LEAP Case Stories

Case #8

HD & NTlived together over a two year period in which HD finished her law degree and passed the bar and NT got his post-graduate degree in educational counseling and passed a difficult qualifying professional exam. Because their positive feelings for each other  survived the stress of these educational achievements, the raising of several pets, the maintenance of a happy home, and moving home and hearth, acquiring new jobs (and their ability to be warm, kind and forgiving and their value for the environment and love of recreation (and other things as well stayed intact)  they decided to get married!

Although he was five years younger than she and they were from diverse backgrounds they felt that their relationship was strong and loving and enduring. She is a first generation Asian immigrant with a Catholic background whose parents are both doctors, and he is a third generation Austrian Jewish immigrant whose father is also in a medical profession. For months, the bride planned every detail of the joint religious and ethnic wedding to incorporate customs and traditions and celebrate their union as a joining not only the couple but of families and cultures. Friends and family members came from across oceans to celebrate this marriage and it was a grand, festive, success of a day. Then, when it was all over and the guests had left, a post-wedding "Now what?" ennui syndrome set in.

During the couple's LOOP workshop it emerged that the wife wanted to move in some different proactive direction. It also became clear that the husband was unhappy in his job. There was also tension between the husband's family and the newlyweds because, during the wedding planning which was accomplished almost exclusively by the bride some feathers (between the bride-to-be and various female members of the groom's family) were ruffled.

The couple's vision of their future foresaw each other, together,a close extended family, a big immediate family and a host of troubled foster children (they didn't think they could have any biological ones) and lots of animals. They saw working from home on social issues, in a beautiful environment with lots of traveling and exploring nature. This work involved law, a 501 c3 foundation for troubled kids, writing, gardening.

Their objectives involved each individual's growth, success and professional satisfaction. They also wanted to get hold of their expenditures through a financial plan and have enough money to buy a house. Another major objective was to be content with the relationships between family and friends and to have an aesthetically pleasing home a home with visual harmony (lack of clutter and stuff).

There was a difference of opinion between the husband and wife on how the tension between the bride and her new mother-in-law should be handled. He suggested a confrontational approach.This was culturally offensive to the bride and her inability to do it herself went against the American and psychological orientation of the husband. Other issues involved: staying in the same town as the parents, or moving away where the wife had been offered a good job; the husband's moving toward a career that was more positive emotionally; and a way of life in which he had more time outdoors.These were some of their challenges and their plan in a nutshell.

Nine months after their LOOP workshop, immediately after moving to a new city and getting new jobs, HD, much to her surprise, found herself pregnant! HD and NT were delighted. Some of those children in their future vision would actually be biological! Eighteen months later the couple became the proud parents of a very cute, completely healthy little boy. They have also moved to a town two hours from the husband's parents not too close and not too far. The wife has a good job she loves at a non-profit organization which deals with abandoned children. The husband has a better job than he had, although in the same professional sphere. He is also working toward obtaining his state license.They have bought a house (with a huge garden for the husband) and the wife's relationship with the husband's parents, even before the baby was born, had been resolved and is now quite good.   (Five years later, in a recent conversation, the lawyer/wife/mother of the couple who is thinking seriously about entering politics also stated, "Well, we have completed all our LOOP objectives, it's time for another LOOP!) 

TAP (Training Associates Pacific, LLC) is a human resource development organization registered in the U.S. in Washington State. TAP associates form a global network of professionals who advise on, design, and facilitate state-of-the-art participatory live- and on-line learning events, customized courses, and training materials in the United States, Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and Europe.