Talking through Tough Times

My husband and I have been doing some soul searching lately. We don’t make a lot of money, and we’re beginning to realize that the things that we’re passionate about aren’t going to make us any.

We are passionate about our family and making sure that we raise our kids without sending them to day care. Neither of us went to day care and were taken care of either by our parents or relatives and we want the same for our kids. Unfortunately, that means that they’re going to grow up having to sacrifice things for time. We will get to spend time together, but they probably won’t have the nicest clothes or coolest toys. I’m struggling with how to negotiate my desire to give them everything they want and be there for them as much as I believe we should.

Last night, we had a hard conversation about what we wanted to do job-wise. We’re both frustrated and both took things personally. Nothing was meant as a personal attack, but when strong emotions are involved it’s difficult to not take things personally. But we kept talking anyway, always reassuring the other that what we were saying wasn’t meant to be taken personally. Being honest is hard and looking at your life and realizing it may not be exactly what you wanted is hard, but the important thing is that we’re talking about it.

Ultimately, nothing was resolved last night. And I think that was ok. I’m one that likes to have a resolution at the end of a conversation or argument, but in this case, there really wasn’t one. We weren’t arguing even though we felt like we were, and eventually, we just had to go to bed, knowing that we’ll have to pick up the conversation today but hoping to gain some clarity in the meantime

I guess my advice is to build a relationship with your spouse where you can be honest even when it’s hard and know that, no matter what, you’re in it together. The only way to really do that is to build a lot of trust by being honest from the outset of the relationship and setting honesty as an expectation for yourselves and each other. That way, when a hard conversation has to happen, you know that there’s integrity in that conversation and that you’re working together to do the best thing for your family.

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