He Wants Big Changes
Q: My wife and I live in Oklahoma City with our two children in a fairly nice-sized home. She is a high school teacher, and I work for a software company. Years ago, my friend, who happens to be a wine connoisseur, decided that he had had it working in an office setting and moved to Arizona where he worked at a winery. He took to it quite well and has since started his own vineyard. He's been doing this now for about five years and is finally beginning to see some major profits. Last week my wife and I went to Arizona to visit him and it was there that my friend propositioned me to move down to Arizona and work for him. He spoke of big plans for the winery, and I even got to meet several of his investors. When we came back from the trip I could not stop thinking about quitting my job and moving to Arizona with the family. I am scared to bring it up to my wife because if she says no, I'm not sure how I will take it. I need a change and I think this could be a great thing. Am I being a little too impulsive? -Tyler, 42
Dr. Anna: There are really two issues here, and it makes sense to deal with them separately. First, it sounds like you're feeling like you need to make some big changes. Are you feeling unhappy with your work? Unhappy with where you're living? What is really at play here? Hearing about the possibility of making some big changes clearly woke up some longing in you. Spend some time by yourself and figure out what's been missing for you and what you're really after. When you have a better sense of what is exciting to you and what kinds of things you've been missing—then bring your wife into the conversation. Instead of asking her about moving to Arizona, first share with her how you've been feeling and what you feel is missing. Let her in to how you're feeling. Then bring her into the second issue, which is whether or not moving to Arizona might be possible for you as a family. If she feels the move to Arizona might not be healthy or possible for your family, then ask her to work with you on making other changes to meet your needs.
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.