Do Entrepreneurs Face More Marital Challenges?

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Bezos recently announced that they are getting a divorce after 25 years of marriage. This case highlights the challenges that business owners and executives often face in equitably dividing their assets during a divorce.

Living In Two Dramatically Different Worlds

An article from Geekwire examines some of the issues that entrepreneurs must overcome in order to maintain a strong and lasting marriage. While the general consensus is that the divorce rate is higher among this population, the reality is that there have not been sufficient studies that prove this theory. 

One relationship expert posits that entrepreneurs will encounter stress at specific points during the life of their venture. At the beginning, when substantial time must be devoted in order to get the venture off the ground, there may be little time for anything else, including a spouse and children. This is also a highly emotional time, as the entrepreneur may be struggling with concerns over whether the venture will succeed as a result of their labor and sacrifice.

This is in stark contrast to later stress points, which may occur after the venture has become a success, and lifestyles may change dramatically.

A distinct delineation of family roles may appear between a business owner and spouse. With the business owner focusing substantial time and effort on the business, often working far beyond the length of a standard workday, the spouse will necessarily take on the role of raising the children when they are young, maybe moving on to create or work with charities when the children are grown. The two lives may not intersect as much as or in the same ways as they would for people who do not manage businesses.

Oftentimes, relationships fail as a result of these stressors, leading to the eventual dissolution of marriage.

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