Ray in Arizona writes:
We have owned a bar and grill in a small mountain town in Arizona for a little over two years. We bought it on a whim and it was a good investment. My husband still has his business in the city, two hours away. He comes up on the weekends or I go to the city during the week for a couple of days about once a month. The bar is pretty much my business, and I’ve put many long hours into making it a success.
My husband has pretty much lost interest in the bar since this last summer and wants to sell it. He says he’s tired of me being away and wants me to come home to help him with his business and our other property investements. My question is will we sell it and when? Will I spend another winter here in the mountains? Or is there a whole other choice?
The stress of your absence really is wearing down your husband. He wants more than a part-time partner. You are coming into a place where you need to decide what is more important to you – your business or your marriage.
If you decide to sell the bar, it will go fairly quickly, and you would make a nice return on your investment. That seems to be an open avenue, one you can explore at any time. The real problem here is that you don’t want to sell it. This business is your baby, and you like it. Your husband lost interest in this business because of the distance, and because you have it under control. It ceased feeling like a joint venture to him quite some time ago.
I do see you spending another winter in the mountains. Be careful, or your marriage could suffer more. You may want to talk with your husband about a compromise. It isn’t entirely out of the question for the two of you to bring in a working investor. This way, you wouldn’t have to surrender complete ownership, but you would be able to spend more time in the city with your husband. (He really does seem to need your help with his business and your other properties.) Overall, you have a very strong foundation to your marriage, one which can let you have the best of both worlds – a life in the city, and a life in the mountains. But, you will have to learn to relinquish some control over the bar.
With your husband’s consent, the two of you will find an investor or working partner right around the turn of the year. He is local to the bar, and has a medical degree that he no longer uses. He seems to be in his late forties. Even though you would be sacrificing a large percentage of ownership, you will have cash in your pocket and the bar will continue to do well.
For the sake of your marriage, you have two options. Sell, or partner. Partnering would free up a good chunk of your month, and still allow you to have part ownership of the bar. It would make eventually retiring to the mountains much easier!