My Marriage Survived a Start Up- Marriage Unwrapped

Young couple  in bed, toned black and white effect, vignette.I know all of us aren’t married to men who are trying to start there own businesses, but I think many of us can relate to Jodi’s struggle to balance her need to support her husband’s dreams with the reality of what that entails. I think you will be able to see a little of yourself in her story.

Hi I’m Jodi and I write over at jodimichelle.com. I’ve been married to my husband, Aaron, for 8 years. Together we have two lovely kids. A daughter, 6 1/2 and a son, 3.

Right after our son was born Aaron decided to try something new in business. We’ve been business owners our entire marriage and had made a successful career out of it but at the end of the day Aaron was looking for something more. There was an excitement factor to creating something for the web platform that he couldn’t get out of his system.

We went through a program for start ups called Momentum which led one of the two companies he pioneered through the process to receiving funding.

So, here’s where a fine line starts to feel more like a cliff I was standing on and trying not to jump off for a good 2 years. Being married and owning your own small business is trying enough – all the burden of financial gain is on your shoulders. It’s a pretty stressful atmosphere. And then we had some kids and things were going well in business and then … well. And then it gets complicated.

I want nothing more than to be married to a whole, happy man. Someone who loves his work and the career he’s building. We’ve been through so many challenges and the greatest so far has been the "start up" phase in our lives.

We ended up selling our home of 6 years for a 20,000 loss. We paid it all back by saving and selling another home we were building. We rented a small 2 bedroom apartment for a year and worked hard at paying off all our debt. Not only the loss we took on the home we sold, but also for a car loan and some medical debt we had accumulated.

That entire time? We were a start up family. Constant out of town travel for my husband to gain funding, to speak with investors, to have meetings and make connections. I was single-parenting the most difficult year of motherhood yet and yet somehow still managed to flame the fire of my marriage.

We’ve been through a couple bouts of marriage counseling and always look forward to a neutral party helping us with our communication issues or resentment that arises from this lifestyle. It’s so easy to blame the job for the pitfalls of an unhappy home when really, just as any job you want to be successful in – there’s always a period (some times reoccurring) of really hard work.

Aug 30th was our wedding anniversary and I have never been more excited to be done with a year in my record book. Year 7 was everything it promises to be in the myth of marriage. Trials and so much loneliness.

But we made it! We survived a start up, but also an incredible year of growing as a family. We moved and are renting a full house now, with a yard! We’re also a debt free family and couldn’t be more excited for the future holds. As for the start up? It’s on the back burner. No more single parenting my way through a work week or serving a cold dinner to a stressed out husband after my kids are in bed.

I’m all too aware of the weakness in my own human spirit and how they affect my marriage on a daily basis. Going through this past year has been a wonderful and eye opening experience on what it takes to make a marriage last – and it’s been one of the most beautiful lessons I’ve learned. Coming from a divorced home I’m excited to rewrite my family tree in so many more ways than this.


  1. I think this past year has been tough on a lot of people. Seems like everyone is doing something they never thought they’d have to do or making major sacrifices in an attempt to hold things together. I haven’t read your blog in a while, make that a year!, because I ended up back at work full time – something I never thought I’d have to do once I became a mom.

    Congrats to you for making it through this year!

  2. Oh… year seven. I don’t know of a marriage that didn’t make it unscathed, but on the other side people were either divorced {sadly} or much stronger. There is something about 7 years in the Jewish tradition and although I don’t completely understand it; it’s a significant number. I think anyone who has been married for 8+ years can attest to that!
    Jen @ BigBinder recently posted…Recipe Roundtable – Crockpot Ham and Bean SoupMy Profile

    • Thanks Jen! I hear ya, we totally feel stronger as a couple having come on the other side of that marker. There was such a huge shift being a newly wed discovering that media is a huge liar when it comes to life/marriage/romance and now I feel like we just hit another discovery in our own life – that lasting has nothing to do with what vows we spoke that one time and everything to do with the daily decision to make it work, to work on it and love one another.

  3. I had never heard of that 7 year thing, but looking back, it makes so much sense! Seriously, my husband and I are working through some difficulties right now, which grew in year 7. We’re into year 8 now, and growing stronger than we were before. I guess the “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” applies to marriage, too.
    OneMommy recently posted…Potty TrainingMy Profile

  4. I can so relate! Both my ex husband and my forever husband. My ex’s business failed, and he turned to drugs and alcohol. My forever husband and I are working together to make our dream come true. I think that’s why it’s so much easier this time around. When you see each others as partners in the effort, it makes it easier to sacrifice for the common good.
    Wendy (The Local Cook) recently posted…Becoming GroundedMy Profile

    • Loved this Wendy, thanks for sharing. Working together is so often over looked in a start up where a family or marriage is involved. We were (are) his biggest cheer section, supporters and investors and we took part in the decisions and the pitfalls, too. It was a team effort, corny I know – but I don’t think we would have made it otherwise.
      jodimichelle recently posted…Universe: My son has no tact and I’m sorry.My Profile

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