When Husband Lacks Ambition and Drive

I had a very long conversation with one of the members of our community. This is her dilemma:

“You know Lyn Joy, it’s easy to start a business and focus on our dreams if the husband has the same ambition and drive. Unfortunately, my husband prefers to play video games in his spare time, which is most of the time. He’s not into business and quite negative about money. I told him that we should start saving and although he agrees, his actions say otherwise. He still continues spending mindlessly and never really interested in getting extra income.”

Let us set the scene. Your husband is loving and responsible. He might have a few vices here and there but nothing that will put your family at risk. You love him and he loves you. Sounds ideal right?

But here’s the caveat: you and your husband have different money goals. You had already noticed the difference when you were still on the bf/gf phase but, you know, he was a good man (still is) and as the song goes, “when we’re hungry, love will keep us alive”, right?

Now that you have kids, unfortunately, you have the realization that love alone can’t pay the mortgage or build an emergency fund. For your husband, as long as there’s food on the table and roof over your head then everything’s fine. He works part-time on odd jobs or probably working full time on minimum wage-paying job, and he’s totally content. He might have dreams but doesn’t have the drive or intention to chase it. He’s always cautious and negative about money.

It hits you then:

You chase your dreams and your husband just dreams.
You want to make an impact on the world and your husband only cares about his.
You are hungry for success and he is just hungry for food.
You want to be the CEO and he’s contented being an employee.
You create and save money and he spends money.

A total opposite of your drive, ambition, hard work, and determination.
You sometimes even think how you end up with this guy!

Maybe, if your husband is physically hurting you or into gamble and drugs, it will be so easy to just pack your bags and leave, but he is not like that. He is a decent guy with just no dreams. Which puts you in a difficult position – should you stay or should you let go?

“All men dream, but not equally”

I’m writing this post because I know our community consists of highly motivated, ambitious, courageous, intelligent women. Our passion and determination to create and build outstanding businesses really separate us from the majority. Although we love being a lady – enjoys fashion, loves cooking, loves anything soft, fluffy, and girly – better not mess with us because we give zero f*ck. 
Our generation, luckily, is now raised to rise above all challenges. We are now encouraged to Lean In – as used by Sheryl Sandberg in her book – be assertive, to move toward a leading, rather than a following, role. It’s a very good time to be a woman.
But comes with this empowerment is a risk that the wife becomes more driven than her husband. And I’m not talking about being monetary driven alone. Wife wants to give more, she’s hungry for knowledge, she wants to know her purpose and see how far she can go. It’s an exciting time for her but the husband, unfortunately, doesn’t share the same excitement.
 Not all of us are married to alpha males. Filipinos, as a culture, are workers, we are excellent workers actually. As an OFW, I heard many times Filipinos are great employees. We are hard-worker, rarely complains, doesn’t discriminate jobs, and very adaptable. However, when given an opportunity to lead or manage, we refused. We want to follow and just be told. We are uncomfortable to stand out and give orders. It’s not our nature.
As a woman who is having your own business (or planning to have your own soon), you start seeing the ambition gap. And it’s a reality. Not everything is pretty and in TWP, we will discuss things even if it’s difficult. 

Listen to your heart

Our mind always tries to justify our decision. It gives hundreds of reasons why you should stay or leave. This is when listening to your heart will help you.

What does your heart say? Deep down, does it tell you to let go of the relationship and start your new journey without him? Or is it telling you to stay because you really love him and can’t imagine life without your husband?

If you decide to continue your journey without him, I applaud your courage. This is not an easy decision and I think you know that. You might be called a bitch, a money-whore, and other hurtful words just because you allowed yourself to be released in a relationship that drains your soul. I’m proud because you value yourself more which is very rare for a woman to do. We are trained to endure, to suffer, and sacrifice for the people we love. The fact that you have the courage to let go of a relationship that doesn’t give you happiness is a very commendable thing to do. I’m proud of you.

Life is short and we have to live it as meaningful and as truthful as we can be.

Now, if your heart says that you want to stay in a relationship because you truly love him, let me share with you some insights:

You and your husband are two different individuals – different upbringing, different values, different work ethics, different beliefs – who decided to be married and have your life journey together.

When you were newly married, you and your husband decided to be in the same car. This is the honeymoon phase. You love to please each other, avoid conflicts and have this huge admiration for each other. Being the man in the relationship, you allowed him to take control of the steering wheel.

However, after passing a few highways and several turns and bumps along the way, you realized that you don’t like the way he drives. Either he is too aggressive, too slow, too fast, loves to take shortcuts, or takes the long way. Whatever it is, you don’t want him to be the driver anymore. Should you ask him then to leave the driver seat so you can take control of the steering wheel? It’s an awkward situation. What should you do then?

Can I tell you one important truth?
You can travel on the same road but in different cars.

If you can accept this reality then you will live a very happy, fulfilling life with your partner.

Expectation is the number one enemy of any relationship.

Your husband expects you to clean the house.
Your husband expects you to take care of the kids.
Your husband expects you not to complain.

You expect your husband to provide all your needs.
You expect your husband to sweep you off your feet every freaking time.
You expect your husband to remember your birthday and anniversaries.

Failing to meet these expectations results in disappointment. And continuous disappointments result in fights, falling out of love, and worst – separation.

If after careful deliberation you decided that you want to stay then it’s time to let go of any expectations of him. Remember that you had the option to leave but didn’t.

For the relationship to survive, you have to accept that your husband has a different journey than you. Don’t expect him to want what you want. Yes, you can inspire him. Yes, you can encourage him. You can even show him your vision but don’t expect that he would be interested let alone listen.

Do whatever you need to do. Follow your dreams. Take action. Persevere. Reach the top. Always remember your why. He may or may not be helpful or encouraging but it doesn’t matter. This is your journey.

Maybe, just maybe, your success will inspire him that it’s possible for his dreams too.

A warning though

Choosing to stay with your partner is a good thing but as a result can affect your own dreams negatively. You might be the type of woman who doesn’t want to ‘hurt’ her husband’s ego and might tend to hold off your passion or goal for fear of emasculating your partner.

If you find yourself in this conflicting emotion, remember that your dreams are not only for you but for your family as well. Your success is definitely a win-win for everybody. This is a journey that you need to take and I know not pursuing what your gut tells you will result in lifetime dissatisfaction.

“Dare to live the dreams you have dreamed for yourself.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

That’s it my fellow TWPs! Always remember…
Live the Life You Have Imagined for Yourself! 

P.S.: If you need more motivation, you are in the right place. I hope these articles inspire you.

Financially scared because of the pandemic?
Why am I encouraging you to stop being too thrifty
My mutual fund experience. Spoiler alert, not a good one!
38 Lessons from becoming a self-made millionaire

Live The Life and Business You Have Imagined!

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