Jean talks with therapist Terry Real about the things you can do to make your marriage last. Founder of the Relational Life Institute and author of several books, including The New Rules of Marriage
, Terry says if you want to stay close and keep passion in your marriage, you need a new set of skills.
- Get out of repetitive patterns, Terry says. The man should not always make the money, and the woman shouldn't be the recipient of an "allowance." Today's women feel disempowered by this scenario and therefore wind up unhappy.
- There is no excuse for a woman not to sit with her husband and learn how to handle the finances.
- If you're a stay-at-home mom, put a value on your time, Terry says. Just because you're not making money, doesn't mean you aren't contributing equally to the household.
- When you're going to talk money, leave romance out of it. Being straightforward about money and how it is going to be handled will boost your relationship. If one partner is feeling resentful, go back to the table and renegotiate.
- Don't turn your resentfulness into frivolous spending, Terry says. Talk about your feelings instead. It's important for women to stand up and make their needs known, but they need to do it in a loving way.
- Appreciate your partner and make him feel that it's going to be worth his while to please you.