Don’t Run For Office Unless Your Spouse is 100% On Board
Running for office is a life-changing experience. Win or lose, it will be an time in your life that you’ll never forget. And it’s an undertaking that you cannot do without full dedication and incredible support from those closest to you.
As one of your closest allies, I don’t believe you should ever run for office without 100% support from your spouse. Both as a result of religious conviction and based on practical reality, I simply won’t help or support a candidate whose spouse isn’t their biggest supporter in the endeavor.
This doesn’t mean that they’re always on the campaign trail, knocking doors or fundraising. Just like every relationship, their involvement in your campaign will be utterly unique. Some spouses will play a public role in your campaign, others may play a private one. Still more will stay largely out of the campaign altogether, but still provide their complete support.
What does your spouse want?
As you are exploring candidacy, don’t pressure your spouse. Make sure you understand their goals and where they want your life and relationship to head. Listen carefully to what they have to say. The campaign and your ultimate public service should be an extension of your relationship, not a stumbling block or escape from it.
Don’t give your spouse a deadline.
Campaigns have lots of deadlines, and it’s important that your spouse understand what they are, but when asking them to consider whether they’ll support your run, it’s important that you let them consider it carefully. They may have immediate feedback but let them know that you want there considered input. Ask them to think and pray about it, after which they’ll let you know they’re ready to talk in more detail.
Focus on listening, not selling.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of seeing convincing your spouse that you should run as a sales job. Don’t. You should want their true opinion and talking more than listening is a rookie mistake. You may ‘make the sale’ but you won’t hear or deal with their true concerns. Let them know that you want to fully understand and discuss everything THEY want to talk about. It’s only through this process that you can be convinced that they are truly supportive, not just that you are dragging them along for the ride.
In July, we’ll be releasing a guide to walk you through these and many more questions you need to consider and answer before running for office. In order to receive a free copy as soon as we release it, sign up for our email list here!