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Navigating Your Relationship During a Career Change

Talking to Your Partner About a Career Change

A big career change can take a toll on even the healthiest relationships. Here are five recommendations for a smoother, more supportive transition.

Explain your reasons. If you always come home stressed, exhausted and miserable, it's probably pretty clear why you want to make a career change. In some cases, however, a partner may not understand your reasoning. Explain the feelings and motivations that have pushed you to your decision. Remain calm and receptive even if your partner struggles to do the same. By outlining your reasons, you can create an atmosphere of understanding that will set a stronger foundation for support.

Alleviate concerns. In certain instances, a career change can create worry for a partner. He or she may be concerned about having to take on added financial responsibilities while you look for a new job. New demands may also force a shift in parenting and other domestic responsibilities. Jealousy and resentment can also become factors, especially when partners find themselves stuck in unfulfilling jobs of their own. Sit down with your partner and talk over his or her concerns. Try to be empathetic and discuss ways you might be able to compromise, so one person isn't making too many sacrifices for the other's benefit.

Become a team. Plot out ways you can work together to meet inevitable challenges that come with career change. Do your best to meet your partner's needs, while also expressing your need for support. Spell out the benefits of becoming mutually invested in your career change, and explain how the decision will enhance both of your lives. A united approach can make all the difference during stressful life changes. It can also head off resentment before it ever has a chance to build.

Don't neglect your relationship. A new job can be an exciting and exhausting endeavor. Make sure it doesn't become your sole focus, or your partner will begin to question the move. When it comes to balancing your career with a loved one, there should be no competition. Make sure to set aside time every week for activities that promote closeness. You should also try to take a few moments, even on your busiest days, to let your partner know you are thinking of them.

Maintain a two-way street. When it comes to smoothly sailing the troubled waters in a relationship, compromise is key. Try not to put your needs over those of your partners. If your career change does take precedent right now, make sure you let your partner know that this is only temporary situation that will balance out in a certain amount of time.

Express gratitude. Most loving partners are willing to accept extra responsibilities if it will make their loved ones happy. The catch? They usually need to have their efforts and sacrifices acknowledged. When we fail to show gratitude for a partner's supportive behaviors, we sow the seeds of resentment. Make sure you express how grateful you are to have the support of your partner. You can also show appreciation by listening and reciprocating when your partner faces his or her own career or emotional challenges.

Our caring therapists can help you and your partner build a happier relationship. Contact us today!