My wife's career switch

'I am struggling with the effect on our life when my wife quits her good paying fulltime job to pursue a career in the arts. What would you do?'

'After five years of marriage, my wife has decided that she wants to change her career completely. She has worked full-time as a doctor's assistant for over twenty years and is now totally committed to the art academy. Due to circumstances she couldn't study arts after high school, but it has always been her dream. She is already working less hours in order to prepare herself for the entrance exam of the academy. I notice that I'm struggling with this turnaround.

Of course we discussed it and I'm happy she is pursuing her dream. But we will spend less time doing things together and she will surely meet new people who share her passion. We'll be financially tight. An expensive dinner, vacation or even far travels? Out of the question for the time being. On reflection, I'm upset about that. What would you do in my position?'

'The fact that you discussed the changes in advance doesn't predict how you'll eventually experience them. Only now you really feel the consequences of the choices that your partner made. My advice is twofold: first, make sure you talk with your partner about your feelings, without trying to change the situation or to dissuade her from her plans immediately. You need space for letting go of your old lifestyle and getting used to the changes it brings about in your relationship. Second, decide for yourself what is necessary for you to be happy in life and how much money you need for it. Your wife made that consideration and prefers less money over her pursuing the arts. You may find happiness in other things. That's something to discover for yourself.' - Roos

'So great that your wife is finally pursuing her dream! I would support her in all possible ways. I would really be happy that she felt the space in the relationship to do what she had wanted for so long. In addition, I would check calendars with her and reserve at least one day per month for a day off together. And then it's the trick to come up with outings that don't cost a fortune but do ensure good quality time. Comfort yourself with the thought that the lack of money and scarcity of time won't last forever. Your wife will eventually graduate, right? And about those far-flung trips: who knows where you're going to travel, thanks to your wife's exhibitions!' - Rina

-> What would you do?



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