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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
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Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology helping with relationships
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Hello Dr Mark,your advise has changed the negative dynamic

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Hello Dr Mark,your advise has changed the negative dynamic in our relationship.
It's Anna here.My husband is listening to me.He was very reassuring when he realized how upset I was and the communication is flowing again.I admit my approach was not ideal and take responsibility for this also.I approached him with a loving and open heart.
Here's the clincher-taking into account that my own background has caused me to lack confidence .I tend to mask it with humour and business so people do not get too close.I am an excellent worker and live frugally though generous to loved ones.
How do you suggest couples work out their money.
My husband has a dangerous occupation as do I so we have an account each and a joint account.He does not hide money but his account runs the business so he can keep track of tax deductibles and eases his paper trail.We can both keep operating if something were to happen to the other one.
He is more In charge of planning our investments for the future and our retirement.And he is good at this.
I do the day to day food,clothing ,holidays,kids excursions etc-trust me it adds up and nearly takes all my salary.I still save because I was brought up to save for a rainy day.The thing is and please be honest and tell me why do I feel so burdened.If he is pulling his weight for the future and is honest in his dealings and transparency why do I feel like I am raising the family as a single parent? Is it because my mother didn't work like I do?She only asked and it was given!!!She controlled all the money in the house.We have a very equal marriage.after your advise I told my husband that our relationship felt inequitable -he was shocked and really took time out to discuss this and make me feel heard and loved.He did not realize he was so busy he was dismissing me.I was not emotion but honest and direct.In my mothers case I think my Dad was scared of her and he also adored her.Please help me with this issue as I think how you think about money is how you really feel about yourself.

Dr. Mark :

Hi, how are you?

Dr. Mark :

It's nice to hear from you and it's very encouraging that you and your husband are talking with each other about serious things.

Dr. Mark :

That's beautiful.

Dr. Mark :

You still haven't joined the chat, but I'll try to keep it open longer, okay?

I'm sorry the chat ended. But I'll answer you here, okay?

Let me say again how wonderful it is that you and your husband have started to communicate in a real and genuine way. It must feel SO much better. So, remember: communication is like water to a flowering plant: you have to keep doing it. You can't just water the plant once or a little while and expect it to blossom and flower continually, right? The two of you need to treat your marriage like a beautiful flowering plant that you keep nurturing and blossoming. Let him read my answer as well.

Money is one of those issues that is so important to discuss. Gottman brings it up in his book as well. So I'm so glad the two of you have begun to address it.

Money is a practical issue that invades the emotional intimacy of a marriage. Therefore, you have to first deal with the emotional aspects of the money issue and then you'll be able to deal with the practical issues much more happily.

This means the two of you have to share with each other what the money issue means to you. I'm working with one couple right now via Skype, for example. They both felt there was a lack of closeness, real intimacy (as well as sexual intimacy) in their marriage. And as we explored what it would take for each of them to want to feel closer to the other person, one of the first things the wife mentioned was that she feels humiliated that she isn't a signatory on any of the accounts in the family. She was a homemaker all the years; and she feels unhappy that she has to ask him for any money other than the usual money he deposits into the account. And that she worries what will happen to her if something happens to him and so she feels he tries to be controlling that way.

He was shocked. He had no idea. He thought she was happy not having the responsibility. So he made her a signatory on the accounts and they went to see an attorney about how to structure their savings, his business, etc. so that she would be able to carry on if he were incapacitated, etc.

This is just an example of how dealing with the emotions made dealing with the practical parts easier and more effective. That she was able to share how she felt about the finances opened everything up. I don't know if it will be as easy in your situation. I mean that money for them was not so central in their lack of communication and intimacy. It was easier to deal with because of that. For your marriage it might mean more than just one of you sharing how it makes you feel.

But even if it will require a number of honest conversations, it starts with sharing your feelings. And it has to be done in the spirit of watering the flowering plant of your marriage. Not accusatory on either side, but trying to share what the feelings are now and seeking together to find how to make both of you feel better in the future about money.

That's the way to do this. So start the conversations knowing that at the end of these discussions, you'll know better what you want to present to an attorney in terms of the practical solutions you want to implement.

Okay, I wish you the very best!

My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you Dr Mark I have got my mojo back and We are on a very great journey together again.I pray for you and your family to be happy and healthy so you can continue in your work.
Probably one more issue and it has to do with confidence ,and taking a leap of faith.I work away from home and travel a lot.Everyone is very envious of this though it is very lonely and our family business is not doing so well that I can forgo my income.Later this year my co may be putting out a redundancy package which I would love to take but would have to replace my salary .where we live there is no work or rare mostly people are self employed.I love the life here and want to be home for my children who are growing up so fast.I feel very responsible financially to the marriage and my family but would love to be able to be employed was a different situation when we married but now I want continuity in my marriage and family life.I have been doing this for 20 years and our children are young.I know a lot of mums travel away for business but mine is international travel frequently and it is very tiring.i am scared as I love my job,my husband has never felt threatened by it or resentful always insisting that if a job has to be done he understands timing etc as his job is the it because I am menopausal and see things differently?i feel like I have nothing to prove and maybe have grown out of the job.But I need to replace it as I would go nuts not working and I need to work financially.
Okay, you have just shared with me one of the important things you and your husband need to discuss on your walks or dates out for coffee in a quiet place. Remember the example I used above?

Well, this is your situation. There is the emotional part and the practical part of the money issue. You're only doing this job for money, so it's a money issue.

The emotional problem is that you feel like your life is being lived separate from your being a "mom". That you need to be a mom more right now. This is an important feeling. You and your husband have to be able to recognize this, respect it, and value your feeling. It's an important feeling. Just like above feeling ashamed about not being a financial partner to her husband was that woman's important feeling she needed to share.

Once you two are on the same page emotionally, then the practical becomes more easily apparent. I don't know what the solution will be, most likely some combination of you taking a lower paying job and the family cutting down on certain expenses. Whatever the practical solutions will be, they will only be emotionally hard if you try to solve the issue without first being unified about what you ARE feeling. So that is the first step, you have to be honest with him and yourself and you two need to talk through what your feelings really are and what his are.

When the two of you are united, then you'll be ready to find a practical solution together.

All the best,

Dr. Mark

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