became obvious to friends and family that the couple was headed for divorce.
Every discussion Paul had with his wife turned into a fight. The constant fighting was affecting the kids. During counselling, his wife insisted that Paul was shouting at her and that she was afraid of him. Paul, however, said he had never once threatened his wife in 16 years.
Paul didn’t engage in the “who’s right and who’s wrong” arguments. He could see that his wife truly believed she was telling the truth. He was also aware that he needed to manage their discussions to keep the intensity at an acceptable level. He knew he had to take responsibility for his part. He knew he had to change his behaviour significantly so that their communications could improve.
Paul used self-hypnosis as a tool to become less emotionally reactive. The result was better self-control. His responses became calmer and more compassionate. Unfortunately, ultimately, Paul and his wife divorced.
Paul continued using self-hypnosis to remain at peace during his divorce. He was able to keep managing his business and to take advantage of opportunities that allowed him to move forward. Although very affected by his divorce, he did not drop the ball at work, and the orders kept coming. As Paul often says: “The Ship’s bell that we have in our office kept ringing. I remained an effective leader.”
Paul also used self-hypnosis to enhance his meditation practice, as peace of mind had remained elusive due to pain and resentment.
Could self-hypnosis have prevented the divorce? Possibly.
The demands of running a business can create marital tension. Many entrepreneurs find that it’s difficult to manage both a business and a marriage.
Even when entrepreneurs insist they are in business for their family, life partners often feel that the business is akin to a cruel mistress. Common causes of divorce include financial strain and the partner’s feelings of playing second fiddle to the business. Lack of communication, lack of romance and companionship, as well as divergent goals slowly, but surely, destroy the relationship.
Many life partners bravely soldier on, putting their proverbial eggs in the “someday we’ll have all the money and time we want, and we’ll be happy” basket.
However, the process of building a business can bring out the best, or the worst, in people. Initially, the excitement can invigorate a marriage, but if the entrepreneur becomes a workaholic, the life partner may feel like part of the furniture: loved but taken for granted and neglected. Sometimes, a self-important “I’m the boss” attitude spills over into home life, and even the children can perceive the entrepreneur as being bossy, irritable, and no fun.
Paul’s story is a wake-up call. Self-hypnosis is a powerful tool that can help couples before they are headed for divorce, to gain self-mastery, control their knee-jerk emotional reactions and give more controlled win-win responses.
It’s a tool that all business people can utilise to improve communications at work and as importantly, at home, so that they can truly “have it all”: A thriving business, and a happy marriage.