Tag Archive | Finance

10 Secrets to Achieving Marital Harmony

10 Secrets to Achieving Marital Harmony

Marital harmony can be achieved in a variety of ways. Sometimes it is the little things that maintain the peace in a relationship and sometimes it is more monumental decisions that can either harm or help the harmony in the household. While agreement is not always possible, it is important for the couple to realize that even during arguments it’s possible to maintain harmony. As long as you understand that disagreements are only temporary the harmony in your marriage will remain throughout all types of trials and tribulations.

  • Being aware of your partner’s likes and dislikes is one way to achieve marital harmony. This awareness allows you to operate in a way that keeps your partner’s preferences in mind. If you know what your partner likes and doesn’t like you can take precautions to not engage in an activity that will hurt your partner. Additionally, your partner will respect your consideration of their feelings. This consideration is necessary for those who wish to achieve marital harmony.
  • Sharing in the decision-making process is also critical to achieving marital harmony. This is important for a couple of reasons. First it gives the couple the opportunity to work together to make a decision and second it helps to make them both feel involved in the process. Also, if one person takes the responsibility of making decisions without consulting their partner it can lead to resentment especially if the decision turns out to be a bad one.
  • Another secret to achieving marital harmony is to work to balance your career and home life. It is easy to get caught up in your job responsibilities and to begin to allow your job to take precedence in your relationship but working hard to ensure this doesn’t happen will be beneficial to your marriage. It’s important to realize that no job is more important than your relationship. There may be times that you need to work late or on weekends but try to keep these instances to a minimum. Also, strive to not bring home your work, either physically or mentally, and allow it to encroach on your marriage. It’s acceptable to share information about your day and vent about any problems you may have had for a little while but going on and on about your job will cause problems in your marriage.
  • Any marriage is bound to have its problems and disagreements but it’s important to not let that problem linger. When disagreements arise, try working out an amicable agreement but when this is not possible sometimes you just have to agree to disagree and move on with your marriage. Remember that each morning is a new day and strive to wake up having forgotten any arguments you may have had with your spouse on the previous day. If you made your best effort to resolve the problem and were unable to reach a resolution, just let it go and start the new day out harmoniously.
  • Agreeing on financial matters is also key to achieving marital harmony. Money is one of the issues that creates the most arguments in a marriage. If both partners are aware of their current financial situation and are willing to work together to establish a budget and stick to it, you will avoid discontent related to financial matters in the marriage.
  • Perhaps an important secret to achieving marital harmony that is often overlooked is knowing your partner very well and discussing major issues before getting married. For example if you have always wanted children, it’s best to find out your partners view on children before getting married. Differences of opinion in an area such as this can doom a marriage. However, if you make sure you marry someone who agrees with you about these critical issues you will avoid having problems arise later in the marriage as these subjects come up.
  • Keeping politics and other sensitive issues out of your marriage is also important to maintaining harmony. It’s acceptable to have opposing viewpoints on issues and debate your beliefs but allowing these issues to create a major rift it your marriage is not acceptable. Two people can exist harmoniously in a marriage while holding opposing viewpoints as long as they respect each other’s opinions.
  • Allowing each other some time to be alone can also help you achieve marital harmony. It’s important to spend time together and share interests but sometimes too much time together can be stifling. It is important for each partner to have interests or hobbies that they participate in without their spouse. This time away from each other helps to maintain harmony by giving each partner a sense of individuality.
  • Being respectful of your spouse is also very important to achieving marital harmony. Couples that treat themselves and each other with respect are able to maintain a sense of civility and accord even during disagreements. This feeling of respect will help the couple to remain harmonious even in the most trying situations.
  • One last secret to achieving marital harmony is to share household chores. A couple that divides up the responsibilities in the household and strives to help each other out whenever possible will have an easy time maintaining harmony. Failure to do this, however, can be very damaging to a relationship. If you have to go as far as drawing up a list of chores and who is responsible for them, go ahead and do that. A written document illustrating who does what around the house will make it clear if one person is overburdened.

It is important to not confuse harmony with agreement. Couples do not have to agree on every issue in order to have a sense of marital harmony. There are many factors that contribute to whether or not a marriage is harmonious. Some factors may be bigger than others, but they are all equally important in achieving marital harmony.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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How to Talk About Money

Talk About Money

Conflicts over money can fatally damage your relationships. In surveys with couple’s money even ranks as one of the biggest reasons why married couples fight and can even be the catalyst for couples separating.

For many of us today, just covering the costs of the basics has become a struggle. We are fighting about an array of things including rising fuel prices, higher cost of groceries, never-ending charges for the kids’ school supplies and those mortgage costs that continue to go up.

This stress can cause all of us in relationships to boil over as we look to one another to blame for the problems. Oftentimes, these stressors cause us to bring up financial, as well as other, “sins of the past”.

The way to deal with the stress around money is to talk about it. Most of us avoid this conversation at all costs. Why? Because the very act of raising the topic involves stress! Most of us would rather just avoid the conversation altogether and hope it will somehow magically all get better. But guess what? It won’t get better; and will continue to get worse unless you deal with it.

Three Steps to Having the Money Conversation:

  1. Do a Reality Check

Firstly realize that delaying this conversation will result in more pain later. Money problems do not go away by themselves. If you put off having these important conversations with your partner they’ll only get worse. If you’re getting deeper and deeper in debt each month, then every month that goes by just means even more debt. You must make a decision that you will initiate this crucial conversation about money now so that you can actually have less pain later.

Ask for a calm and honest conversation with your partner about money. This conversation should be initiated from a sincere concern about your direction as a couple. Your partner should not be made to feel like they are being cross-examined. Otherwise, they will be on the defensive before the conversation even begins.

Expect to share all your “spending secrets” with your partner. Most often we see all the financial failings of others, but we conveniently forget about our own. Your conversation about money has the potential to either create a strong bond in your relationship or drive a wedge between you. It all depends on how you handle the conversation. You must both be completely honest.

  1. Accept Responsibility

A very important aspect of this conversation must be the willingness on both of your parts to accept full responsibly for where you are. This means to accept full blame for all of the things that each of you did that may have caused the current situation and to accept responsibility for the actions you both need to take to remedy it.

This conversation can be challenging and painful. But it can also be rewarding and profitable. You might even see your relationship begin to change for the better once you deal with the underlying negative thoughts and emotions.

Begin this conversation with a spirit of openness. If you set the tone in the beginning of this conversation with a positive attitude and approach, things should go much better. And regardless of the issues that must be discussed, mutual respect is very important for continuing to build a healthy relationship.

  1. Moving On

At some point, both of you may need to “agree to disagree” over something from the past and move on. Being the bigger person can save you frustration and further future financial problems.

It might be helpful for you and your partner to schedule regular “money meetings” and to even establish a budget for you both to follow. You may even begin to make some progress in your financial life as you have these talks more often and begin to really control your finances with a clear plan in place. It might even open the way for you to talk about other important issues again or maybe even for the first time.

While showing respect, you may have to address serious spending problems and other issues. The key here is to focus on resetting where you are heading. Money problems created in the past cannot be erased, but you can start over with a new plan for the future.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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Sex, Money & Children: How to Avoid Couples’ Greatest Battles

Some of life’s greatest battles are over issues such as money, sex and children. While these are issues that elicit passionate responses and feelings, it is possible to deal with these issues without arguing. In fact not only can you avoid battles over these issues, but these issues can also enhance your relationship. Having realistic expectations about these issues can help you avoid or resolve any conflicts over these issues.

Sex can be a source of trouble in a relationship. Too much sex, not enough sex and sex that is too routine are common complaints in a relationship. Some of these battles may be avoided by scheduling sexual encounters on a regular basis. While it may sound unromantic to do this, the truth is that with work, children and other responsibilities sometimes there just isn’t time for sex unless it is scheduled ahead of time.

Scheduling will ensure that you both engage in physical contact every so often instead of letting this aspect of your relationship take a back seat to other obligations. Boring or routine sex is another common complaint in a relationship. You can keep things interesting by varying your routine every once in a while and trying new things.

You can also avoid problems related to sex in your relationship by discussing your likes and dislikes with your partner and encouraging your partner to be open with you about their likes and dislikes as well. Sex is a healthy and necessary part of a relationship but it can also be a source of conflict in the relationship.

So keep it interesting. Try new places and new ways to make love. And don’t always expect that just because you feel like your partner will also. Similarly don’t expect that every time you come to bed that an orgasm has to be the outcome. Sometimes it’s enough to lie together cuddling and stroking each other.

Money can also be a tremendous source of tension and disagreements in a relationship. Many couples struggle with financial matters and this perpetual struggle leads to tension in their relationship.

One way to alleviate the tensions associated with financial concerns is to make sure you both are involved in any financial decisions that need to be made especially in regards to large purchases. If both of you are aware of the amount of resources available to you and your monthly expenditures, you will both have a better understanding of where you stand financially.

Sharing in making these decisions will also ensure that each of you has the opportunity to voice your opinions or concerns and feelings as though you are working as a team with your partner.

Conversely, if one of you makes a large purchase without consulting your partner, the relationship may suffer. When a couple shares the financial responsibilities there is less likely to be problems that arise as a result of finances than there are when one of you takes sole responsibility for the finances. This could be for no other reason that if you are both aware of where you are financially and you both take responsibility for it then there are no surprises for either of you and consequently no place for blame if things go awry.

Children are a blessing in a relationship but they can also be a source of many battles in the relationship. The most important issue with children is whether or not you are both ready to have children. If only one of you wants to have children then introducing children into the relationship can be a recipe for disaster.

If you are not both committed to having and raising children then it is best to put off having children until you are both ready to be parents. If children are already a part of the relationship, they can still cause problems. Arguments over disciplinary strategies are very common. You may not agree on how to discipline your child and this disagreement can not only be detrimental to your relationship but can also be confusing for your child.

To avoid battles over children make sure you and your partner are committed to having children before attempting to conceive and discuss disciplinary strategies and come to an agreement that you will both abide by in dealing with the children.

Money, sex and children are the subjects that couples argue about most often. These volatile subjects can also be a source of great joy when managed correctly but until the couple learns how to do this, they will continue to be explosive issues. The keys to dealing with these issues without starting battles is to tread lightly and not force your opinions, discuss the issues before they arrive and try to make the best of the existing situations without constant complaints.

So until next time – Relate with Love

Communication Breakdown

One of the most fundamental elements in any relationship is communication and when communication breaks down its vital that you find out the cause of the breakdown so that you can fix the problem before it permanently damages the relationship.

Communication can break down in a relationship for a variety of reasons. But whether it is the birth of a baby, financial strains or distrust of the other in the relationship it invariably comes down to either lack of time or lack of skills that is the real source of communication failing.

When a new baby arrives tiredness and time constraints while parents are busy with baby naturally put a strain on a relationship. Often it is the case where one of the couple stays home to care for the baby while the other continues to go to work. So not just are there sleepless nights to contend with but changing roles and social and financial pressures as well.

Struggling with financial issues can be extremely stressful for either one or both partners in a relationship.  If one partner typically handles the finances in a relationship they may not wish to worry their partner so they may struggle internally with the financial concerns.

While this is a noble gesture, it can also cause a communication breakdown in the relationship.  The one partner may feel that this is a burden they need to bear on their own and therefore avoid talking about the subject with their partner.  The problem with this is that in trying to avoid conversations regarding finances they may end up avoiding conversations all together.

For example, a conversation about where to go out to dinner may be avoided because thinking about spending too much money on leisure activities causes too much anxiety on one of the partners.  The partner who is unaware of the financial concerns may be offended by their partner’s avoidance of a simple conversation.

Regardless of the cause of the communication breakdown, it is vital to the health of the relationship to reopen the lines of communication. 

One way to avoid or reverse having a communication breakdown over changing roles or finances is to share the responsibility and openly discuss concerns over parenting or financial matters.  Doing this will ensure that neither partner becomes consumed by that responsibility thus preventing it from affecting the relationship.

Changing roles  and financial concerns can induce enough stress to destroy even the most secure relationships but planning ahead and speaking openly can help a couple avoid a communication breakdown.

Distrust is another factor that can affect communication in a relationship.  If one of the partners has a reason to be suspicious of the other it creates a distrust that directly affects communication.

Also, if one person has a reason to feel guilty in a relationship, it may result in a breakdown in communication.  This lack of trust or guilt may result in the couple not wanting to communicate either because they don’t want to have their suspicions confirmed or because they don’t want their secret to be revealed.

These feelings of suspicion or guilt may lead to strained conversations that are purposefully not very meaningful.

One way to avoid a breakdown in communication in this situation is to always be upfront with your partner.  Whether it’s suspicion or guilt that is driving your fear of communication, being honest with your partner will alleviate your fears and reopen the lines of communication.  You run the risk of having your suspicions confirmed but it’s better to be sure than to destroy your relationship while doubt remains.

Since open and honest communication is critical to a healthy relationship, it’s important to understand why communication breaks down and to work towards repairing that.

Simply put: Maintaining or restoring an open and honest communication link can ensure that a relationship not only endures but thrives.

So until next time – Relate with Love