Marriage Is a Business
"Marriage is meant to be an equal partnership. If you or your partner are not bringing equal value to the table, then why in the world are you getting married?" - Michael Armocida
Did you know that treating your marriage like a business will assure a happy, blissful, and long-lasting union? Truth be told, marriage is a business, and treating it otherwise is a recipe for disaster. I am amazed at how many people enter into the union of marriage thinking it is not a business and then wonder why their marriage failed. I know this from experience because I have been through two failed marriages, and neither would have passed the minimum requirements for starting a business.
If you feel that classifying marriage as a business is too cold, then I think you will at least agree that marriage is meant to be an equal partnership. However, even under the lesser definition, most marriages do not pass muster. If you were entering into a business as an equal partner, then your other partners would want to know what you have to offer that is of equal value to their contributions. If you brought nothing to the table, then they certainly would not consider your business proposal. However, people propose and enter into marriage all the time while bringing absolutely nothing into the relationship.
"At the root of every successful marriage is a strong partnership." - Carson Daly
As I say in my book Strong & Happy: Before considering marriage, ask what value you bring to the table. Your answer should not include attributes like being good looking or being good in the sack. The values you seek to bring should be under the umbrella of finances, having a future, assets, ethics, attentiveness, unselfishness, being gainfully employed, faithfulness, etc. Likewise, ask what value your partner brings to the table. Do not misunderstand. You and your partner need not bring the same monetary value but an equality of values overall. That being said, monetary value should also be relatively close. In other words, if your net worth is in the hundreds of thousands and your partner’s is in the thousands, then you are courting disaster. If one person enters into an equal partnership with the lion’s share of the assets and the other partner comes in with nothing, then the partner with the assets has everything to lose, and the partner without the assets has everything to gain. Ask yourself, would you enter into a business partnership to share your hundreds of thousands with an equal partner who brings only a few thousand dollars into the partnership? The obvious answer is no. Why then would you enter into the legally equal partnership of marriage under the same circumstances? Even if the marriage lasts, it comes down to simple math. If someone brings less to the table, then it drives down the value of those who bring more. Even worse is when your prospective spouse enters into the partnership of marriage with liabilities like debt. If you have good credit and assets, then would you accept someone as an equal business partner if they had bad credit and debt?
My first marriage is an excellent example of what I describe above. What I brought to the table was a college education, gainful employment, a growing career, and a bright future. My first wife, however, brought only liabilities into the relationship. Against my advice, she chose not to pursue a college education, had no employment, no hope of a career, and no future. I also brought stability, faithfulness, and hard work to the marriage. Conversely, my first wife was pathologically insecure, viciously jealous, and unfaithful. The bottom line is I brought assets to the table and my first wife brought liabilities. It is true that my first wife’s parents were millionaires, but that was their money, and it never entered into our marriage. In fact, when my marriage was dissolved, the court gave my first wife everything I owned, and everything I would earn for the next twelve years, regardless of the fact that her name was in a trust to inherit half of her parent’s wealth.
Honesty is of utmost importance when considering what you and your prospective spouse can bring into the partnership. If you or your significant other fell short of these values in the past, like being unfaithful, then do not kid yourself into thinking that you and your significant other will not fall short of them again.
Life After Marriage
Finding the right business partner to marry is only the beginning. If the marriage is going to last, then it is equally important to remain good stock for your partner. This means being diligent to your contract of marriage – not only in the beginning but throughout your marriage.
Employment too is a partnership. You enter into this partnership by agreeing to perform a specific job for an agreed upon amount of compensation. Like marriage, we tend to be enthused when we first take employment, then our enthusiasm tends to wane with time. To avoid this, a trick in the business world is to ask yourself: Would my employer hire the employee I am today? If we are to treat our marriage like a business, then this logic should still apply. Each year, on your wedding anniversary, ask yourself: Would my spouse have married the person I am today? Likewise, ask: Would I have married the person my spouse is today? If the answer to either of these questions is no, then your marriage is on shaky ground, and you and your spouse have work to do.
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