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Feeling lost, alone and unsupported, despite having an amazing family

Community Member

Well, I'm amazing myself that I'm here, honestly. I'm a bloke in my mid 40's and I don't think I've ever asked for help before, but I'm stuck and well this seems like somewhere you can ask questions.

From the outside, I probably look like I've got my life together. I run my own consulting business, my clients love me and the results I get for them, I make decent money from my business, overheads are low. I've got some great business mentors that support me a lot in growing my business, they're so encouraging and give me great feedback and ideas on how to do things better.

At home it's a different story. My wife works as well and we have two kids. We both chip in with looking after the kids but let's not kid anyone, she does the lions share and does a great job balancing her work and keeping our home running.

So what's my problem?

Well generally I really care not at all what people think, the problem is I love my wife and consequently care a lot about what she thinks. My consulting business is only a year old so still has growing pains and there's so much to do, I work most days whether directly (as in with clients) or working on the business planning and systems. Like any business owner, I think they'll all agree, it's a hard slog, if it was easy everyone would be doing it.

The one person in my life that I'm close to I want that person to support me and encourage me in what I'm doing, I'm doing it for us, our family. Unfortunately I don't feel I get that.

We've been together about 20yrs and it's just not what it was. I don't sleep well. Especially since starting my own business, consequently we rarely sleep in the same bed anymore, it seems as time goes by there's less and less we do together. I try and make time for us to do things together but invariably she doesn't have time (honestly I'm starting to resent the family dog, it gets an hour and a half of her time a day - more than me), or she doesn't feel well.

I'm finding more and more I'd rather be alone or with clients as both of those make me happier than being at home. I feel like as the years go by we're strangers who exist in the same space together. I find I get frustrated a lot at home and so I often just get up and leave, before it escalates, I know my wife hates it when that happens but the way I feel at the time, it's for the best for everyone.

Sorry for the long post.

7 Replies 7

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Battlin Business Owner

Welcome to the forums and thankyou for having the courage to post too! (It takes a lot)

You are an intelligent and caring person BBO otherwise you wouldnt have posted. I admire your strength in setting up your own consultancy business, I am ex corporate from management and have always envied people like yourself that chose to fire up on their own

You are doing everything you can to support and improve your family's well being by going solo. I had difficulties with my ex girlfriend as she didnt want anything to do with my anxiety attacks...I had little recourse unfortunately

I am 58 and understand where you are coming from BBO. 20 years is a long time and can I ask you your thoughts about a joint counseling session (your idea of course) so you and your wife can have a say with an impartial person? At least that will clear the air and hopefully rebuild your foundations to a better level

Running your own business can sometimes cause turbulence (despite your success) in any relationship BBO

Even if your wife has a GP she trusts.....offer to come along for a double appointment with her

I understand about the lack of support as you posted above. It has happened to me and it can be disheartening let alone demotivating

The forums are a safe and non judgemental place for you to post BBO. You are more than welcome to post back as many times as you wish.....at your convenience of course

Thankyou for being a part of the forum family BBO. Your privacy is paramount here

My kind thoughts for you


Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Battlin Business Owner~

Coming here is a pretty good idea, you have those that helped you get your business up and running, and from the sound of it still look to them for advice. When in any strange territory one can benefit from talking to others.

20 years is a long time to be in a partnership with another, and over that time you would expect things to change, having kids does that too, perspectives change and the responsibilities and tasks just keep on multiplying.

I'd expect anyone would understand that the first year or two in a new business is gong to be pretty full on, by the same token going to work is pretty demanding too, so if your wife does the lion's share of family matters as well as working that can make her feel less than valued. Under those circumstances she may not feel encouraging you is what she wants to do.

As responsible adults I'd imagine the onus is on both of you to straighten things out. You said she is unhappy if you leave before things escalate, and you have said you love you wife. Those sound pretty good conditions to work things out. If you find just talking together is not working would you both consider counseling? If both parties want things to work out they normally will.


Thanks Paul,

It's so hard, and yeah, 20 years is a long time. We're both different people now compared to when we began this journey together.

Just the last few years I feel like we're more and more 2 strangers with shared responsibilities who just happen to co-habit in the same space.

At this point, I really don't know if I feel like it's worth it to me. That feeling does vary with the day, but what scares me the most is I'm happier at work than at home, I'm happier alone than at home. Not that being at home is terrible... it just feels empty.

Paul, if you can and are willing, can you share your experience? What I'm trying to say is I feel like I'm giving 100% to get results and improve things for our family and I feel like the only people encouraging me to do that and recognizing those results are not a part of my family.

I don't know if I can get back to the place where being at home makes me happy and if I can't, what's the point?

My wife keeps telling me what would she do without me but honestly I think she'd be fine.

Thanks again for your thoughts Paul. Not sure on counseling, honestly I don't trust people I don't know a whole lot which would impact my ability to be honest in that setting which really makes the whole thing pointless.

Hi BBO, I don't want to take anything away from the question you have asked Paul who was in corporate management, obviously a very high powered job with many decisions to be made and answers to all the questions he had been asked.

I certainly couldn't handle it, being somewhere where I didn't want to be, so it was very brave of him, just as it has been for you to start your own business.

I know how you are feeling because I ended up having my own business handyman/builder but stopped my wife of 25 years from doing the book work because we ended up arguing.

I was also happy at work although there were many days where I was worried about what was going to happen.

I was having counselling which doesn't mean you can't

We were sleeping in different rooms and finally the marriage ended much to my disappointment.

Sorry Paul and Croix to interupt in your reply to BBO. Geoff.

Thx Geoff for your thoughts ...

it's been an up and down couple of months since I first posted here in March... seemed stuff was getting better... but really i think it was just me being busier...

She has been seeing a counselor.... which at times seems to have helped.

Honestly at this point I don't even really know what's going on anymore in my own home. I feel like an outsider, like tonight worked late at the office finishing a client job and came home. Kids were really happy to see me, was awesome... couldn't get two words from the wife...

Just makes me feel what's the point.

Hi Battlin Business Owner,

It’s a pretty rubbish feeling when your partner can’t meet your needs or it feels unpleasant to be at home. I think that is further magnified by the fact that you are getting support elsewhere, which is great as it can really take a toll on your self esteem if you’re not getting any support at all. This sounds silly but have you tried talking to your wife? Have you ever sat down and had an honest conversation with her and just said “what’s going on with us?” and gone from there? Another option is just to not walk away next time, have it out with her and try and get to the bottom of what’s going on. She may say some not so nice things but there’ll be truth in there. I feel like your wife is dealing with some things (and some of those things may be related to you) that I think you really need to get to the bottom of before you can move forward.

Community Member

I hope you don't mind me adding my thoughts here BBO as I've just started a separate thread about my own 20yr marriage and it sounds very similar to yours in that you feel you are living a separate life from your partner, even while you are in the same house. I thought another woman's perspective might help you understand your wife.

Someone else suggested you sit down and have an honest chat with your wife about what's really going on, and I second that. It sounds easy, but I know it's not, especially if you're uncomfortable with emotional discussions. Suggested questions might be: It seems like we don't talk much anymore, is there anything on your mind? or, I know you've been doing most of the housework around here (you said this yourself) and I truly appreciate it, but are you feeling overwhelmed by it all? (if you can afford it could you suggest getting a cleaner once a week?). It's possible your wife had no idea how many hours starting your own business would require and she is feeling as neglected as you are. She is also working outside the home. Juggling a job and family is a lot of effort, I don't just mean the physical I mean emotional. There's the constant thinking about who has school uniforms ironed, what everyone will eat for dinner, helping with homework etc. I think your wife is probably as exhausted as you are, which probably explains why she doesn't have a lot of mental energy to be your cheer squad when you get home. She needs a squad too. If you let her know you are there for her, even if it's just to pick up some takeaway on the way home perhaps, it shows her you are supporting her. Then she will probably be more receptive to supporting you more.

Someone has to go first, and since you are the one here looking for suggestions, there's no reason why it shouldn't be you. Take the initiative, I bet it will be a weight off her shoulders to know you aren't oblivious to the disconnect between you. I guarantee she feels it too (which may explain any affection she's lavishing on the dog tbh).

Best of luck