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I Know What I Want … How Do I Get My Spouse to Support It?

Yes or No choiceI am proud of you! You have put in your time, done your inner work, and figured out what you want. Now, how do you get your spouse to support you? This is obviously a broad question. Support you doing what? Going to medical school? Taking an art class on the weekend? Saving money?

Well, strangely, the answer is pretty much the same, no matter what it is.  Here’s what you don’t do:

1)   Take it personally when your spouse is not as excited as you are, or is even hostile to your idea.

2)   Think that your spouse needs to understand why this is important to you.

3)   Demand that your spouse be your own personal coach or cheerleader.

4)   Worry that your relationship is in danger if you don’t do this together.

This may be a time in your life when you need to support yourself without permission from those closest to you. This doesn’t mean your spouse does not love you! You may be being guided in a different direction than your spouse for a reason you can’t understand yet. It doesn’t mean you are abandoning your spouse if you heed the call. You are being faithful by being a responsible adult and doing what needs to be done. If you benefit, your spouse will almost certainly benefit. That being said, what if you need some extra help from your spouse to make things happen? Ask, by all means. If they say no, don’t give up right away. Negotiate until you have a workable solution. If (s)he doesn’t want to watch the kids while you take your class, think about hiring a babysitter. Or, see if you can take your class at a time that would work out better for your spouse. The important thing is that you accomplish what you need to accomplish, not that your spouse show his/her support in a specific way. He/she may be showing support in a way you are not aware of. This is very often the case. You can do this! You can love yourself, and take care of yourself, and you can love your spouse, even if (s)he is not supporting you the way you would like.