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Marriage and Medicine: A Match Made in...
Can you excel in your career and have happily-ever-after, too?
John Kelly, IV, Marie Sakosky-Kelly
Publish Date: May 22, 2014
OR Excellence
Marie Sakosky-Kelly, RN, and John D. Kelly IV, MD Marie Sakosky-Kelly, RN, and John D. Kelly IV, MD

Speaker Profile

  • Ms. Kelly has held clinical, research and management positions during her nursing career.
  • Dr. Kelly, our "Cutting Remarks" columnist, is an orthopedic surgeon/ sports-shoulder specialist who practices in Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Their twin daughters just graduated from college.

Marriage is hard enough. Throw in a tough, demanding job like managing a surgical facility, with its long hours and long list of responsibilities, and the odds of staying happily wed get longer, too. It doesn't have to be that way, though, not if you create the life and the marriage that you want to have, not if you honor the marriage and change for the better. In "Can You Have Your Job, and Stay (Happily) Married, Too?" Marie Sakosky-Kelly, RN, and her husband, orthopedic surgeon John D. Kelly IV, MD, share the secrets to balancing a busy healthcare career and being in a healthy, loving relationship.

  • Great marriages just don't happen. They are the result of conscious decision, effort and an ongoing commitment. We have the power to determine the quality of our marriage. Deciding to commit to a better marriage will enrich the lives of both partners. Marriage can make or break your happiness. Focus on balance, on juggling your work demands, your home life and your relationship. You have to keep them in check.
  • If you aren't getting closer ... you're drifting apart. Maintaining a resilient marriage in the face of modern-day challenges takes true commitment. They say that success in marriage is not only about finding the right partner, it is about being the right partner. Make the decision to have high-integrity values. Your commitment to your marriage is a decision. You have to make that decision to honor your commitment every day.
  • Focus on what matters. Live in the moment. Forget the past (forgiveness liberates!). And be the best we can now, and choose to love. Your mission is to make your significant other feel loved and lovable. Focus on the relationship, not the things. The world is promoting more and more that it's all about the Benjamins, the house, the car. But you need to focus on your relationship, because that's what really going to sustain you.
  • The skin-to-skin challenge? Make the commitment to cuddle naked for 20 minutes to reconnect emotionally. Just hold each other and relish the closeness. Be present, with no expectations.
  • Simple rules to live by. It is more important to be in the relationship than to be "right." Married couples like to push each other's buttons. Do you want your spouse to be your mentor or tormentor? You decide by your actions. The ego causes some partners to want to always be right, to always be the controlling one. Don't let unresolved things get away from you.
  • The work trap. Figure out how many hours a day and week you spend on the job versus your relationship. You have to make up for it. It's not the quantity of time, it's the quality of time. You can't just work, work, work. But we get caught in the trap of work, work, work, because that's where you get your satisfaction and your kudos. Instead of doing one more thing at the office, give that time to be in the relationship. Make decisions that are good for your marriage.
  • happily married
  • Less selfishness. We each bring childhood wounds to our union. As the saying goes, "The trauma of childhood becomes the drama of adulthood." Old hurts can make or break us. The best way to get out of yourself and neediness is to switch to be other-centered in thoughts, words and actions.
  • Principles for success. We'll touch on many of the key ingredients to a rich marriage, including your commitment, respect, investment, romance, taking time for fun, being open to growth and (a big one) forgiveness.