Women In Family Business – 3 Tips for Managing His Behavior

By Patricia Annino, J.D., Thomas Davidow, Ed.D. & Cynthia Adams Harrison, Ed.D., LICSW

While your husband may be grappling to have some control over his life, you may feel that you have no control-over his behavior. However, there are things you can do:

  1. Attend to basics. You can encourage your husband to get regular medical checkups, and not miss appointments. You can prepare healthy meals. If he notices that dinner seems different and asks, “What is this?” you can reply that you both need to change how you eat. If he needs to exercise more, you can find ways to do it with him, whether that means playing tennis with him or taking long walks together.
  1. See the bigger picture. Conversations about planning for the future or about aging are not easy to initiate, but they are important. The best time to address those issues is when your husband is in this mid-50s. During that time, when children are leaving home, and bodies are changing, we all tend to become more reflective. The notion of morality starts to feel a bit more real-hence the term “mid-life crisis.” This period is a window of opportunity for the two of you to talk about how you want to spend the rest of your lives. The conversation will become harder to have the time your husband is in his 60’s. By then he’s more apt to focus on the thought, “I’m actually going to die.” That thought, along with other negative associations, will make it much less likely that he’ll want to talk about the future or to plan for it.  Once you are able to engage your husband in a conversation about getting older, you can point out that aging is part of a natural progression; that the challenge facing you both is how to adapt effectively. Bringing up the subject will heighten his level of awareness.
  1. Follow through. You can be the one to implement the changes you both agree upon. You can be creative in terms of building leisure time into his schedule, whether that means traveling or boating or starting any other kind of hobby through which the two of you can share time, interaction and intimacy, assuming, that is, that you and your husband want to spend time together. If you don’t-if you married each other “for better or worse, but not for lunch”-then the quality of your relationship has somehow been compromised. In that case, you have two options: You can do things you enjoy by yourself while your husband continues to work harder than is good for him; or you can do your best to improve the quality of your relationship.

Patricia Annino is a sought after speaker and nationally recognized authority on women and estate planning.  She educates and empowers women to value themselves and their contributions in order to ACCOMPLISH GREAT THINGS in the world – and in so doing PROTECT THEMSELVES, those they love, and the organizations they care about.  Annino recently announced the release of an updated version of her successful book, Women and Money: A Practical Guide to Estate Planning to include recent changes in the laws that govern how we protect our assets during and beyond our lifetime.  Annino’s book is an exhortation, resource and trusted companion for women in all facets of life.  To purchase the book visit:  http://amzn.to/hOHuEV or for more about Annino, visit: www.patriciaannino.com


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