A Commuter Marriage

Chuck thought Marita should support his job move. She thought he should consider her job needs, too.

Three years ago, because of some upheaval in Chuck's industry as a counselor, he was forced to seek new employment. When he couldn't find anything locally, he began to look out-of-state and found a job in Colorado, five-and-a-half hours away from their New Mexico home. The problem was, Marita didn't want to move out of state: "I have an established business with great employees and a creative job I enjoy. We have good friends and a strong church here."

While they'd moved several times before for his job, Marita told Chuck she wasn't moving this time. She didn't want him to take the job so far away.

But then one day Chuck came home and told her he'd accepted the position. His unilateral decision angered Marita, who began to make life "very unpleasant. We had several long, tearful, heated 'discussions,'" she says.

Chuck was surprised by Marita's response. "Marita has followed me in several moves. While I always had a job, I couldn't quite get ahead. So when the economy turned downward and I lost my position, I was crushed. I tried to pursue employment locally but just wasn't able to find anything in my field. Believing better opportunities awaited me as a counselor in Colorado, I became licensed there and was able to find a job.

"When I told Marita, she was upset," Chuck continues. "I couldn't understand why she wouldn't want to move if it meant my success. After all, she'd moved before. I felt she needed to support me."

Marita felt differently: "Why does everything have to be about his job? Doesn't he realize how important my business and having security is? Plus, if this new job doesn't work out, what will we do? My business has been supporting us during Chuck's unemployment."

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