Could Your Marriage Survive a
(Bet the Farm -- Part 4)
By Marita Littauer with Chuck
Noon, MA, LPCC
-- In this series, we have been looking at a case history
of a couple who, in a second marriage for each, were so sure that
they had what it took to make their marriage work so it did not
end in divorce as their previous marriages had done. They were
doing well until each faced career struggles brought on by a changing
economy. If your marriage is in a similar situation, the following
exercise will be helpful. If this is the fist installment of this
series you have read, please go back and read the introduction
and Bet The Farm parts 1,
2 & 3
for the greatest benefit.
1. In a communication exercise format, each spouse should talk
through his and her fears with one another. In a written format,
list the worst case scenario for the coming months. What is the
worst that could happen? Flip the paper over (indicating two sides
of the coin) and write out the best case scenario, all the good
that could come in spite of financial losses. This exercise should
draw the husband and wife together. Additionally, after completing
the assignment the couple would see that much of the situation
is under their control. They have a choice whether they make the
best or the worst of these circumstances. They can distance themselves
from each other and from God, living in fear. Or, they can take
this time to draw closer to each other, to God, walking in faith
and embarking on a new adventure.
2. It is a mistake for people to identify themselves strictly
with their current job. Individually the spouses should write
out their self-identity, listing all the things that make up who
they are--in light of what they would want their grandchildren
to remember about them. This will help each to remove their focus
from the unimportant, their profession, and on to the enduring.
So all their work is useless, like chasing the wind. Ecclesiastes
3. Set common and personal goals for growth. For example, the
couple might decide to spend one hour a day in Bible study, they
might choose to work on their physical health by spending time
in exercise together, or learn to cook. This shift in their career
focus will allow them more time for personal growth. Working toward
achieving these goals will keep the couple from dwelling on the
negative while making good use of the available time.
4. Spouses, independently, should write out their expectations
of the other during this trying time. Then come together and discuss
them, agreeing upon changes that each is willing to make to meet
the other’s expectations. Some expectations may prove to
be valid; others will need to be thrown out once they are verbalized.
Once the expectations are clear and agreed upon, resentment, hostility,
and anger toward one another will be minimized.
Watch for the beginning of the next series, Sacrificed Her
Career, which will address the impact of a major heath crisis
on a marriage and look at the core issues of Care Giving, Personal
Fulfillment, and Career Options.
If this is the first installment of this column you have
read, we encourage you to click here
to read previous articles.
Littauer is the author of 13 books and is President of CLASServices
Inc. She can be reached through www.classervices.com.
Chuck Noon is a licensed professional counselor specializing
in marriage. Chuck is married to Marita Littauer. For more
information visit: www.chucknoon.com
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