January 26, 2024
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This week is an exciting week for my Associate Steve, he’s getting married. In preparation for this happy event, I started to think about some of my random thoughts on building a life with your spouse.
I know this may offend many of you romantics out there, but in order for your relationship to grow, you need to work at it. Never be afraid to get help working through your issues, whether it’s seeing a counselor, talking to your religious leader or another professional (maybe a bankruptcy attorney) that deals with relationships. Sometimes they can give you an outlet to talk honestly, provide a fresh perspective or suggest a strategy that will get you back on track. If you are afraid to work on your marriage, you decrease the chances it will be a success.
Before I was married, I ran into my Priest from my childhood parish and I told him I was getting married. He said:
“I give the same advice to every young couple I talk to, most marital problems relate to only two issues; money and sex. So he said, ‘Make sure you kiss your spouse goodnight every night and always consult each other about any purchase that costs more than a pair of socks.’”
It seems too easy, but if you take the time to work on these two issues, everything else seems to fall into place. Have regular financial meetings, pay bills together, talk about your dreams, plan to eliminate debt and save for the things that are important to you. Set aside some time for a “goodnight kiss,” plan regular dates, take time to watch your favorite shows and enjoy spending time together. Your relationship with your spouse sets the tone for everything else in your life, so when it comes to money and sex, do it together.
In the last year, I’ve had two friends who have lost children at a young age under tragic circumstances. The first one told me to, “Make sure you spend as much time as possible with your children,” and the other said, “Make sure hug your children.” What I took away from their experiences is that children only need two things from you as a parent: your time and your love. If you give them your time, they learn from your experiences, interests, successes and failures to build their own lives. If you give them your love they will listen to you when you need them to, they will have the confidence to make good decisions and they will love you back. So don’t stress about buying them the right clothes, finding the perfect Christmas gift or buying them a car on their sixteenth birthday. Your time and love is all they need.
In my job, I see people during difficult times of their lives. In some cases, the difficulty tears couples apart, and in some cases it brings them closer together. Try to make yours the latter. If you build a good relationship with your spouse, your marriage will get stronger with every challenge, you will have fewer struggles and chances are you will live a happier life.
Good Luck Steve & Katie.