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Suze Orman, author of Women & Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny , has helped millions of families take control of their money and is here to help Felice and Phil. "I want to set everything straight first. I don't want any of youand I mean any of you here in the audience or at hometo be judging these two," Suze says. "Because if you think that they are really any different than most of the people in America today, I'm here to tell you, they're not. Of course they're to the extreme. But every one of us, every one of you does the same thing in your own way."

Suze also says she's not here to save anyone. "This is all about us giving you the information that you need to save yourselves," she says.

Suze has some tough love for Felice. "I personally don't believe you're selfish. I think you're selfless. I think because you don't have a self, because you don't know who you arethat is why you're doing these things that you are doing. You are just simply trying to find yourself," she says. "You are trying to define yourself by the things that you buy rather than you define the things around you. And you keep buying new and new things because you can't find the definition of yourself."

Phil is at fault as well, Suze says. "Don't you dare sit here and act like she has been deceiving you because you have been deceiving yourself. You are a father who sees that you have six children. You knew you didn't have insurance for them," Suze says. "But you say it's disappointing because your wife, you've given her this responsibility to pay the bills. Where were you in this? Why didn't you show up knowing what she was doing? Was it easier for you just to stick your head in the mud and blame it all on her? No wonder she doesn't feel good about herself either. Because her husband wasn't even reaching out to say to her, 'Stop it. Stop it,' and putting your foot down, so you [Felice] just kept doing it. So we have a totally dysfunctional relationship with money, and we have a dysfunctional relationship with each other. But where does it all start from? A dysfunctional relationship with ourselves."

Suze says she won't ask Phil and Felice "why" or delve into their pasts. "Give me a break. You are an adult. You are a mother and a father of six innocent children. That they don't have any idea that this is going on," she says. "I don't want us to look back at what we had. I don't care about the past. All I care about from this day forward is the future and how can we impart the inner being that you need so that you can turn around and make more out of less. That you have a desire to save yourself."
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FROM: Money Interventions: The Mom Who Shopped Her Family Broke
Published on January 01, 2006

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