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Dear Debra
Dear Debra , Advice Columnist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1852
Experience:  I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
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My wife runs a business we are both partners of. She has proven

Customer Question

My wife runs a business we are both partners of. She has proven total incompetent in the role causing significant damage. I raised concerns 3 years before her failings became apparent where we almost were forced to close. I subsequently got involved and the business has been saved however she continues to make similar mistakes always ignoring my advice and suggestions. She has never accepted her mistakes or admits any failings on her part. We originally owned a home 120 miles from the business and due to my concerns rented a flat nearby so she could ensure the business run correctly - she failed. She wanted me to sell home and move near to business, reluctantly I did. I am now living in an area where i have no friends or family, all I own is in the business. I am 51 years of age. Please advise
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 3 years ago.

Deardebra :

You are not only business partners you are partners in a marriage as well. This becomes very hard to separate the two when you are in a relationship. You tend to bring the business home or maybe be upset with each other over the business. But there needs to be a way where you can just shut off your mind from the business and enjoy each others company. Now I would like to talk about the business itself.

Deardebra :

Your wife is making repeated mistakes.

Deardebra :

You have tried really hard to guide her in the right direction, but it is not working. What I want you to try is tell her what she is doing right and not what she is doing wrong. This will boost her confidence to succeed in this business.

Deardebra :

Right now she feels like she can not do anything right and she is trying desperately to make this work to show you she can do this, but she is unsure how to run this business.

Deardebra :

If you tell her this is what you are doing right and you need to do more of this and less of this, she might take your advice with being someone who is a positive reinforcer.

Deardebra :

You have given a lot up to make sure that your wife succeed and I know she sees that and knows the sacrifices you have made in your life for her.

Deardebra :

You are someone that is trying to support your wife in this business and in her life, but it is causing a problem in your life, it is effecting you. What I want you to do is talk too her about how you feel. Tell her you just need her to listen.

Deardebra :

That this is something that needs to be discussed and this is about you and her being together and working together in a marriage and in a relationship.

JACUSTOMER-8g1g83mc- :

I have tried every possible method. Originally i used to praise her, i used to advise politely, tried encouraging her to work out, prompting etc. All methods fail. My biggest issue with her is that she does not identify her mistakes, i have to go into details to explain the obvious to her. She has admitted she finds it hard to admit when she's wrong, problem is she is too often.

Deardebra :

You mentioned she has trouble admitting when she is wrong. This is the first step in solving the problem.

Deardebra :

Her personality is someone who wants to be right. Even when she knows she is wrong.

Deardebra :

But she has to understand that her actions also effect someone she loves.

Deardebra :

This is where she needs to know that there is only one choice and that is to work together. You should have to point out her mistakes in detail, she should know the same mistakes she has been making over and over again.

Deardebra :

She is trying so hard to make things work that she doesn't realize it is not working and you need to try something new.

Deardebra :

I feel like you being a partner should try if you can to take over and have her do something you know she will excel in.

Deardebra :

Some people are good at book keeping, whiles others are good at sales. You have to find your p[lace in a business. Not everyone can do the same job. A functioning business is run by people being assigned what they are good at.

Deardebra :

She needs to find her talent in the business.

JACUSTOMER-8g1g83mc- :

Problem is its a care home and she is the registered provider, she used to be a deputy manager before I met her, hence my trust in her to be able to run the home competently but she has proven the total opposite. The way she has responded after each mistake has scarred me forever, I have lost all respect for her and want out but i have no where to go as all I have is invested in the business. I am disabled to, I took redundancy from my job I had for 30 years to invest with the home I owned before I met her.

Deardebra :

I feel you should be totally honest with her and tell her you want out and that every mistake seems to have bothered you more and more. It is time for her to know what you have lost in your life to keep this business a float. She was a deputy manager before and I see why you had full confidence in her to run a business.

Deardebra :

I don't want you to feel like this can not be fixed because it can. There comes a point where you need to make the decision to stay in this business or see if you both can continue to work this out. You are fully invested in this business and I feel at this point she needs to fully rely on you to make the decision with her over seeing things.

Deardebra :

She needs to know that this is not working and if things do not change you both will lose what you have worked for all this time.

Deardebra :

I think she is so nervous about falling at this business that she is making mistakes out of nerves.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

That is my real problem now calling it a day, where do i pick my life back up? We have this home here near to her family, we owe £160k mortgage, will be difficult to sell. We owe £500K for business. Have £80k savings. business should sell for £800k. she had debts when we met I owned a home and my retirement money all went into the purchase of the business, she has ruined my life and i have sacrificed everything for her is there anyway I could win most of a settlement or is it split down the middle irrespective of circumstances or should there be 2 separate settlements, one for divorce & one for business? I cannot earn any more.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have your email waiting for rating but you havnt ansewered my last point:


That is my real problem now calling it a day, where do i pick my life back up? We have this home here near to her family, we owe £160k mortgage, will be difficult to sell. We owe £500K for business. Have £80k savings. business should sell for £800k. she had debts when we met I owned a home and my retirement money all went into the purchase of the business, she has ruined my life and i have sacrificed everything for her is there anyway I could win most of a settlement or is it split down the middle irrespective of circumstances or should there be 2 separate settlements, one for divorce & one for business? I cannot earn any more.

Expert:  Dear Debra replied 3 years ago.
The very first thing I want you to think about is if you want to be with her and if you still love her. I don't want you to look at finances or the business for just a minute and think abut how you feel about her. You need to ask yourself some questions like can you picture your life without her? Some times when it comes to being business partners and being in a relationship it is hard to separate the two feelings. When you first started this relationship it was new and exciting and you both new you wanted to spend the rest of your lives together. But what has happened is the business interfered with your relationship together. She has now done things that you feel could have not been done and your feelings have changed for her due to the business. But I want your o look at if there is any problems besides the business and why you feel you should be together? You own a home and a business together. There are a few things you could do here. You could make an agreement to sell the business and get your money back. But if she refuses to sell, then she would have to buy you out which you would agree on the amount of money. The same goes for the house. You are both accumulated these assets together and accumulated debt together. If you want more information on this subject about settlements I can switch you over to the legal experts on their site.

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