(Preface: Runnels, as the only one here who knows who I am, you are one of, oh, two people who are going to know about this. I trust it will remain that way. Thanks man.) My wife and I are in a rut. We both have decent jobs, we make OK money, we own a townhouse-style condo, but neither of us are happy. Our marriage is just about the only thing that is great in either of our lives - we are the best of friends and we both know it. But everything else around us really sucks lately...and has sucked for the past six months. First, our friends. We have a bunch of couple friends and single friends, and with the exception of one other couple, we feel like we're growing apart from them. We just don't have the same goals or aspirations or whatever as they do, and hanging out the past six months has been awkward, almost forced. A few of our couple friends still like to party and drink and go to bars, and we're just not into that anymore. We'd much rather sit around and make some popcorn and watch a movie or go bowling or something "boring", as our other friends see it. I feel like we're all growing up and growing apart, which may well be normal. We find ourselves not answering the phone when they call and avoiding places where we all used to hang out. We're 25/6 and have been friends with all of these people since 15/6. Part of me wonders if our dismal work life is making us angry and bitter at their successes (all of our friends are financially successful and way ahead of the curve, as are we I think, but they are moreso)...so on to our next issue... Our jobs. There was a time when our jobs were promising. My wife was rifling up through the ranks at her insurance company, and management loved her. She interviewed for her fourth promotion in three years, but she did not get it - she was assured the next one that came available (two months, max) would be hers. Instead, she grew angry and took a lateral job move to another department. Since doing that, three of the previous promotional opportunities have come and gone, and her old coworkers, the ones she MANAGED only six months ago, have taken them. Her new job is not what she expected, as she went from handling claims and managing people to sorting mail and doing remedial tasks. While the money is better, she hates going to work and feels embarrassed that she left a good opportunity for the shit she does now. She's very proud and when it comes to respect, she doesn't get it at her current position. She looks at the people she used to manage, and now they're higher than she was in her old department. She hates it and wants out. My job is just as dismal. I've been here since I graduated college, which is three years next month. I currently make $1200 more per year than I did when I started, thanks to my raises of 3%. 3% of not much is not much. About a year ago I was interviewing around and got a decent job offer - same pay, but better work and 5 minutes from home (I currently commute 90 miles a day). I approached my boss here and told him of the news, when he told me their plan for me - to send me to MCSE courses so I can get my MCSE 2003 and get a $20k pay raise. I had two years to complete the MCSE, and that was one year ago. I was very excited, but that has faded. I have taken and failed the first MCSE course four times. Four. I've never failed at anything in my life like this, and it's killing me. Each time I've had to lie to the bosses here, but I'm running out of lies. The work is terrible too. There are no advancement opportunities besides the aforementioned raise, and I'm lucky to get 5 hours worth of real "work" out of a 40 hour week. My job should be part time, there's just not enough to do here. I'm miserable every day, and I'm losing anything I learned in school. I'm very lucky to have the marriage I do. My wife and I have recently begun talking about moving to North Carolina. She has a sister who lives there, and while we aren't real close to her emotionally, it will give us some "ins". We are hoping to go down and visit and scope out the area within the next month. The housing is incredibly cheap. We should be able to make a few grand on our condo, which we bought about a year ago. The thought of leaving all this negative shit and starting anew intrigues the shit out of me. New house (we could afford a 4br colonial with what we paid for our condo here), new jobs, and new friends excite me to no end. I at least want to look into it. Has anyone done this? How can it be done? I am applying for jobs down there as we speak, as is my wife. But how does that even work? How do you interview for a job 1000 miles away? I'm not worried about a home, we can either rent for a while or stay with her sister, but the job thing worries me. Thanks for listening...and I look forward to your thoughts.