A high degree of flexibility and mobility is expected in today's job. If both partners Career want - and also children, conflicts are often pre-programmed, for example when one partner wants to change location and the other is tied to a specific professional specialization. couples counselor Dr. Elisabeth Bröschen tells in an interview how to get both together.

Dr. Elisabeth Bröschen has been working as an individual and couples counselor, couples coach, family therapist, supervisor and Projectsand process consultant. One of the focal points of my work is the accompaniment and support of working couples before and during the family phase.

Ms. Dr. Broken, which pairs come to you?

Pairs come to me when they need decision-making help or come into a relationship crisis from professional decision-making situations or changes.

But couples also come because of the Stress, who with the different and high requirements through Family and Job comes along, puts a strain on the relationship.

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What are the difficulties of the couples who are looking for advice?

For example, a young couple in their 30s no longer comes into their long-distance relationship clear: he is a trainee in Munich, she works in a demanding job in Hamburg.

The dinner together takes place via Skype in front of the webcam: He is about to complete a vocational training station in Asia lasting several months, she is slowly thinking about children, a common basis for life is not in sight Balance .

So, above all, couples who are still in the planning phase?

Not only. I recently had a couple mid-40 with an eight-year-old son. Both are self-employed with their own company, both work very much.

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The son's behavioral problems, as well as a relationship crisis in which they seek my help, made them both understand that they need to look for a new balance between work and family if they want to find each other again.

What problems arise for couples through the often required professional flexibility?

Size! Here, too, I have an example: A couple in their late 30s, he works freelance in the advertising industry. After maternity leave with her second child, she wants to return to her old job in the marketing department of a large company Company.

For both, new career opportunities are offered, for everyone in any other city. Both want to stay in Hamburg, because they can have a good care network for the two children.

Are the causes of such conflicts for the more individual or rather social reasons?

Both. How a couple negotiates the topics career and family is, on the one hand, societal. Social role requirements also shape the individual attitudes.

At the same time negotiate Couple these topics with an individual-biographical background: for example, how the parents dealt with these topics, how conflicts were resolved and which role model I have internalized plays an enormous role.

And how can a couple coaching help in all these cases?

Couple coaching helps to become aware of the different factors that determine the individual couple's situation and their Significance to become more aware.

It can therefore lead to initiating changes in the external situation, eg one Application or hiring a domestic help. But it can also be a priority to structure the time of the family and professional situation more appropriately.

So it's all about time management issues?

Not only, it's about Communication and conflicts. A couple can with one Coaching support is also given to communicate more constructively or to resolve conflicts more fairly.

Or the partners discover during couple coaching that unconscious identifications with role models from the family of origin affect professional as well as family decisions and steps To block.

Why do not the pairs recognize such problems by themselves? Why is coaching necessary at all?

I can only control what I am aware of. Think of the relationship as any vehicle that both are traveling with, a “couple's car”:

Nobody would think of that Ideathat a real vehicle like a car or a boat without inspection and maintenance, without clarity as to which direction you want to drive or whether the engine is running properly, without clarity as to who is steering when, who is traveling with you, how much luggage you are taking on board etc., calm and for sure moves.

Aha. So you see yourself as a kind of workshop ...

As the Training I accompany, structure and support an exchange and decision-making process among the partners that is fair and sustainable Solutions possible for everyone involved.

Couples can grow to the challenges and I want to promote this process. In the above picture spoken: it may be that the paarmobil or the family carriage only need to be adjusted shortly. However, it may also be necessary to develop a longer conversion process or a new, more suitable vehicle.

Are the marriages of career couples more detrimental to marriages than traditional marriages, where usually the woman restores her career to the benefit of children?

The challenges of working couples are simply different and it depends on which individual, company and social options are available, such as “couple coaching”.

Life as a couple has challenged couples to development with its different phases of tying-up, family founding, and then fleeing children and aging at all times.

What is so different today?

There are few role models for today's challenges. The life concepts are very individual today. This is also a huge opportunity and a huge challenge.

Our own as well as social expectations of our male or female female Role in family and job have changed profoundly in the last 30 to 40 years.!

And that means?

Each pair, especially when children come into play, has to deal with the visions both of their family situation and their professional development and how they can implement them.

Chances should be wisely!

What are the possibilities for couples with a double career to offer their children a caring home?

The question already includes an important statement: Children need a caring home that promotes self-reliance and development at the same time. This should be kept in mind by partners who both want to or want to do a career.

Children need security and commitment and a lasting interest in their personal development, which also conveys a reliable presence

What does a couple have to do?

Both partners need the ability to assess, with a clear view, who is most important for whom, and who is most likely to compromise at the moment.

And not only in small children, but also in puberty children who can only rub themselves on someone who is there. This requires careful coordination, the inclusion of reliable third parties, a good support network.

Nice theory: But what does it look like in everyday practice?

Sometimes I can direct my child to bed by mobile phone, but not three times a week. And I do not have to be present at every flute prelude of my child, but I have to know when it is especially important and then do it.

How do women, in particular, escape the raven-mother accusation?

By clarifying for themselves and with their partner whether they are doing what is right and necessary for their children without having excessive demands on them.

If both parents do that, women can be blamed confident to encounter.

Compromises are necessary?

In order to master these challenges, the ability to do what I call "cheerful renunciation" is always needed.

In times when we are used to everything, if possible fast and to get it as soon as possible is not exactly popular...

... especially when the woman usually waives!

It is important that sacrifices, where necessary, are not made unilaterally by just one partner and that a couple finds good deals together. This Perspektive creates scope to keep a close eye on children.

As a result, double-carriages, and there are good examples, do not have to demand exactly the same effort from both partners at the same time. This can often happen alternately in phases.

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