A cartoon in The New Yorker featured a medieval knight in shiny armor, sword drawn, looking upward at a blond damsel in the open window of a tower guarded by a dragon. The knight said, “Before I slay the dragon and rescue you, I need to ask you a few questions: 1. Do you want kids? 2. What is your passion? 3. Where is ‘home’ to you? 4. Do you have a financial philosophy?”
Marriage counselors and those contemplating marriage are smart to discuss, seriously and methodically, these four common areas of conflict. 1. How many, if any, children do we hope to have? Why? When? 2. What do we value more than anything else? Security? Adventure? Success? Religion? Money? Honesty? Career? Knowledge? Pleasure? 3. How comfortable are we around our parents and siblings and our mate’s parents and siblings? With which individuals, family and friends, do we feel safest and happiest?” 4. How much money do we need to be content? Will we be spenders or savers? How much “mad money” should we allot each other to spend each week? Should we draw up a budget?
A married person came to me with a mega-problem. Her partner had run up a $40,000 debt, ordering things off the internet. They faced the matter together, read together Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace,” designed a plan and, in two years, were debt free.
Nothing is more important to a healthy relationship than open, honest communication.
A marriage counselor, celebrating a golden anniversary, quipped to his audience, “They’ve been 48 of the best years of my life.”
Even the knight and the beautiful blond, even if they had a colossal wedding, probably also had some colossal skirmishes.
If you have a sweetie, I hope you will make this a happy and honest Valentine’s Day.