Case Study: Risk versus security and marriage mediation

Brian has always been the entrepreneurial type. During their 25 year marriage, he has engaged in a number of business ventures, and his income has fluctuated greatly. He does not get nervous about borrowing money to live on when times are lean. Julie is more conservative. She has been working as a librarian for many years, and is looking forward to retirement with a small municipal pension. Brian and Julie have a paid-for house, and little other savings.

Brian’s friend has offered to include him on a new venture. Julie feels strongly that he should stay with his current job, which seems steady and provides and adequate income. Brian is bored with his job and wants new challenges. They are constantly fighting over this and are both starting to contemplate divorce.

In this case a marital mediator or other professional may be able to help the couple consider some options they had not thought of. The house is the most important thing to Julie, which she views as security. She feels that as long as she has the house and her pension, she will be all right. Brian and Julie decide to transfer title to the house to Sally so that it is insulated from any future claims of the new business. With that in place, the couple feels more comfortable going forward with their marriage, and Julie begins to relax and enjoy Brian’s new-found zeal for his work.

This case study is fictional and does not represent any real person.

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