Married to a Freelancer: The Up’s and Down’s of Loving Someone During a Career Change

Friday, November 16, 2018

If you recently underwent a career change or are considering making a professional move in the future, you’re probably aware of the ways that this incredible decision can impact your own life. Have you ever imagined being married to a freelancer?

After all, a new career can open doors for a newfound love of your job that you never knew was possible, new opportunities, greater income, and even the chance to meet amazing new people that you otherwise never would have met! But what about the impact that this decision has on those around you? You know, those people that have vowed to love and support you no matter what?

Looking back on it now, my decision to leave the law was necessarily selfish. To get through that moment in my life, to truly succeed, I had to focus on myself and my own fears. But I would be lying if my seemingly crazy decision also didn’t impact the people I love most. While many family members and friends were touched by my actions during this time, the person that comes most easily to mind is my now-fiancé. 

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be married, engaged, or dating someone that is going through this transitionary phase of their own life…you’re in luck! Because I sat down with my own partner in an effort to gain a better idea of his perspective while I was making the very scary transition from corporate attorney to freelance writer.

In fact, we’ve taken some his best tips and tricks for supporting your loved one during a career change and compiled them in this easy to reference list!

Be Understanding and Compassionate

When married to a freelancer, make sure to show understanding and act with compassion.
When married to a freelancer, make sure to show understanding and act with compassion.

First and foremost, you have to act with compassion. You may very well have your own reservations or concerns about your partner’s career aspirations but, believe me, your spouse has probably worried about those same issues themselves already to a much more significant degree. 

For me, there wasn’t a single concern that my spouse brought to my attention that I hadn’t already spent hours upon hours mulling over, and his compassionate attitude was one of the only things that helped pull me out of those moments of funk and self-doubt. 

Read more: Importance of Work-Life Balance

When in doubt, I find that it helps to ask yourself one simple question: “Would I want to hear this advice myself if I was going through this same situation?” Nine times out of ten, if anything is at all fishy, that answer will almost certainly be no!

Give Your Partner Space to Process When They Need It

As a couple, make sure to give space to each other.
As a couple, make sure to give space to each other.

Something that my partner was really amazing at while I was transitioning out of private practice was his uncanny ability to give me space when I needed it. 

At the end of the day, the decision to stop being a lawyer and, instead, become a writer was one that was purely my own and it required many nights of self-reflection. The ability to consider all of my options in a non-judgmental and compassionate space allowed me to explore my true passions and, ultimately, arrive at my decision to become a writer. 

Read more: Interesting Freelance Couple Story

I’m not sure if I ever could have arrived at this decision (or at a minimum, not as quickly) had I not had this space!

Be a Kind Sounding Board

Make sure to show support to your partner to further empower your relationship.
Make sure to show support to your partner to further empower your relationship.

Just like my partner gave me a little space to think things over myself when I needed it, he was also available to brainstorm when I needed someone to bounce ideas off. 

This is one of the most supportive roles you can fill when someone you love is working through any sort of transition, especially since seemingly “crazy” ideas had a magical way of coming to life once they are spoken out loud. 

Read more: Why To Change Your Job

Personally, I can still recall the exact moment that I realized I wanted to become a full-time writer. 

We were staying at a cabin in the countryside for a weekend and, having already binged through a few seasons of Netflix, started talking. As I was complaining about my job as a lawyer, he asked me a straightforward question: “Well, what would you like to do instead?” 

I sat there, dumbfounded, for a few moments before saying out loud for the very first time in my entire life that I might want to write. 

From there on out, my life began unfolding in ways I never could have imagined and, eventually, I found myself in a new career that I truly loved and adored. 

No matter how this transitionary period plays out in your own relationships, the best advice we can give you is to keep those lines of communication wide open! There will surely be up’s and down’s, financial concerns, new stressors, and victories along the way, and the only way to ride it all out is to keep on talking to one another!

Elizabeth Murray freelance content writer at
Traveling is about expanding your mindset and challenging every custom, tradition, and way of life you thought you knew.