Relationship Dilemma Remedies

A Blog About Solving Common Relationship Dilemmas

Money and Marriage: How Can I Get my Spouse to Agree with Me?

The holidays often provide more concerns than usual about money and budgets.  Couples experience tension and stress, especially when funds are limited as they are for many families.  There are also a lot of emotional issues around money, presents, giving and the holidays.

In our practice, couples often come in with finances as their biggest problem.  When marriage and money is the issue, we also hear comments about trust, control, stinginess, irresponsibility, lying and dishonesty.

Everyone comes to a relationship with ideas, philosophies and feelings about money. Often, when they are similar, there is not a problem. (Unless, of course, they both want to spend a lot.)

Marriage and Money:  Tips To Help You Work It Out

Here are a few tips for couples to help them move from being opponents about the family budget to players on the same team.

Talk with each other about the meaning of money and marriage for you and your life.

  • What did money represent when you were growing up? How did your parents handle money?
  • How does that affect the way you think about money?
  • How do you envision your marriage and money?

Get a better understanding about your spouse and his or her thoughts about money so that when you hit any normal roadblocks about the family finances, you will be able to travel over them more easily.

Click here to read the rest of the article:  Marriage and Money: My Spouse and I Cannot Agree

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November 18, 2011 Posted by | conflict, couples, marriage, money, tough economic times | Leave a comment

Another Low-Cost, High Affection Holiday Gift Idea

vinyl751Collect and burn a cd, especially made for your friend or family member.  Add one song that you chose because it reminds you of him or her … along with a note that explains why.

December 18, 2008 Posted by | family holidays, holidays, tough economic times | Leave a comment

Low-Cost, High Affection Gifts for the Holidays

It is a week until Christmas.  We know that many people are worried about how to provide gifts for their family and friends and yet want to give them something.  We are going to offer one idea each day until Christmas.

Today’s idea: a Family Staycation.  Pretend that you are on vacation in your own home.  Do things that you would normally do on vacation, stay up late and sleep in, eat different foods, play games, visit interesting sites, watch movies and eat popcorn.  Celebrate time together.

December 17, 2008 Posted by | family holidays, tough economic times | Leave a comment

In-Laws and Holidays

Ever since I first met Cindy’s mother, the going has been rough. She has never approved of me because I do not have a college degree and did not grow up in the “right neighborhood”. She makes no effort to be nice to me, except in front of Cindy. I have been able to hold my temper with her, mainly by avoiding contact with her. This has caused problems between Cindy and I, and especially at the holidays. Cindy and I are in a bad space right now because she wants me to go with her and the children to her mom’s this year and I really don’t want to go. I have been holding my ground thinking that her mother would be nicer, however, she is not willing to budge and just uses the time to talk bad about me to Cindy and now to our boys. Ideas for how to handle this?

This is really a tough question. Many times in-law problems are about both people … neither party open to giving in and making overtures to develop a relationship. That is not always the case; however, and then things get “sticky”.

You may not want to hear our advice … but you asked. Unless your mother-in-law is being verbally abusive, we encourage you to be the “bigger” person. Go for Cindy and for the children. Your relationship with them is really the most important thing here.

Be courteous to your mother-in-law and look for any sign that she might be trying to take a step in the right direction for her daughter and grandchildren. If you see any sign … even the slightest one, find a way to acknowledge it with a smile or a positive comment back. Look for opportunities to talk with others in the family so that you do not need to be around her so much of the time.

Talk with Cindy about how much time you want her by your side and ask for a commitment from her. When she is away, visit with the children or others in the family. Talk with Cindy and set a specific time to go home and ask her to agree that you will leave earlier if her mother becomes too disrespectful to you.

When you get home, congratulate yourself for your maturity and willingness to do your part in having a healthy marriage. Hopefully, Cindy will understand that this clearly an important sign of your love and commitment.

December 16, 2008 Posted by | difficult in-laws, family holidays, in-laws, tough economic times | Leave a comment

Holidays in Tough Economic Times: One Family’s Story

Andy6a00d8357ada6869e2010535d759df970b and Cheryl prepared everyone in their family this year by telling them that they love them very much, would still be sharing presents, but they would all notice a difference.  Then they set about thinking of creative ways to celebrate simply.  Many of the gifts that they are giving have to do with time and their talent.  Hours of babysitting and coupons for casseroles are on the gift list.  Cheryl put together gift baskets with baked goods and baking supplies.  She was quite creative with jars of soup and cookie mix.  Andy offered coupons for yard work and snow shoveling and promised to take the initiative to schedule the work, not wait for the “ask”.

Finding ways to help their children understand the simpler Christmas, they began talking about it weeks in advance.  They helped each child find a way to make gifts or coupons for their siblings and gave them each a chance to earn a little money so that they could purchase something very small as well.  Getting the children in the mindset of living simpler, they also helped them gather older toys that were still in good condition, cleaned them up and found a way to donate them to others in need.  As they worked on this project, Cheryl and Andy talked about the changes happening in our world and in their lives.  They also spent a lot of time talking about what have been the gifts in their family and in each one of them.

As we near Christmas, the children are preparing for things to be simpler.  There will still be a few special presents under the tree.  Cheryl has done quite a bit of research on-line and is quite adept at finding the many different coupon and price comparison websites.  She has even found a few things at consignment shops and both parents feel pretty sure that their children will be pleased with what the find under the tree Christmas morning.

Andy and Cheryl feel a little more light-hearted and really good about the life lessons that the children are learning.  Christmas will be very special for this family after all.

December 13, 2008 Posted by | family holidays, holidays, tough economic times | Leave a comment