Why Are So Many Husbands Antagonistic to their Wife’s Business?

JasonC —  February 6, 2013 — 1 Comment

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I’ve mentioned before that I regularly see examples and hear stories of guys who are openly hostile or antagonistic towards their wife participating in a direct sales business.

While often they know it, but sometimes they may not even know they are being negative. Either way, the effect of their negativity on their wife is likely to be pretty dramatic, especially over time.

I’m not just talking about a guy openly telling their wife “I don’t want you spending time working your business,” (though that does happen a LOT). It can be veiled threats. Passive-aggressive comments or actions. Or more subtle things like refusing to help her with the house or kids so she can have parties.

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This is going to be an uncomfortably direct look at the reasons behind these attitudes. No punches will be pulled today.

Top 5 Reasons Husbands Are Antagonistic to Direct Sales

1. Control

2. Jealousy/Pride

3. Misinformation/Misunderstanding

4. Fear

5. Lazy

 

Let’s look at these in turn:

Control

A lot of guys look at their wife gaining the ability to earn more income as a loss of control. Often they don’t think this consciously, of course. But we all know those “controlling guys” out there. They want more control over what their wife is doing, how she spends her time, the money she has to spend and how she spends it, etc. When a woman is married to one of these guys, any time she starts taking initiative or gains independence in any way, it creates conflict.

Guys – don’t be one of these “Control Guys.” Direct Sales doesn’t threaten you. Love your wife and love her well and you have no need to control her.

Jealousy/Pride

Having a wife who is a high-level leader in Thirty-One Gifts (Holley Cox Rocks!), I see a lot of families where the wife earns more money than her husband. That can freak a guy out. I kind of understand that sentiment.

But let me tell you guys, there is absolutely nothing wrong or bad about it. I’m a physician and my wife will probably make more money than me this year. I think a lot of guys get caught up in the income thing as some sort of measuring method of how good a husband they are. Or as a way of assigning self-worth.

When your wife is making equal or better money, it’s actually a little bit freeing. You’ll find it’s an opportunity to focus on different areas. For instance, instead of focusing on proving income, I can focus on being the best doctor I can be. And/or focusing on being the best father I can be (at the same time). It’s not about the money. That’s a good thing.

Misinformation/Misunderstanding

A lot of times, this comes down to the whole “Pyramid Scheme” thing. So many people out there hear the words “Direct Sales” and automatically think “pyramid scheme.” There’s this automatic assumption that direct sales is not legitimate. That couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s real work. It’s a solid business model. There’s nothing illegitimate about it

Then there’s also the thought that it’s just a “hobby.” So many guys think there’s nothing much that will really come of this. And, to be fair, in direct sales companies that require you to purchase and hold inventory there is a significant chance of losing money with their “opportunity.” But many, including Thirty-One and Rodan + Fields don’t work that way at all. And the potential income is literally in the 7-figure range. (Not joking here.)

Guys – inform yourself about this. Find out about the direct sales industry. Learn more about your wife’s business in particular. Don’t let your misinformation put you at odds with your wife’s amazing opportunity.

Fear

This may just be fear of the unknown or a combination of the control issue and the pride issue. For other people, they fear the possibility of their wife being unsuccessful in an endeavor. I see this regularly with parents, too. They’ll discourage their children from trying out for a sport or activity because they don’t think the child will be successful. That kind of thinking is pretty damaging in the long run.

Show support and encouragement instead. The best way to ensure failure is to assume it from the start.

Lazy

Mostly this is just a husband who doesn’t want to have to help. That’s pretty sad, considering there is so much benefit to helping your wife in any new endeavor. Still, there are tons of guys who are “worn out” at the end of their work day and the thought of watching the kids for a couple of hours sounds like torture.

Don’t think of this as work or something that will be putting you out. Instead, think of it as an investment for your family and wife. An opportunity to spend time with them. And opportunity to show her your love & support.

Question: What reasons have you seen or heard for a guy not being supportive of his wife in her direct sales business.

 

©2013 Jason E. Cox

  • Frank H. Farmer

    Jason,

    I believe that all of the factors you mentioned are very real to many couples who are involved in business. For many couples, fear and misunderstanding are common hindrances to the idea of the husband being “all-in” with his wife’s biz.

    In terms of fear, some husbands may have a trepidatious view of his wife’s business, especially before momentum has been built, or perhaps if his wife has exited a “stable” (whatever that is anymore) type of job. What if she fails? What if we’re not making the reliable income we’ve come to depend on? What if…….?

    With misunderstanding or misinformation, it may just be a matter of the guy taking time to listen to his wife’s perspective on the business and why she thinks she can succeed. Our wives need our encouragement and our speaking life into her dreams and goals. Our words can either build hope, belief, and lead to positive action, or they can discourage and ultimately squelch their business dreams.

    By taking the time to listen and invest time and genuine interest in her business, husbands will be better able to offer this support.

    Later,
    Frank