We got married at the most difficult times of our lives. We had dated for four years and felt the time was ripe for us to get married. That was exactly the point I decided to leave the corporate world to start my own business. I told her, “Give me one more year to sort this business out. A year later, I would know where I’m going with this and it would be the best time for us to get married.” She answered, “You said this a year ago. Here we are now. No, let’s get married. We can do whatever we want to do after marriage.”
We went ahead and got married. Some of the money I wanted to invest in my business went into the marriage so I had to re-strategize, start small and scale it up as time goes on. I left the corporate world immediately after our honeymoon and started running my own business. It got hard. I figured a lot of things wrongly and lost my investment. Life became harder for me along the way. I was home doing nothing and earning nothing. My wife was the only one going to work and bringing home something.
I wrote back to the company I was working with: “Dear HR, I’ve regretted my decision to leave the company. Things didn’t work out as planned. I want to come back and dedicate everything I have to help to build the company. I’ve learned my lessons. I would come back and never think of leaving. again”
I was one of the best employees the company has ever had so I thought they would consider my past records and rehire me. A few days later, I got a mail from HR; “Hello Davies, I’m sorry to inform you that we have no opening at the moment. Your role was filled with another capable hand who is doing an excellent job since you left. I promise you this, once there’s an opening that fits your qualification, we’ll give you a call.”
For a whole year and a half, I was home. My wife gave birth and joined me in the house. While home and raising the kid, she said, “You have to try the business thing again. You failed, yes but I know you learned something you can employ when you go at it again.” I asked, “Where am I going to get that money from?” She answered, “I will ask my father for a loan. I will add something from my savings. It might not be something so big but with the right strategy, you can start from somewhere.”
She was still on maternity when she secured the loan for me. I was careful this time. I invested shrewdly and followed all the rules in the book. It wasn’t easy but everything looked promising as time went by. A year later, I had broken even. Two years later, I had been able to pay the loan I took from my in-law and my wife. Four years later. I had started making some form of profit. It wasn’t huge but it was bigger than what I was taking while at work. Life was coming back to normal. We rented a new place and moved in. I sold my wife’s car and got her a new one. It was her car but I was using it too.
My wife got pregnant again. This pregnancy was different. She suffered a lot of concussions and became sick very often. From the sixth month until she gave birth, she was hospitalized. At some point, the doctors wanted to get rid of the baby so they can save her but just when plans were underway, she made a remarkable recovery that even surprised the doctors. She gave birth peacefully when her time was due but right after delivery, she started suffering severe migraine and dizziness. She could be dizzy for the whole day while her head keeps bashing her. She would cry, sleep, wake up and still feel dizzy. After visiting various hospitals and specialists, she recovered but not totally.
Every now and then, the migraine would come. It gets so severe that she starts feeling dizzy. It got worse again when she started working. It has been like this for the past two years. She would come from work, lie on the sofa and cry all night. I told her, “It’s time to make bold decisions here. I don’t like what you’ve been going through. It breaks my heart anytime I see you suffer. You need rest from it all. You have a nanny to help around. It’s time to stop working and stay home. Maybe, things would get better.”
She looked at my face and started laughing. “You’re joking, right? I should stop working, and give up my salary and my corporate dreams just to stay home? Where and when did you hatch this idea? Please, it won’t work. I’m still seeing doctors. It will be fine.” She dropped the discussion in the bin as if it meant nothing in her scheme of things. I didn’t push it. I felt I had to prove I can take care of her before she would listen. I’ve taken over everything in the house. I pay for what ought to be paid for and provide what ought to be provided even sanitary towels. My business is not at the top yet but it keeps growing. We can only hope for the best.
I brought the topic up again; “Ok, don’t stop working. We have a family business now. Join me let’s grow it. You’ll have flexible working hours so you can take care of your health.” She answered, “No, I can’t work with my husband at the same place. There would be a lot of conflicts of interest.” I said, “Dear, it’s going to be only us making the decisions. What’s there to fear?” Again she brushed it aside.
I woke up one dawn because I heard her crying. I asked, “Your head again?” She responded, “Yes. it’s like someone is trying to break my skull with a mall hammer. I feel like I’m going to pass out at any moment.” I gave her the painkillers but nothing worked. She cried all night until the following morning when I took her to the hospital. She spent three days at the hospital. The doctor also gave her an excuse-duty for three days. When she suffers like that, it gets me restless and disturbed. I get my fair share of the headache because it keeps me thinking about what I can do to help. It’s not easy for us.
Her job is very demanding. She can stand on her feet all day. Sometimes she even forgets to eat. She wants to prove a point for the next promotion. She wants to be up there dining with the top executives in her establishment. I said, “Dear, dreams are good but you don’t have to sacrifice your health for your dreams. This business is for the two of us. We can grow it for ourselves. Why don’t you join?” Her answer was, “We need safety. Nothing is assured in the business world. I can lose my job and you can fold up. There should always be a safety net we can fall in.”
You see, I mean well. Her health is my major concern. Doctors have warned her about putting pressure on herself. They always tell her to stay in a calm environment while following her medications. Where she works isn’t that calm environment. I want her home or at work with me where we can take life slowly. As I said, we can live on what I earn now while we work hard to grow what we have but this girl and her dreams won’t understand me. I’ve spoken to people. They all suggested that I talk to her parents. I did. I spoke to her father about it. He saw my points but in the end, he said, “She knows herself better. If she thinks she can then she can, so allow her. If she gets to the point where she can’t stand it, you won’t be the one to tell her to stop.”
I’m the one living with her and experiencing her pain firsthand. She needs rest. She needs to take it easy. She needs a calm environment where she doesn’t think about targets and how she can meet them. She has dreams but I feel we can raise what we have to a level where her dreams would still be valid. She says no.