Article in my series of Relationship Mistakes Women Entrepreneurs Make (Lessons from an Entertainment Icon)
Madonna often took offense that her husband does not take her career advice even though she is an extremely successful career professional.
There is a reason why it makes no sense for husbands and wives be each others’ shrinks when the marriage is in trouble, and even if one or both of them are shrinks:
Successful women entrepreneurs recognize that their spouses do not work the same way they work, may not want to same things they want, and frankly, do not want to become their wives.
Many years ago I created a business model for one of my husband’s many hobbies. At the beginning, I was extremely demanding about his involvement in the business, including his input and output and revenue generation. I was a hard driving boss even though we have equal stakes in the business.
Finally my husband told me that I was taking the fun out of an activity that he once enjoyed. That was when I realized that I was trying to turn my husband into me. More specifically, how I operate my business and pursue opportunities. My husband has a different working pace, and for him, work-life balance and quality of life are priorities.
Once I recognized what I was doing, and concluded that my husband provided the needed balance in areas where I sorely lacked balance, I backed off and respected his way of working. This allowed us to remain good business partners.
I believe that Madonna was genuine about wanting a family life. I found it interesting that age 35 was a turning point for her, because I also had a child at age 35, and I currently am experiencing a major life transition that is also driving a major professional identity transition. In many ways I feel as if I am undergoing an existential transition and examining what I am doing with my life in a new context of parenthood.
One thing is certain… Madonna will feel lonely, but it won’t be because she is in the “big American metropolis” called NYC. She’ll be right at home in New York. The loneliness Madonna will feel will come from the grief of her dead marriage, and she will feel this loneliness for time to come no matter where in the world she decides to live.