Which way do you go?

Girl with the sad looks on the chessboard. Close-up.You and your spouse have managed to build a solid marriage while also crafting successful careers. Now you are facing a difficult choice, both of you have been given an amazing opportunity for career advancement … only it takes you in two different directions. Now what do you do?

Outdated theories might say you should follow the money, but one has to ask, is money enough? Will it be enough money to make up for asking your partner to take a step back from their own dreams? Will it be enough money to support both of you if the other is out of work? There is more at play in this conundrum than just money. Ultimately, the choice lay between you and your spouse, but here are a couple of things to think about to help you on the path to your decision.

WILL EITHER CHOICE LEAVE THE OTHER WITHOUT A JOB?

With each opportunity comes an opportunity cost. It’s important to understand what the cost of your promotion will be to your spouse and to your marriage. You have to consider what the job prospects in their field are in this new city. If it will be more difficult for one of you to find work than the other, that should be a part of the equation when making your decision.

WILL EITHER CHOICE MEAN A SIGNIFICANT SETBACK IN THE OTHER’S CAREER?

There are some choices that could be detrimental to a career. For example, if your partner wants to become a Broadway playwright in New York City then following you to Minnesota would be a significant obstacle, one that could potentially prevent them from ever realizing their dream. It’s critical to weigh both the benefits and the costs in your decision.

WILL EITHER CHOICE CREATE FEELINGS OF RESENTMENT IN THE OTHER?

It’s difficult to acknowledge feelings of resentment when you are sincerely trying to support your partner, whom you love. But conversely, pushing those feelings down won’t guarantee you’ll never have to deal with them, it will however guarantee that when you do deal with them it will be explosive and ugly. Resentment is relationship poison. So admit that those feelings are a possibility and talk about it together.

All of our lives are intricate webs of relationships, careers, and happiness (just to name a few). The toughest choices usually involve more than one aspect of your life. It may seem like an easy decision – my career is taking me to Chicago therefore I must move to Chicago. But uprooting and relocating your entire life is a big picture sort of deal. It involves your relationships with your spouse, your family, your friends, it involves not only your career but partner’s, all of which is directly related to your happiness. Will it be easy? No. So make sure step back and look at the entire picture, see the whole board, and speak with your partner openly and honestly before you come to a decision.

 

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