Drama and Your Marriage

©CanStock Photo / AndreyPopov

I watched a popular series the other night, streaming it as we do these days when I was stunned by a particular episode. To be fair, we watch these things for the drama, the ups and downs, last-minute saves and resolutions, and pretty people in awkward, funny or even painful situations. It is their stock in trade and is utterly predictable at times.

However, the drama is the smallest thing you want in your relationship or marriage. It can break apart the strongest love, ruin lives, finances, and futures and most of it is avoidable. You don’t have to have drama in your relationship to have romance. They should be two very different things.

In this episode, a couple has dated and known each other for years. They decide to have a child together, go through fertility counseling and make this huge commitment of bringing another human being into the world. Then, he discovers that she is not planning to raise the child in his faith, she discovers that her career is much more important to her than she expected, and the inevitable pendulum swings between these two who ultimately decide to marry and proceed, trusting that their love will see them through.

Yeah, let’s unpack that a bit, shall we? There is so much wrong with that picture. Continue reading

COO of Your Family Corporation?

Wedding DayOn my wedding day, I asked my father-in-law, a highly respected salesman, motivational speaker and the most charming person I have ever known, how he and his wife had stayed so happily and romantically married for so many years. He considered and said he only had one piece of advice after all that time together, “Never call each other names. You can never take them back.”  Continue reading

Financial Fumbles for Your Kids

Worried coupleThis morning’s paper featured an interesting article from the New York Times about marriage and finances. I have touched on this topic before in “Setting Expectations,” but it is worth re-visiting.

The article said. “…most couples do not want to talk about money before they marry.” It went on to explain why that is such a terrible decision.

I have to agree, and will add that if you do not talk about money with your children and make it clear that it is a highly discussion-worthy topic, you will do them a lifetime disservice.

My husband and I were a bit atypical for our time when we married, but very lucky that we both tend toward transparency and full disclosure. He was 28 and I was 27 when we met, and we had the advantage of education, careers and some investment experience under our belts when we decided to make a life-long partnership.

One unusual thing we did was to write out our expectations.

We had a list of topics that ranged from fidelity and family to finances and future dreams. We wrote them out separately, and then compared to see where the similarities and differences appeared. It was an amazing experience and I highly recommend it to any couples who are contemplating engagement, marriage, or even living together. You may find your values align well, and your chances of success are high…or you may discover a fundamental difference in the way you view life and the way you want to live. It is better to discover that ahead of time, when you can discuss and compromise or find that you cannot compromise and this is not the match for you. And of course, it is far, far better to make these discoveries before you bring children into the relationship. Any divorced parent will tell you that.

So, what are the things you should teach your children to discuss with their potential partners when it comes to finances?  

It boils down to their risk profile.   Continue reading

For the Long Run

In business, as in life, we try to find the perfect fit. As my fantastic father-in-law used to say, “Find something you love doing; do it, and you will never work another day of your life.” So true. A wise person once told me that the perfect job happens when your inclinations and interests intersect with God’s plan for your life. Located therein will be the “perfect fit.” I think it is often the same with marriages that last.Hawaii Couple

I remember watching my mother’s marriages and those of many of my friends and knowing that the relationships they were in were just not for me. Not wrong for them, necessarily, but not right for me.

You see, I have this odd view of marriage. I don’t think it should be a lot of work.

In fact, in dating relationships my motto was, “If it is this hard now, it is not likely to get easier and this is not the one for me.” Marriage was definitely optional in my opinion and I wasn’t willing to settle for less than a pretty darned ideal situation.

My husband came into my life in 1985 and just fit. Things were not completely easy at first since he wanted children and I was not sure I would ever want them, but once we jumped that hurdle I realized I had won the marriage lottery. He gets me, wants me, loves me in spite of my many flaws, supports me in everything I attempt, and makes me laugh even in the darkest and hardest of times. I love him, respect him, find him endlessly fascinating and brilliant and am still very attracted to him. No wonder we are celebrating our twenty-fourth anniversary today.

Why do things work so well between us?

Continue reading