Relationships are a marathon and not a sprint. In this chapter, you’ll learn some of the skills, tactics, and tools we’ve discovered for running this marathon. We cover things to do before you are in trouble, as well as after you get into trouble in your relationship.

We hope our suggestions will stimulate other thoughts of things you can do. Take our ideas, modify and evolve them, and make them your own.


An entrepreneur spends an enormous amount of time communicating. Endless meetings, presentations, email, customer situations, and random interactions consume much of an entrepreneur’s time. At the same time, great communication is the foundation of a great relationship. This is true in all contexts; it’s especially true with your partner.

At the end of a long day when Brad gets home, he’s often mute. It’s not that he’s unable to speak, it’s that he is simply all talked out. Amy, however, has often been talking to our dogs for the past few hours and is ready for some human interaction.

Early in our relationship, when Brad would walk through the door, the conversation would begin. “How was your day?” “What did you do?” “Who did you see?” “Did that thing you were working on go well?” “I fixed the blah.” “I talked to your mom and we discussed blah blah blah.” “Mary and blah blah blah were blah blah blah about blah blah blah.” Amy had a busy life, and while we worked together for the first few years of our relationship, we ...

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