Second Marriages: 'Bet the Farm'
By Marita Littauer with Chuck
Noon, MA, LPCC
-- Last time we looked at a couple, Joan and John,
who had trouble finding time to spend enjoying each other. Specificlly,
we addressed how the couple could develop "Creative Time
Together." This week we look at another couple who is dealing
with the loss of a job. If you missed the last installment or
are new to this column, click here.
It was the second marriage for both Rich and Pat. If their expectations
for their first marriage had been high, now they had bet the farm.
They were older, more mature; the children from their first marriages
were grown and off on their own. They had promised to love each
other's offspring, make them welcome in their new home, and never
make their other parent wrong. They were aware that their divorces
had forced their children into new, strange, and frightening circumstances.
It would be just the two of them, working on their lives together,
going forward with their hopes and dreams. They knew something
of their mistakes, were somewhat aware of their shortcomings,
and had resolved that nothing would destroy what they had found
together. They had moved to a fresh location to rebuild their
lives. They left everything behind to start anew. Knowing that
they needed something "greater than themselves," they
had committed their lives to the Lord and found a church for worship
that was ideal. There they had "family," felt nourished,
and made friends. It seemed everything was in place—at least
for a while.
Both Rich and Pat were professionals. Pat was an editor for a
major magazine, and Rich, an insurance executive. Their careers
were on track, money was not a problem—they were secure
in their future, one another, and the Lord.
Recently, there was a coup in Rich's organization, and he, along
with the CEO and other top executives, were thrown out. Rich has
a wide range of experience and thought that getting another position
would be no problem—even if it took awhile. He hadn't anticipated
that his age, now fifty-five, would make it difficult. He hadn't
acknowledged that the business world had become a "younger
place." In the months since his job loss, no career opportunities
have come. Rich has tired of being "over qualified."
He is angry and scared from the inside out. Nothing in his life
has any of the familiar signposts. The world has become a strange
and frightening place.
Rich is beginning to realize that he has always staked his life
on his abilities; his career, position, power, and influence defined
him, gave him his identity and respectability. He has competed
in the corporate marketplace, provided for his family, and seen
to it that Pat has never endured what he had witnessed as the
fate of his parents—until now. It seems that his abilities
no longer count.
While Rich has been struggling, Pat's magazine position suddenly
came to an abrupt end. Although she has been a career person,
she always thought there would be a husband who would take care
of her and see after her needs. After all, hadn't her dad done
With neither of them bringing in any income, they have resorted
to selling off property and investments—netting far less
than their original value, thus hastening more and more sell off.
Now, there is nothing left.
Desperate, Rich has taken a job in a discount warehouse. The
pay is a far cry from what he has known and had assumed would
always be there.
Rich seems to be unable to talk with Pat about any of their circumstances
or his fear and shame over this turn of events in their lives.
When Pat tries to talk about what is happening to them, Rich cannot.
When Pat insists, Rich becomes angry and shuts her out. Pat feels
isolated, confused, and sick at heart about this turn of events
in their lives. But more so, that she and Rich don't seem to be
partners any longer. She finds she distances herself from her
husband and seeks to find her own way in activities that further
Be sure to read the next installment when we will address “The
Prescription” to this problem—starting first with
the issue of Security.
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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