A Season of Sorrow and JoyWritten by Dr. Dorree Lynn
As holiday week starts in full force many of us will skate between sorrow and joy, fear and hope concern and celebration. For some, it will be a particularly hard week. As a result of September 11th, they have lost someone they love and are not only alone, but also in mourning. Others will reevaluate their priorities and cherish even more those they love. They will appreciate all they have and hold their families more tightly to their hearts than ever before and reach out to embrace those less fortunate than themselves. Many will be concerned about empty pocket books, travel travail, and will have added words such as Cipro, Anthrax, terrorism and war to their vocabulary. Some will simply smile, hold their heads high and hope. Either way, for most of population this holiday season will be a different one than last year’s—and certainly different from what we anticipated in New Millennium This year there is no single path for all to follow, except perhaps, feelings of patriotism that bind us. We are Americans all.
I suggest that you keep relevant rituals and traditions and at same time, if they don’t feel right, don’t be afraid to part with old ways of celebrating. Keep what sustains you and take advantage of this time of upheaval to try new ways of giving and getting. Few of us need more non-essential items, yet most of us are in need. It is a good time to reevaluate our priorities and consider what we hold most dear. Whether you travel or stay at home, party or have a quiet dinner, or reach out to those you care about, during times of upheaval relationships, kindness, routine and love help to sustain us. This holiday season is not a time to be alone.
Marriage And MoneyWritten by Dr. Dorree Lynn
Studies show that money issues are highest cause of marital conflict and cause for divorce. Conflicts over money and money management outweigh conflicts over sex (including affairs) and differences over raising children as greatest trouble area in a marriage. Partners enter a marriage with an intensely personal history of how they have handled money that has usually been learned from their families of origin. When two people who are part of a couple have different expectations, thundering fights and lightening clashes can occur.
I have worked with many couples who seem more relaxed talking about variety of sexual positions they have or have not experimented with than how much money one or both of them earns. Bill and Nadine are typical of a couple who love each other dearly, but whose marriage almost ended because of their different attitudes towards finances.
Bill grew up as only child of a hard working father and homemaker mother. At an early age, he began working in his father’s butcher shop. His father had a strong work ethic and taught Bill never to take a day off, even if he was ill. Vacations were infrequent and had were considered a reward for a job well done. And, of course, a penny saved was considered a future dollar earned.
Nadine’s parents had about same amount of money as Bill’s, but Nadine was taught that money was to be used for giving and spending and that “tomorrow would take care of itself.” She was generous to a fault and considered issues such as credit card debt just one of life’s small hurdles to be handled when time came. Although not a spendthrift, she was relaxed and casual around money matters. She liked to play and although she too could be a hard worker, she had been taught that way one rejuvenated her self was to take as many vacations as she could.
They fell in love, married and within three months they were in my office screaming “divorce.” Bill felt as if Nadine was totally irresponsible, behaved like a child and that her spending habits would put them in poor house. Nadine felt as if “her wings were clipped,” and as if Bill was looking over her shoulder every second. She described her feelings as being unable to breathe and as if she was going to emotionally die.