In the glow of wedded bliss, deepening commitments, and the possibility of brand spanking new pans, silverware and candle holders ~ it’s hard to imagine that anything aside from forgotten table decorations, bickering in-laws, or perhaps an early new member of the family could possibly break the spell.
And you’d be right to feel this way. Newly wedded bliss is a pretty heady spell. It’s yummy and should be relished to the fullest. And who the heck wants to think about their work situation when a honeymoon in paradise is just around the corner? Not many. It’s a time of celebration, and so it should be.
Work stressors left unaddressed between two people can leave a taste of something not great that hovers right under the blissfulness of the wedding day and on into the first year as Mr. and Mrs. And that taste can taint an otherwise magical memory.
In an average year an average working man or woman will spend approximately ¼ of their 24-hours-a-day working. If someone gets laid off, or their hours get reduced, or they hate what they’re doing… that’s about 2,200 hours a year partially dedicated to “what do I do now?” and/or “get me out of here!” And guess where that stress ends up? At home.
Having a Plan B when it comes to unforeseen work changes or challenges is like knowing that your friend made it safely home after a long flight. It’s comforting. On some level in the brain it activates a sense of safety and when two people feel safe together and like they have each other’s backs, they have a pretty solid foundation.
I do want to acknowledge that it can be tough to shift out of that all-encompassing feeling of romantic connection and can’t-keep-my-hands-off-you to “Hey honey, what will we do if one of us loses or leaves our job?” So celebrate with a glass of champagne and some serious hands-back-on-each-other activity afterwards because having those conversations is an act of love.
Here are 8 ways to say I love you and win at the tough conversations:
- Set a date, a start and end time. Maximum two hours to begin. Don’t go over.
- Honesty: This is the time to share the tough stuff. If you know on some level that you’re not going to last much longer in your current career, now’s a good time to start figuring out what you’ll do.
- Respect: If eye-rolling, heavy sighing, or any other signs of no longer listening to and considering each other start showing up, take a break.
- End Goal: At the start, agree on the final destination. For example: by the end we want a clear financial back up plan that we build towards to cover any surprises that might happen.
- Action & Next Date: Design 2 or 3 action steps, assign them, and put another time on the calendar.
- Commitment: To not putting things off.
- Appreciation: Share 2 appreciations about your partner at the end of each date.
As you’re planning on being married for the rest of your lives, there’s a good chance that a work change will impact you or your partner. So play smart and be ready for it. And remember: Get help when needed. Doing it alone isn’t the best plan. But you already know that ~ that’s why you’re getting married!
Clara Chorley is the founder of Clarity Unlimited. She has an extensive and unique international background as a Career Transition Coach, professional speaker and program management consultant for Africa-based humanitarian organizations. She has worked and travelled through 40 countries and 5 continents, is author of the best-selling book T.U.R.N: 4 Steps to Clarity in your Life and Career, TEDx presenter, and currently lives in San Francisco, California.