by Dr. Jeffrey Lant
Computers have become omnipresent and as such
have become the means of liberating people from
distasteful traditional jobs and offering the prospect
of remunerative home-based employment. But
working at home can be difficult.
There are numerous distractions at hand….
pets, children, television — and the always tempting
Yes, it is easy to get distracted, lose focus, and miss
However, these problems and challenges are not nearly
as difficult and potentially destructive as this one:
the disapproving spouse. Instead of loyal, loving,
enthusiastic support you begin to hear the nagging
refrain of: “You’re spending too much time on the
computer.” The more often you hear it… the greater
your problem… and the more urgent this message.
This is a problem you must solve, for failure to do
so leads to estrangement, even divorce… with your computer
cited as correspondent. What can you do before you
become a highly rated episode on “Judge Judy”?
Request spousal support from the get go
No home-based business should ever be started
without at least a discussion between the partners
about what this is likely to mean for their relationship. New
businesses, home-based or otherwise, need your full attention,
extra hours and complete concentration. Your partner needs
to know this… and prepare accordingly.
Thus, before you begin on this demanding odyssey,
go away for a romantic week-end. Be fresh! Be charming!
Enjoy! Your energy level for such dissipations may not
be quite this high for months to come. Cavort now.
Refreshed? Revitalized? Its time to get down to
business by, first, making it clear to your partner
what you’ll need to launch your business and to bring
home the bacon.
Item: you will keep regular business hours and
during these hours interruptions are not permitted.
In other words, unless there is a bona fide crisis,
you must focus on the business, the whole business,
and nothing but the business.
Spousal agreement to this point is key, for your
significant other may well “forget” this clause when there’s
“just one little errand to run, Pookie.” As Nancy Reagan used
to say, “Just say no.” Once you’re weakened on this point,
you’re nothing more than a marionette on a very short string.
Item: when extra time is required (as it will be when
building a business), you will inform your spouse as
early in the day as possible. Such courtesies go far
towards reconciling a restive, longing-to-be-with-you
Make it clear what you are doing, why it’s important and how
much time you’re going to need to finish the project at hand.
This kind of communication is imperative to keep your
spouse empathetic and supportive.
“You’re spending way too much time on that blankety
You’ve worked hard… you begin to see results…
you are thrilled… and then the spouse hits you with
this! What a revolting development this is! What to do?
You have 2 options: hear but do nothing… or tackle
the issue head on right now.
I recommend Option 2, because failure to respond
to this problem now only ensures it will grow fast and
become A Real Problem very, very soon.
Sit your partner down, explain that you need their
support; that you are doing all you’re doing for them…
for the children… for the family. Make it clear that you
will continue to do what you have set out to do but that
doing it will be far better with spousal support than
without it. Make this an Academy Award performance…
replete with eyes locked together, hand holding, bear
hugs… perhaps even a tear or two. It will all be worth
it if you’ll never have to hear again the words “You are
spending too much time on the computer.”
Want to impress your spouse and get the cooperation
you require? Bribe them. Take some of the money you’re
making; put it in envelope. Take spouse to dinner… and
have the waiter deliver along with dessert. Make sure the
cash is accompanied by the briefest of notes saying,
simply, profoundly “I love you.” Say nothing when this
present arrives. Wait for spousal reaction… which should
be as surprised and tender (and accommodating) as you
If the business fails.
With the best will in the world and all the time required…
with full and complete spouse support your business may
fail. Sadly, a very hefty percentage of home-based businesses
do. Knowing you, you’ll want to try and try again until you’ve
found the winning formula. You’re willing to risk again, but
your spouse, in the clearest possible way, says “No way, Jose!
Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.”
Hand them this magnificent quote from Teddy Roosevelt’s
famous speech on “Citizenship in a Republic”, delivered
at the Sorbonne, Paris in 1910:
“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out
how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds
could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man
who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust
and sweat and blood: who strives valiantly: who errs, and
comes short again and again, because there is no effort without
error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the
deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions;
who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the
end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he
fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall
never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory
Hand this quote, I say, to your spouse and make it plain that
you have an obligation, first and foremost, to yourself to carry
on, to persevere, and, at last, forge victory from defeat.
This is a crucial moment in your relationship, a moment of
epiphany, revelation, resolve.
Now, perhaps for the first time, your spouse truly knows
and understands you. Now for the first time they see
you as indefatigable, admirable, larger than life, the mate
they have always wanted…. and never until this very moment
knew they already had.
Sit down now at your computer, for now, at last, your
truly beloved is on your side without cavil or complaint.
Expect your favorite lunch to be delivered today computer-side…
for now you have, well and truly, the helpmate you require
for the success you will both enjoy so very much.