Bill and Sally have been married 15 years. They have two children, Kristin 9 and Rob 6. Bill has worked since college at one job in the pharmaceutical industry. He has earned enough so that Sally has been able to stay home with the children and they have had a comfortable lifestyle. Bill always thought he’d be employed at the same company.
Bill lost his job 18 months ago, and has not been able to find another one. Bill is holding out for a professional job like the one he had. He is getting fewer and fewer interviews, and is angry and depressed. Bill and Sally have been using up their savings, and are now starting to withdraw from Bill’s retirement accounts. Sally is scared and has difficulty having Bill at home with his moods and depression.
A marital mediator or other professional may be able to help Bill and Sally view Bill’s job loss as a joint problem. This makes Bill feel more supported at home. Sally now helps Bill in his job search actively, by finding leads that Bill follows up on. This helps Sally think about re-entering the job market to help provide stability for the family. She is afraid, because she never meaningfully entered the job market, but is starting to visualize beginning and building a career.
Bill and Sally can think of other fields that Bill can enter that he might enjoy and might help provide a livelihood for the family. Bill and Sally’s lives are changing, and even though they don’t have the income they once had, they are hopeful, smiling at each other, and feel like a team.
This case study is fictional and does not represent any real person.