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Empowerment Systems

"........When Change is the Challenge."

Conscious Evolution

Empowerment Systems Newsletter, #11

"Is This a Trend?"

Laurie Weiss, Ph.D.


Craig and Warren are both recently retired executives. Craig's wife, Marcy, owns and operates a website design firm. Warren's wife, Sharon, owns an exclusive gift shop. Both businesses are successful, and each woman finds business ownership personally satisfying and rewarding. Both women requested couples coaching for similar reasons. Their husbands were interfering in their businesses.


Craig and Marcy were newlyweds. It was a long-distance romance, and they both were delighted when his retirement allowed them to be together. His unspoken plan was to help her with her business so that she could work less, and they could spend more time together. Her plan, also unspoken, was to continue to develop her business in order to sell it in a few years and fund her own retirement.


Craig enthusiastically earned his certification in web design. He found the new information fun and refreshing after years of heavy corporate responsibility. Marcy was delighted that he was busy and happy, until he started to help her with her work. She found his suggestions insulting. It was her business, she was the expert, she supervised many designers and negotiated profitable contracts. Now he, a novice, was trying to tell her what to do!


Warren and Sharon did talk to each other about their plans and goals. Warren felt that his expertise could be put to good use in Sharon's business. He convinced her that expanding the business would create long term benefits for both of them. She decided to go along with his ideas.


They made plans together, expanded their capacity, hired several new employees, and Warren started pressuring everyone to be more productive. Sharon began to hate going to work. She had loved the personal contact with her customers, but now she spent most of her time managing employees and trying to keep Warren calm.


Both women knew they were angry about their husbands' interference, but neither could communicate why. When the men discovered the cause of their spouses' feelings during the coaching process, both were astonished to learn about the negative effects of genuinely trying to help their wives. Neither of the men had thought much about how they were going to find a meaningful way to fill their time after retirement, and simply picked up what was convenient. As the women learned to protect their own boundaries, the men each explored their own options for finding fulfilling activities.

The couples do not know each other.


Coaching Tip: Life planning for retirement is just as important as career planning before retirement.


 Copyright 2001, Empowerment Systems. May be transmitted or reproduced in its entirety only, including this copyright line.

Jonathan B. Weiss, Ph.D. and Laurie Weiss, Ph.D. have helped thousands of people make significant changes in their lives. Working together at Empowerment Systems for 29 of their 40 years of marriage, they maintain a coaching, consulting, and psychotherapy practice in Littleton, Colorado, USA.


506 West Davies Way
Littleton · Colorado · 80120
303.794.5408 · Fax
303.794.5379 · Phone
800.594.4594 · Toll-Free
weiss@empowermentsystems.com · E-Mail


"Committed to helping people use all of their inner resources
to create satisfying and fulfilling lives."