Bethany and I have never shied away from being a bit counter-cultural.

After all, we practice Natural Family Planning, live debt-free other than our modest mortgage, value sex for more than the pleasure it brings…and I write in support of an institution that seems to be viewed with skepticism by our society more and more every day.

Well, I have to say that the past few months have been filled with introspection, tough decisions and honest conversations that scared the hell out of us at times.  Despite the nervousness that comes with change, even when we knew it was the right thing to do, we have embarked upon some major changes in our careers and lifestyle that don’t fit what many have come to value as the mark of success in our culture.

In short, we were faced with a crossroads in our marriage, and we chose the path less traveled:

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  • I left a job I had really enjoyed for the past 10 years to pursue something new and challenging.
  • Bethany submitted her resignation as a special education teacher to become a stay-at-home Mom to our three little loves effective at Christmas break.
  • I gave up several opportunities I loved and enjoyed to follow a desire to help couples improve their health and marriage in new ways.
  • We decided that our “dream home” and other material wants needed to wait so we could pursue these new challenges and put our focus squarely on doing what is in the best interest of our family and faith.

As we approach Christmas, all of these decisions are coming to fruition, and it’s time to hold hands and leap headfirst into some scary new territory as a single-income household.  With a mixture of support, skepticism and even doubt from family and friends, we are holding firm to what we feel is right and just going for it.

I have much more to share about the details of this process and how we’ve prepared for it as best we can, but for now I thought I’d share some lyrics that help to sum up both the pressures and clarity that come at times when making these tough choices.

Enter Eddie Vedder

It just so happens that I love Pearl Jam and Eddie Vedder as a solo artist.  What can I say, I’m a child of the ’90s. 🙂

I was reading a post by Adam Baker at Man vs. Debt the other day about What Christmas is NOT About, and he cited some lyrics that I’d enjoyed a hundred times but hadn’t really “heard” until I read them.

Please give this a listen or a read.  I’m listening now as I write this post, and it helps to bring me some comfort that our decisions make sense even though we are choosing not to “want more than we need” and instead see with clarity what it is our family really needs at this point in our young lives to be free.


Oh, it’s a mystery to me
We have a greed with which we have agreed
And you think you have to want more than you need
Until you have it all you won’t be free

Society, you’re a crazy breed
Hope you’re not lonely without me…

When you want more than you have
You think you need…
And when you think more than you want
Your thoughts begin to bleed
I think I need to find a bigger place
Because when you have more than you think
You need more space

Society, you’re a crazy breed
Hope you’re not lonely without me…
Society, crazy indeed
Hope you’re not lonely without me…

There’s those thinking, more-or-less, less is more
But if less is more, how you keeping score?
Means for every point you make, your level drops
Kinda like you’re starting from the top
You can’t do that…

Society, you’re a crazy breed
Hope you’re not lonely without me…
Society, crazy indeed
Hope you’re not lonely without me…

Thanks for all of your support and the kind words so many of you continue to share about the mission we share here.  Stay Engaged, friends.


About the author 


Dustin Riechmann created Engaged Marriage to help other married couples live a life they love (especially) when they feel too busy to make it happen. He has many passions, including sharing ways to enjoy an awesome marriage in 15 minutes a day, but his heart belongs with his wife Bethany and their three young kids.

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  1. Wishing all the best with your new decisions from now and the coming new year. You and Bethany are one and you know what is best for your family.

    We are a one income family, my husband works and I am a SAHM. It is a joint decision we both took, it was and still is the best decision for our family and growing toddlers.

    Stay focus on your plans and remain united, You 2 are powerful once you walk in unity.

    Rooting for you both, all the best guys!!!

    1. Thanks so much, Buky. It really does mean a lot to me to hear your words of encouragement and support. We know we’re doing the right thing, and we know it will be a success for our family, but it is a big change that is just a little scary. 🙂


  2. Thanks for the post Dustin. Being a child of the 90s, I am a huge Pearl Jam fan as well. So the title definitely got my attention!

    1. I love it, Mike! I’ve seen Pearl Jam four times in concert and I leave wowed every time. I’ll still be listening to them when I’m 50 and my kids can make fun of me. 🙂

  3. You should get ready to handle the blessings that will befall you now that you will be raising your children 24/7. There is no greater joy. I honestly don’t know how folks don’t naturally and automatically do this, but am thrilled you are joining the ranks. (I grew up with a SAHM mom and specifically sought a husband who was also raised by a SAHM and for whom there was no other choice but for him to lead.) Can’t wait to see the happiness and blessings flow! IT is really incredible! Your children will change before your very eyes.

    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement, Cheri! I believe everything you say, and those same reasons are what led us to our decisions. Here’s to a fun, meaningful (and maybe a little bit scary early on) 2011!

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