LOVE LINGERS HERE: INTIMATE ENDURING RELATIONSHIPS XV. PLATE TWO: BEING A BREADWINNER (PRODUCING SOCIO-ECONOMIC VIABILITY/CAREERS)
Norming: How Do We Respect Each Other’s Financial and Career Needs?
Arlene and Kevin were wrapped up in several difficult issues regarding priorities in their lives together when they were interviewed. In both cases, some of their basic values have shifted as they have grown older. Arlene seems mainly concerned with acquiring a better balance in her life. For her this means adding some more romance and meaning, and becoming less practical. She would like to grow closer to Kevin, even though earlier in their relationship she was primarily concerned with preserving her independence. While she wants more of Kevin, she is concerned that she is not interested in some of the goals that drive Kevin. She would like her career to continue to be rewarding and hopes that she’s given the opportunity to express more creativity in her work, but she’s also very cautious about allowing her work to become her main focus.
Arlene is concerned that the two of them need to do a better job of planning for their financial
security. She is still the pragmatist in their relationship. In acting from her emerging romantic side, Arlene would love to design and build her own home and she would like to take more time off with John so that they could travel through Europe. She worries about always planning for a rainy day and never taking advantage of what life offers. Arlene doesn’t want life to pass her by. If asked whether she was satisfied with her life, she wants to be able to answer with a resounding “Yes!”
Kevin is dealing with a fair amount of conflict and frustration regarding what he sees in his future. He has added a new pragmatism to his life and mixed it with his romanticism to produce an emergent, though still conflictual, entrepreneurial spirit. He feels that “happiness is expensive” and he often worries that he is not making progress fast enough to ensure a happy future for himself and Arlene. His “dream” is to own several companies that he can “control” and preside over. He would like these companies to have some social worth, such as a chain of grocery stores or natural food stores. Kevin would also like to become more advanced spiritually and wonders if these two goals are at odds with each other. He worries that he-may become too wrapped up in a material life where he will never be content because “there is always something else to strive for.”