Have You Been Caught Red-Handed Cheating on Your Partner?

Ring, Ring… Ring, Ring!
Yep, there goes that damn phone again.
It’s 7pm on a Saturday and you’ve been looking forward to this night for months. A dinner at your favourite place with your favourite person; your partner.
You’ve even gone all out to dress up to make it special… that was the first mistake…

The waiter comes to take your order. For the second time. You hear yourself apologising on your partners behalf, “So sorry, he won’t be long!”.
The reality is; he spends WAY more time talking on the phone to other people than he does focused on you. It’s like he’s cheating on you, and lets be honest, you’re getting jealous, and pi$$ed off.

Since owning your trade business the phone has become a third wheel in this relationship. Thinking that he was going to be completely present, focused on you, was simply a pipe dream, but there are always two sides to this story…

For you, Mr.Tradie, you’re doing your best to financially support your family. You want her to be proud. You want her to love that you’ve stepped up and taken responsibility. But with it has come a commitment that is starting to suck the life out of you and out of your relationship.
Perhaps these demands are causing more damage than you realise and more damage than the money or extra work is worth…

So what can BOTH tradies and their partners do to ensure work doesn’t interfere with the needs of their relationship? Here’s a few suggestions:

  1. Seek to understand… why your partner is either so hard working or upset with your work habits. When you actually understand your partners feelings and motives you will be less quick to judge or complain.Often when you take a step back you may realise that it isn’t as bad as you thought, or you will recognise that it may be just a busy period.
  1. Agree on the future… if you have an understanding of why you work so hard, what it’s all for, not just for you as a trade business owner, but for your partner, then the future will look so much brighter. You will be re-energised about your business and excited about your life together. You only have one life, so life it to the fullest. Together.
  2. Switch off… this one is hard when you have the phones 24/7, but you can at least arrange someone to cover the phones for you when you have a special night out. It’s critically important for you, Mr.Tradie, to switch off your work-minded brain. You will both be more understanding of the busyness outside of these times because you know you’ll have your time together later.If you struggle to switch off as soon as you walk through the door, begin winding down on the drive home. You could do this by listening to music, a podcast or an audio book.
  1. Keep the horizon exciting… by purchasing concert tickets, setting aside date nights and booking in holidays. The anticipation for positive and fun events gives you guys shared experiences to look forward to. This is one of those nights you’re going to need support from another trade business owner, or one of your own to share the burden of the phone.
  2. Mix up your work schedule… so that you can have time off in your weeks where it counts. If you and your partner are crossing like dark horses in the night due to conflicting schedules, then perhaps you’d consider shifting your day by an hour or so to ensure you have time together. You do work for yourself right!
  3. Learn to say ‘no’… although no one wants to give away work, if you have a good workload and your finances are strong, then consider turning down jobs that are of a low profit margin instead of working back late at night to fit them in (obviously after attempts to reschedule to another day).
  4. Prioritise your partner (and your kids)… as soon as you walk through the door. It’s tempting after a long day to go straight to the fridge or head to couch to kick your feet up in front of the television. Before you do that, show that you care by walking in the house with a smile on your face and an interest in their day. Yes, look at her and talk. With complete presence (that doesn’t mean look at your messages on your phone from you mate while she is telling you about her day).
  5. Change your focus… to yourself! If you’re a partner of a busy tradie, invest in yourself, take up a hobby or create your own project in the time that your partner is working. When you have something to focus on, you won’t be focusing on their absence.
  6. Separate work and home… and ensure your lounge room, bedroom and relaxation spaces are free from work-related mess. Tidy desk, tidy mind.
  7. Outsource… excess tasks or after hours phones to free up extra time.

At the end of the day, nothing is worth more than the health of your relationship. Understanding your future path together is critical to a harmonious life. The work life balance thing is a myth (yep, it’s true). It’s just like a see-saw; wherever you spend majority of your time, this side of the see-saw will flourish. That said, it will be at the determinant of the other end of the see-saw. This is why seeking to understand each other is important so that you can stay connected between a busy work schedule and your relationship.

To meet a couple who live and breathe life as trade business owners, who have worked together for over 10years, and who’ve grappled and overcome the same challenges you have, come along to The Future Tradie event. Andy and Angela will be teaching strategies that have been trialed, tested and led to success in their own award-winning trade business. CLICK HERE for details.

Not sure about coming? Watch the highlights from our last event HERE.