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The Unsupportive Husband: The Role Of Self-Help Books To Getting The Career You Want

Author: Dr. Tamara Mann, Ph.D.

“In sickness and health,” “til death do us part” – all very powerful words in marriage vows. It’s a common refrain that successful marriages take a lot of work. There are so many components to keeping both people happy with each other, namely good communication, very little drama when it comes to making financial decisions, right?

What do couples do when person A in the relationship wants to make a decision that the person B doesn’t agree with? Option 1 is for person A to do it anyway and risk alienating person B if the decision turns out to be the wrong one. Option 2 is for person A to forget about it altogether and completely acquiesce to the desires of person B. And, of course, option 3 is the great compromise where both parties get a little something out of the deal. Anyone who’s spent any time at all in a long-term relationship has experienced this scenario countless number of times.

The situation gets a little more complicated, however, when the decision in question has to do with making a major career decision. The tricky part here is that the move could be something that person A is really excited about and wants to go through with it even though the decision could potentially be life-changing. What if the spouse doesn’t want life to change? And when you take the gender-neutral rules out of the equation, that familiar book (you know the one about women and men being from different planets) taught us that men seek to solve problems for women when a lot of times women simply want to be supported not directed. So if person A is a woman and she has a male spouse he may be pretty unsupportive of her big career move, particularly if it’s risky or represents any sort of paradigm shift away from what she used to do for a living.

In these tough economic times when so many people are losing their jobs, are underemployed, or simply unhappy and unfulfilled in the jobs they have, it’s vitally important to take the time to get absolutely quiet and still and to listen to your own voice. Not every decision you make is collaborative just because you’re married, because at the end of the day you’re the one who has to live your own life. So what’s a gal to do? Eat right, get enough zzz’s , and add a healthy dosage of good ‘ole self-help guide medicine, that’s what. Because it takes real guts to change course in one’s life, you’ve got to keep that steady stream of positive messages in your head to get strong mentally. On the computer? Use the search term “life coach” and you’ll find the latest intimation of motivational speaker chat whenever you need it. Want to get your daily dose of positivity to carry around with you in old-fashioned form? Let’s take a closer look at a few of the really good motivational books out there, two old school and two newer ones.

Think and Grow Rich. This is a real classic. Published back in 1937, the author Napoleon Hill deftly lays out the secrets to turning away from a life of poverty and towards a life of wealth and success. Hill studied and shares through his writing the techniques and mindsets shared by countless number of uber successful people in a variety of industries. The work has been reprinted a lot over the years and the 21st century version is offered as well. If you’re looking for what many consider to be an original blueprint for achievement, this book (and, in fact, there’s a whole series of related materials) is a great place to start.

Another book that is considered a well-respected cornerstone of people in the market for personal improvement and continual success in life is Steven Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change (published in 2004). Covey takes his readers on a journey filled with illustrative stories about the power of managing one’s life and the powerful importance of embracing interdependence. The book is about how to go about living a principled life in order to achieve success and personal happiness.

If those books are old-school personified, Do You! Twelve Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success by Russell Simmons is a 21st century definitive motivational guide that was published in 2007 and continues to be sold worldwide today. The multi-millionaire music and television entertainment producer, a mega mogul by anyone’s definition, Simmons generously shares key anecdotes from the past 20 years of his career that illustrate the laws of success he’s followed that have made him what he is today.

For those of you who are moved by a more spiritual frame of reference, consider Dr. Michael Beckwith’s The Life Visioning Process: An Evolutionary Journey to Live as Divine Love. One of the co-founders of The Secrets, made popular by The Oprah Winfrey television series, Beckwith’s book (published in 2008) guides readers towards the critical brainstorming phase of figuring out your life’s purpose, what you’re supposed to be doing as a career. A hallmark of this book is the guidance that it offers readers to stripping oneself from the victim mentality and offers solutions towards living a life of empowerment.

Think you don’t have enough time in your life to realistically read all of these books? Get the audio version and listen to them in your car. The point here is that we may be in the year 2010, but there’s nothing new about the need sometimes for a married woman get a little help from someone other than her husband to stand on her own two feet…and still stay married by doing it ethically, morally, and spiritually consistent with your values of course! Whether it’s finding a life coach online, reading the time-tested words of some of the best 20th century coaches, or gleaning the secrets of our favorite new-school sages, there’s an effective message out there for anyone who needs to hear it. All you have to do is look for it.

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About the Author

Dr. Tamara Mann, Ph.D. the author of A Girl’s Worth, a motivational fiction story for adolescent girls, a former elementary school teacher, who has researched the components of effective learning organizations and writes commentary on school reform issues, is a marketing consultant and women empowerment coach and is the author of She began her career as a former NBC page and conducted NBC studio tours.

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