We heard from a reader yesterday, "I've been together with my husband for 30 years, am the mother of a teen-age daughter, and we are dealing with elderly parents...so there is much I can relate to! Fortunately, so far, going through various hardships (death of a parent, serious illness) has made us feel closer as we deal with these trials together. Though not to say that there aren't times that we feel stressed and overwhelmed!"
Finding perspective is a valuable strategy when you are dealing with family transitions. It helps to take a step back and see the present situation from a different angle. As high expectations are often difficult to meet, be realistic and, like our reader, you and your relationship can grow from the challenges.
For some couples in the Sandwich Generation, the impetus to examine their relationship comes from different energies that each wants to invest in family and career. Don is torn between his own needs and those of his wife: "We're at different junctures right now. My wife worked part-time in nursing when our children were young. Over the past few years she has discovered a passion for business and has developed her own medical registry. The problem for me is, now that she is immersed in her work, I want to cut back and spend more time together. I'm not sure how we can find a balance."
If there is mutual trust in your relationship, both of you can enjoy the freedom of exploring new options and goals. With her husband’s support, Rhonda, for the first time in 22 years, has achieved space within the marriage. “I have arrived at this crossroad with more confidence and trust in my personal choices. I just hope that my being stronger will not weaken our marriage.”
Are you working on finding balance between nurturing your marriage and still taking care of yourself? Click on the title above if you want to read more about this topic from a male perspective. Then start a conversation with your husband. You may be surprised by what you learn about each other.