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Second Marriages: 'Bet the Farm' Part 1

Second Marriages: 'Bet the Farm' Part 2

Second Marriages: 'Bet the Farm' Part 3

Read previous columns by Marita Littauer

Marita Littauer: Leading the Leaders (video)

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Could Your Marriage Survive a Job Loss?
(Bet the Farm -- Part 4)

By Marita Littauer with Chuck Noon, MA, LPCC
Guest Columnist -- In this series, we have been looking at a case history of a couple who, in a second marriage for each, were so sure that they had what it took to make their marriage work so it did not end in divorce as their previous marriages had done. They were doing well until each faced career struggles brought on by a changing economy. If your marriage is in a similar situation, the following exercise will be helpful. If this is the fist installment of this series you have read, please go back and read the introduction and Bet The Farm parts 1, 2 & 3 for the greatest benefit.

1. In a communication exercise format, each spouse should talk through his and her fears with one another. In a written format, list the worst case scenario for the coming months. What is the worst that could happen? Flip the paper over (indicating two sides of the coin) and write out the best case scenario, all the good that could come in spite of financial losses. This exercise should draw the husband and wife together. Additionally, after completing the assignment the couple would see that much of the situation is under their control. They have a choice whether they make the best or the worst of these circumstances. They can distance themselves from each other and from God, living in fear. Or, they can take this time to draw closer to each other, to God, walking in faith and embarking on a new adventure.

2. It is a mistake for people to identify themselves strictly with their current job. Individually the spouses should write out their self-identity, listing all the things that make up who they are--in light of what they would want their grandchildren to remember about them. This will help each to remove their focus from the unimportant, their profession, and on to the enduring.

So all their work is useless, like chasing the wind. Ecclesiastes 2:26B (NCV)

3. Set common and personal goals for growth. For example, the couple might decide to spend one hour a day in Bible study, they might choose to work on their physical health by spending time in exercise together, or learn to cook. This shift in their career focus will allow them more time for personal growth. Working toward achieving these goals will keep the couple from dwelling on the negative while making good use of the available time.

4. Spouses, independently, should write out their expectations of the other during this trying time. Then come together and discuss them, agreeing upon changes that each is willing to make to meet the other’s expectations. Some expectations may prove to be valid; others will need to be thrown out once they are verbalized. Once the expectations are clear and agreed upon, resentment, hostility, and anger toward one another will be minimized.

Watch for the beginning of the next series, Sacrificed Her Career, which will address the impact of a major heath crisis on a marriage and look at the core issues of Care Giving, Personal Fulfillment, and Career Options.

If this is the first installment of this column you have read, we encourage you to click here to read previous articles.

Marita LittauerMarita Littauer is the author of 13 books and is President of CLASServices Inc. She can be reached through

Chuck Noon is a licensed professional counselor specializing in marriage. Chuck is married to Marita Littauer.  For more information visit:

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