Ian and Sally approached me for couples coaching  to work through career and life transitions at a time when their children were nearing college. They anticipated being empty-nesters and had concerns about ways of connecting in this next phase. A top-level salesman and division leader, Ian was fully engaged his his profession and woke up every day invigorated about his job and professional prospects. As a newly independent health coach and consultant, his wife was struggling with some lack of confidence as she worked to get her business off the ground. Both were youthful, having met, married and had their kids in their early twenties.

No question about their commitment and values, they had different personalities. Ian is much more extroverted and social in his work-life. However when done with long work hours or travel to other cities for days at a stretch, he was content to be at home. Sally had been a stay at home mom for many years. Now her work could be done virtually although she was getting out to network as she grew her business and contacts.

Anticipating changes ahead that felt more emotionally fraught for Sally, we worked together on and off for about 9 months bringing Big Picture Partnering elements to how they approached the upcoming next phase of their life. We explored:

  • Parenting style differences and what they needed to address before their 2 teenagers left the nest and were off to college.
  • Ian’s never-ending stream of job offers and how they’d narrow the prospects based on couple and family impacts:
    • Amount of travel and time away from Sally and the kids.
    • Prestige, salary and professional stimulation for Ian.
  • Sally became increasingly confident in her career path and Ian learned to support her while also enjoying his own success.
  • Together they explored fresh couple activities and expanded their social networks individually.


I was delighted to receive an unexpected note from Ian about 6 months after we ended our work together. In it he said:


 When we came in you weren’t vague. You said, ‘This is what you’ll get from this program. These are the benefits. These are the tools you’ll get. You can use them forever. This is how it will be delivered. And this is what you’ll need to do to achieve your goals. Boom. Not vague. Totally clear.

I’m a great salesman and that is great sales. It’s everything we are getting.

I’ve already told at least five guys about your partnering books and coaching. It’s a fact. Everyone’s dealing with the same stuff. Everyone in leadership, in relationship. It’s human.

Everyone needs this information. Especially men. This is great stuff!


Definitely a high-level compliment!

Dr. Jan Hoistad