A Life Coach's Take on Couples Therapy
Dear Annie: The "Mother Whose Heart Is Breaking" is absolutely right to be worried about her son. Over my 30 years as a life coach, I have seen too many men leave their wives and children to find their true selves.
Often in their 20s, they feel pressured by their girlfriends' wishes to marry, biological clocks and their own insecurities and fears of being alone. There is the added pressure of "wasted years" and FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) on possibly "the one." When they are inevitably miserable and regret not pursuing their own dreams of career, travel, education or plain wanderlust, everyone suffers tenfold.
And for all those in this situation: If a sheer thought of engagement puts you in therapy, or makes you depressed or suicidal, you need to leave the relationship and break all ties. You need to take care of your mental health without the added pressure from your partner. The sooner you seek help from a qualified professional, the quicker will be your road to recovery. -- Life Coach
Dear Life Coach: Thank you for your perspective based on experience. You are so correct that your partner should not send you into therapy. Life is hard enough, and your partner should be a support for you in good times and bad -- and not someone who makes your good times turn bad.
Dear Annie: My husband and I solved our money differences by creating a budget and reviewing it periodically. We listed our known expenses, income, and our future plans for expenses and savings. This allowed each of us to understand our financial situation. Having a budget also stops one person from being the bad guy when the other wants to buy an unplanned item; you just refer to the budget.
The best thing we included was a monthly allowance for each of us. We agreed that this money could be spent without negative comments from the spouse. This has saved us from having many fights. -- Couple on a Budget
Dear Budget: Fighting over finances is one of the biggest causes of marital strife. You and your husband are communicating openly and honestly about what is important, and it is why your system of a budget prevents future arguments about money. Your insight to include a monthly allowance -- and no criticism of how it is spent -- is priceless.
Dear Annie: This is in regards to the lawn maintenance man who now wants cash. If this fellow decides he wants cash, he is probably freelancing and is UNINSURED! In which case, if he were to have an accident (either to himself or her property), there could be major liability claims involved.
Always get a certificate of insurance when you hire any type of contractor; if they're too busy, ask for the name of their agent, and you can call yourself to get one (I've done this). As an aside, check cancellation fees probably aren't worth the trouble of going through the process. -- Always Be Insured
Dear Insured: Having someone who is insured work on your house is always a good idea. Thank you for the reminder.
"How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?" is out now! Annie Lane's second anthology -- featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.