Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Economy, Relationships, and Two Careers

Yesterday Meg posted about the economic problems and weddings (and then posted this great comment later) and I mentioned a bit about how the economy is affecting my fiance and my decision about where we will start our married life. So, I thought I would write a bit more on the subject, because it is one that I think affects many relationships. Job decisions are difficult when they affect one person--you. They are even more difficult when they affect more than just you--you, your spouse and, if applicable, your children. Growing up as a military brat, I experienced this first hand. By the time I got to ninth grade, I had attended five schools in five years. My girlfriend (and BM) is currently in Munich, (which I think is awsome--see the picture) because of her husband's job. But finding work has not been easy and a recent law school grad, she has been frustrated by the career sacrifice.

We have decided that my fiance will leave his job working with his parents to join me in DC next year, so I can accept my better-paying job offer. In better economic times, we had thought that I would be able to get a job where he is working so that he could continue to take advantage of a unique career opportunity that also allowed him to be close to his family. That has not turned out to be the case. So, he is taking a leap of faith and sacrificing his career opportunity in the hope that he will be able to find something challenging and worthwhile. I know that we are the lucky ones, because so many are suffering so much more than us from the economic downturn. But, it is difficult to have to decide how to prioritize two careers. It puts a burden on both parties. We have tried very hard to recognize that this is a decision we are making together because it is the best for us as a couple, but its not always easy when the decision appears to benefit one of us more than the other. When we met with our priest on Valentine's day he said, "compromise is not always 50/50." How true!!

I do believe in my heart of hearts that everything happens for a reason. And that we will make the best of this opportunity and that, hopefully, it will open up doors to opportunities we could not have imagined or planned for. Marriage is scary. It requires a tremendous amount of faith to say, no matter what happens, we are going to do it together. But, I also hope that together we will have the the courage to take risks and take advantage of opportunities that come our way even if they come from the most unlikely sources. I wish each of you the best and my thoughts and prayers are with you as you deal with whatever impact the economy has on your relationship and as you contemplate the enormity of tying your life to another's.


Kelley at My Island Wedding said...

You and your fiance sound truly unique. My best to you both... you sound like you have your head on your shoulders (without sounding like an old lady...) and you have the right goals in mind.

Together. Excellent.
Best of luck.

a mindful bride said...

Thank you so much for your sweet comment. It's hard figuring this stuff out and I'm glad to know someone else things maybe we are somewhere near the right track :)