As mentioned in a previous posting, my wife Lisa and I made the difficult decision to downsize. Decision making as an individual is one thing, decision making as a couple is quite another. It took a long time to finalize our decision before we acted on it.
Once the realities of my personal and professional situation sunk in, I knew pretty quickly what I had to do. I needed to retreat to what I called my “bunker” strategy. That was to fall back to a financial position that I could defend. That meant selling my Mercedes and our big executive home in The Woodlands with the swimming pool. No problem selling the Mercedes, but the house was another issue. It was not only my house but the home of my wife and two young children.
Lisa and I spent many months discussing and going through the emotional upheaval related to the situation. Even though the financial picture and the need to downsize seemed quite clear to me, it was difficult for Lisa to come to grips with. I didn’t fully understand her emotions at the time. My parents, with the best of intentions, came for a visit and sat down with Lisa to try and sway her to my way of thinking . . . big hearts, but a BIG mistake. That only made for more tension and more months of emotional discord.
I previously posted that during this time I did a great deal of praying and spiritual soul-searching. As a result, I eventually began to understand why my wife and I weren’t connecting on what I thought was a clear, rational, financial decision. It wasn’t just a financial decision to my wife! After we were married, we had made a commitment to her being a stay-at-home mom for our kids. Her home was now being threatened. While I was looking for my family’s empathy because of my job loss, the humbling truth was that my wife needed just as much understanding and support. Her world, and the world of her children, was being turned upside down.
When I looked to God for understanding, He revealed my self-centered focus. And I began to see the true heart of my wife which all along was focused on our children, our family life, and our home, not the house or my job. It was incredibly humbling and inspiring at the same time. The actual downsizing came quickly and seamlessly after that.
Coach Steven Umbach
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