One Marriage, Two Personalities

I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.
~ Rita Rudner
Many married couples take for granted the loving ties (kids, home, extended family) that bind them together. Yet, peek behind the curtain and you may discover two personalities perpetually perplexed by one another. Indeed, a quick take on how healthy a marriage is might be to compute how often each side is thinking, “What’s up with you?” or “I just don’t understand how you could…”
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Why Seeing a Therapist Makes You Strong, Not Weak

When a potential client calls psychologist Shoshana Bennett, Ph.D, the first thing she does is congratulate them. "I say, 'good for you. You did something great for yourself and those around you.'"

That’s because seeking professional help takes strength. But we rarely see it this way. We feel overwhelmed or burnt out. We feel vulnerable, exposed -- a gaping wound. We beat ourselves up, believing we should be able to solve our own problems. We should be able to tough it out. And we berate ourselves endlessly because we can’t. What’s wrong with me?!?!

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5 Foolproof Tips to Overcome Procrastination

If you’re like me, you have a growing to-do list filled with big ideas to accomplish. Yet day after day, life gets in the way and our passion project falls by the wayside.

We make excuses like “I’ll do it tomorrow” or “I’m not in the mindset right now”, waiting for the perfect moment of inspiration to suddenly strike. The funny thing is that “perfect moment” doesn’t actually exist.
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5 Books to Help You Deal with Work Drama

If you’ve ever found yourself in the middle of office drama, you know a toxic work environment and company politics can be instant energy drainers.

Perhaps the tension in your workplace takes the form of a gossip-mongering co-worker, a bullying boss who flies into a rage when you’re two minutes late to a meeting, or a conniving colleague who’s all about power plays and office politics.
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Marriage and Money

Money management is one of the most common challenges in a marriage. When I am asked to consult or assist with money problems in relationships, it’s often because one of the partners is overspending, or not producing enough, or not sharing enough where there is perceived fair exchange. So I have the following advice to couples who are about to get married.

When Both Partners Have Equal Incomes

When two people have equal incomes, and they get married, there’s generally a mutual economic respect. It's usually wise to set up three financial accounts: his, hers, and a joint account. The couple needs to negotiate and agree on whether the third account will be used to pay all the bills, save for mutually agreed future goals, or whether each partner is going to pay the bills from his or her own account.

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Why Your Job Is Not Your Friend

Are you in an abusive relationship with your job?

Do you give it all the energy you have, only to feel drained after? Do you put your job before your sleep, your health, or interacting with friends? Do you feel like you owe it to your job to sacrifice everything? Do you stay up all night, obsessing about how you can make things right in the morning?

America is a culture that seems to pride itself on how hard it can work. We log 60 hours a week, scoff at sick days, and eat lunch at our desks. We think this is how it’s supposed to be. But the truth is -- it’s not.
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The Unnecessary Financial Burden Caused by Mental Illness

It has been just a year since I returned to see my psychiatrist for treatment. I was depressed and needed help. As an out-of-network provider, each month I submit her bill and complete the claim form for my insurance company and then I receive a percentage back. The reimbursement averages about 60 percent per month. The rest is my responsibility, or should I say, my family’s responsibility.

Over the past year, my husband and I have depleted our savings as a result of paying for all of my treatment, and my treatment is still ongoing. This includes therapy three times per week and co-pays for my psychiatrist who manages my medications, as well as co-pays for ECT (electroconvulsive therapy). Add to that the new therapy group I will begin next week and the cost equals thousands upon thousands of dollars.

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12 Steps to Knock Out that ‘Out of Control’ Feeling

Get going! Life's waiting for you.

It's that time of year when many people resolve to make changes relating to everything from finance to fitness. Unfortunately, by February, a good majority of us will have settled (un)comfortably back into old habits and will find ourselves feeling just slightly more powerless against our ability to slay the dragons that stand between you and your best self.

If you're like me and tired of seeing the same promise you made to yourself fall by the wayside, perhaps these tips might help.

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Which of These Four Stories Do You Tell Yourself about Money?

Paul Sullivan wrote an interesting New York Times piece, "Stressed by Money? Get on the Couch" about people going through "financial therapy" to get a better grip on their emotions and behavior around money.

Certainly, from what I’ve seen, the relationships among money, happiness, and habits are extraordinarily complex.

Sullivan cites financial psychologist Brad Klontz for the notion that people have four basic "money scripts," that is, stories that we tell ourselves about money. Which describes you?

Money avoidance:...
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Brain and Behavior

Take, Take, Take and Never Give

Mike was grumbling about his daughter Crystal.

"She told me she was in 'desperate need' of a state-of-the-art computer only six months after she 'needed' a 'loan' because the lease on her Lexus had expired. Crystal wasn’t even apologetic when she asked me to foot the bill. She just rattled off a bunch of reasons about why she couldn’t pay for them and why I should."

Mike continued. "When Crystal was younger, I used to think she’d outgrow this pattern. But she’s 25 years old now and I don’t see anything changing. She wants what she wants and doesn’t care how her wants affect me or her mother. We try to reason with her or tell her no but she’s an expert at wearing us down."

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How to Multiply Your Time

Lately whenever you ask someone how they’re doing, they likely mention how busy they are. That’s what I say. I’m guessing that’s what you say, too.

"I’m busy" just rolls off our tongues. And you probably are busy. All of us have long to-do lists, which only seem to swell and swell.

In his book Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time, Rory Vaden, bestselling author and co-founder of Southwestern Consulting, encourages us to stop talking about how busy we are. He used to do it all the time.

As he writes, "Your problem is not that you are too busy; your problem is that you don’t own your situation."
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