I suppose I could title this "for spouses," but having never been a wife I felt it best to come from my perspective as a husband.
It is not easy being married to a real estate licensee. We aren't just on straight commission; what we go through for that commission typically takes months and often comes with with risk, rejection, crisis, and drama. Our profession epitomizes the high risk/high reward lifestyle. Ann and I are coming up on our 9th anniversary this September 29th, and the past 5 years I have run my own brokerage. We are in our 40's and are bookended by geriatric parents and our 4 children. No day is a cake walk.
I would not be where I am without her support, encouragement, belief, confidence and skills that have complimented my own. I joke that I am the hot air; Ann is the administrator. But even if a wife has no involvement in her husband's real estate career, much of what Ann and I have learned (sometimes the hard way) is worth sharing. If these things relate to other industries, all the better. Here goes:
- Please understand that I'll eat whatever you put in front of me. After a day of making decisions, many of which were punctuated by high stakes and high stress, I don't want to decide between pasta or chicken. As a matter of fact, I don't want to make a single decision in the first hour I come home about anything.
- Respect the cave. I need to decompress. I'll be far more use to you once I settle my thoughts. I just had a home inspector tell me my buyer had him inspect another home 2 weeks ago, and I didn't show him that place. A prospective client who told me I got the job just went on the market with another agent. I need to place all of that, along with the entire crazy day I just had, on my mental bookshelf. I need some quiet, a quick revenge fantasy, and ponder who is pitching for the Yankees tonight. Once I do that, I'm yours.
- Never, ever ever shield me from bad news. Tell me straight, and early. Never spin, control the message or try and manage my reaction. I could be wrestling with an anaconda in quicksand that is on fire, just call me when the bad news comes in and I will manage.
- There is never a good time to bring up a touchy subject, but there are some bad times. For me, bringing up money after I collapse in bed is a rough one.
- I am all about the Big Picture to a fault. Short term difficulty is a means to an end. My eyes are on a goal far larger than this snapshot in time's challenges and crisis. If I make a decision you dislike, or one that makes no sense to you, or if I take on an expense that you feel is too ambitious, I have a plan. Support that. Own it. Speak your mind, but never undermine.
- Your belief in me is more important than money, or that other thing. I can't enjoy either without it anyway. As a matter of fact, I don't work this hard to push you away. It is a big picture thing.
- Yes, I do love this. I love the challenge. I live the reward. I love building my empire. It's mine.
- I do this for you. As a matter of fact, I see your or one of our children's faces before I do anything difficult and it helps me to do better.
- It is not lost on me that you've had a day yourself.