When it’s necessary to make difficult decisions in a marriage, what can be the consequences? When these decisions impact you and your partner in major ways, what will the marriage look like during and after the dust has settled?
I explore these ideas, and also the realities of what happens in a relationship and marriage when these things – life things – happen in part two of my conversation with Katie Sullivan today.
If you haven’t already, please be sure to check out Episode 26 for part one of our discussion.
Not only can decisions have a big impact on a couple, so can unexpected accidents that could force the need to be vulnerable. And this happened for Katie and it had a profound impact on her connection with Mike.
Determined to make careers from their dedication and passion for music coupled with the unfortunate circumstances of an economic downturn, Katie and Mike decided to further their education by moving away from their native California and family to rural Virginia to pursue doctorate degrees.
Their marriage needed to balance two busy schedules with full classes, teaching assignments, and performances.
But as they progressed further in their academic careers, Katie saw that their hectic schedules and work demands were leading very quickly to burnout.
She also started to realize that to pursue an academic career for the long run was not going to provide the financial security she first believed it would: Tenured track positions were few and far between, and adjunct professors made relatively very little for their work.
Katie and Mike had to face some challenging choices:
- Is it possible to have a different kind of a life and marriage when the foundational core of the relationship needed to change?
- Whose career is more important?
- How could they choose the next steps together?
- How is it possible to keep doing the things that you thought was your life’s purpose, when it can cause so much tension and disconnection?
And then Katie was injured.
What could’ve been a terrible moment for them was a blessing in disguise: a turning point for them both.
By providing care for Katie as she recovered from her injury, it was a reminder for them both of the love they had for each other. They were forced to be vulnerable with each other.
Building on this foundation of love and vulnerability, Katie and Mike started to work toward a life that was not led by the need to pursue careers in music.
The surprising twists and turns reveal that the building blocks of love and being vulnerable in relationship can be the necessary foundations for a meaningful and fulfilling relationship.
- When life plans change, how can the marriage adapt?
- When success doesn’t always equal happiness, what becomes important?
● Katie Sullivan’s Website: Rise Through Strife
● Katie’s Podcast: Rise Through Strife Podcast
● Life Stuff 101: lifestuff101.com | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook
● Mio Yokoi: Registered Psychotherapist