Is Your Business Partnership Risking Divorce?


I’m Richard Chandler, MA, LPC, The Business Partners Counselor. I counsel business owners experiencing communication breakdowns and strife using the skills of marriage counseling but without the romantic component.

Through the communication tools learned and by recommitting to a shared vision for your company, you can stabilize, restore, and revitalize your relationship so your business can thrive.

Bad Business Relationships in the Executive Team can be like Marriage Breakdowns

What are the best options for you as an owner of a company experiencing strife with your business partner or partners?

Financial Friction Between Owners:

  • In contrast to household finances, business financial health is at stake.
  • Owners often have differing viewpoints on how to allocate money.
  • Past money troubles, and future spending are concerns.
  • Partners-owners might disagree on what is the best use of cash-flow going forward.

Business Partners or Leadership Team's Troubles Communicating:

  • Communication no longer feels respectful, open, or even safe between owners.
  • Over time, criticism, bickering, defensive responses, or even unprofessional emotional outbursts may have occurred.
  • Communication breakdown may have evolved into communicating through coworkers.
  • When owners do talk with each other directly, they may be using short, terse communications and try to avoid talking with each other.

Forced to Get Out of the Business:

  • If things have gone downhill to this extent, it is not uncommon for the business partners to be seriously considering how they can buy out the other partner or partners, sell their portion, or walk away from the business.
Two female business partners in conflict

Negative Personal Impact of Business Partner Breakdown:

  • Owner partners may also be struggling with how the business partnership impacts their marriages or romantic connections, due to stress and uncertainty.
  • Spouses often tire of hearing complaints about strife with business partners and begin to push for their husbands or wives to get out of the business.

Business Partnership Rescue

Outcomes of Business Partnership Rescue

  • A stabilized business partner relationship
  • Trust each other to resolve differing perspectives and conflict
  • Understand and adjust for each other's blind spots
  • Past difficulties are behind you, and you are future-focused
  • You and your partner use optimal communication tools
  • A revitalized relationship and business - stronger than ever!

Two-Partner Rescue

  • 8 Week Engagement
  • 10 Sessions
  • 6 Assessments
  • Email Support
  • Between-Session Resources

Three-Partner Rescue

  • 8 Week Engagement
  • 11 Sessions
  • 9 Assessments
  • Email Support
  • Between-Session Resources

Custom Partner Rescue

  • Custom Timeframes
  • Retainer Pricing Available
  • Tailored to Your Unique Needs
  • Hand Picked Assessments
  • Between-Session Resources

With this business partnership package, you and your partner can learn communication skills that are clear and supportive, so you can walk in your door and enjoy your business.

7 Common Issues Dividing Business Partner Owners

  1. Feeling under-appreciated by your partner
  2. Feeling misunderstood by your partner
  3. One partner using partnership resources to get additional work outside of the business
  4. Recurring arguments about the same issues
  5. Feeling insecure about your professional relationship jeopardizing the future of the business
  6. Difficulty relating to your partner’s problems or her or his difficulty relating to yours
  7. You or your partner are going through significant life stressors in your personal lives using up time and energy that has been put into your business
Male business partners angry with each other

Business Partners or Leadership Team Members Can Learn to Communicate Professionally & Skillfully


Counseling and consulting for business partners can be an effective way to get the partnership back on track. If you do decide to end your business partnership, it is more likely that it can be done pragmatically with counseling with less contention.

If your associates are having a hard time fathoming just what business partners' consulting is like, have them look at the marriage pages and articles on my counseling website, where I work with couples.

Much of it relates to business partners. Of course, what is different is that we are working with your professional relationship rather than a romantic relationship.

What is quite similar are the kinds of communication skills and more engaged conversations that occur to help repair the current state of your relationships and have more optimal communication structures.

Once you make repairs, you and your associates can have productive conversations even when your perspective is different. Communicating frustration to a business partner without an argument article is here at this link.

3 Actions for Business Partners To End Criticizing, Fighting, or Avoiding

  1. Stop accepting the status quo and commit to proactively investing in resolving your differences.
  2. Have your partner read this article
  3. Take advantage of Business Partners Counseling

Business Relationships Counseling Rescue Roadmap

“I revitalize resentful business partnerships so partners can love their business again”

I will work with you and your partner(s) over the next three months to restore your business relationship from hopeless and stalled out to revitalized, optimistic, and future-focused!

Watch this video to learn more!


Business Partnership | Leadership Team Package

Business partners at their workplace

With this business partnership package, you and your partner can learn communication skills that are clear and supportive, so you can walk in your door and enjoy your business.

“I help business partners and leadership team members whose communication has hit a dead end to restore their business relationship, going from hopeless and stalled out to revitalized, optimistic, and future-focused!”

Business Partners Rescue: Roadmap to Relationship Transformation

Business Partners Roadmap to Relationship Transformation

Business Partners Counseling Rescue: Roadmap to Relationship Transformation

Phase 1: Stabilize

We begin by stopping the relationship bleeding. We get clear on your business’s current reality. Together, we map out your unique path to partnership and business success. We apply insights from multiple assessments to reveal deeper motivations for rebuilding trust.

No Sudden Exits

- Partners commit to relationship rebuilding
- Reverse discouragement with fair rules of engagement

Mutual Purpose Trust-Building

- Committing to your shared vision
-Gaining confidence in your partner’s good intentions

Assessments for Clarity

- Understanding your partner’s psychology
- Revealing your own and each other’s uniqueness

Business partners work to stablize their relationship.

Phase 2: Revitalize

Learn optimal communication tools that turn arguing into agreeing and distancing into productive engagement. Talk through issues that couldn’t be talked about without things falling apart. Progress from facilitated crucial conversations to unmonitored ones successfully.

Partnership Communication Method

- 3 communication rules for buy-in
- Stop arguing and successfully engage

Discuss the Undiscussable

- How to really listen
- Learn to respond, not react

Communication Field Practice

- Tools to have difficult discussions on your own
- Debrief those conversations for course correction

Phase 3: Thrive

We’ve stabilized and revitalized your business partnership; now it’s time to thrive! Build  momentum with advanced consensus-building communication. Lock in your progress, course-correct in the face of new challenges, and happily travel into your partnership future!

The Friction to Consensus Formula

- Learning to account for differing perception filters
- Searching for mutual ways forward vs. negotiating

Optimizing Strength-Based Roles

- Identifying each partner’s “right work”
- Supercharging cooperation & rewarding collaboration

Partner’s Relationship Transformation

- Applying “No going backward” course corrections
- Traveling to future-focused business partnership destinations

Business Partners Amicable Divorce Counseling

What can you do when your business partnership is beyond rescue?

I facilitate crucial conversations so you and your business partner can continue to talk with each other without the discussion derailing. By talking directly with each other, rather than through your attorneys, you can smooth the transition. Facilitated discussions :

  • Save money that would have been spent on legal fees
  • Get you to a buyout agreement much sooner
  • Significantly reduce disruption for your employees, vendors,  and customers

Facilitating difficult conversations to work towards an amicable business divorce can be done from the outset or at any point that it no longer seems feasible to continue the partnership.

Amicable Divorce for Business Partners

Explore Whether Business Partners Counseling Can Help

Please reach out to me, Richard Chandler, MA, LPC. We can have a short conversation at no cost. I encourage your partner(s) to meet with me at the same time too. Doing so as a video call is preferable, but a phone or text conversation also works.

Through our conversation about how business partner consulting could work for your partner and you, your questions will be answered, and you will know if working together makes sense.

Additional reading on busines relationship strategies: "How to Communicate Frustration to Your Business Partner without an Argument."

© 2023 Richard Chandler, MA, LPC, Masters in Psychotherapy, Licensed Professional Counselor. Business Partners Counselor

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