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Take Two

Lately, I've seen a trend of older couples who are coming to therapy to fix what is broken in their marriage. These are people who are retired, who have done the hard work of raising their children, paying down debt, and who "should" be riding the rest of their lives down easy street. Sadly, at a time when the world is collapsing around them, their adult children are moving back home, and they are watching their retirement savings shrink as they provide for the needs of their grandchildren. All this stress is putting the couple's relationship in jeopardy as they give to others at a time when they should be focused on caring for each other's needs.

Often, I will correlate a healthy relationship with the running a businesses. What you give in the way of service (expense) is weighed against what you receive as benefits (income). So many people find they have exceeded the benefits by offering too many free services. This can bankrupt the family business and lead the marriage toward divorce. Your children and grandchildren may be assets that give you limitless love, but they can also be a liability when you look at your Profit and Loss report.

Every business has a balance sheet. Whatever you are investing (physical, mental, educational, spiritual, and financial) in the way of services is adding to the value of the family business, but often is at great cost to the marriage. When a marriage is in trouble it's usually because one or both of the couple are not investing as much to the marriage as they are to the family business and the expenses outweigh the benefits. They need to re-balance their service commitments. They need to increase service to the marriage and decrease their investments to the family business. If the marriage fails, by default, the family fails. If you want your family business to succeed, you must serve your marriage first.

“A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits.

They will be embarrassingly large.”

Henry Ford

If you'd like to learn how to live intentional, check out my book of the same name: Live Intention. Live the life you always wanted, but never believed you could. Available at Barns and Noble, Amazon, and iTunes


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