No. of Recommendations: 9
1) Belated welcome, m4b4! From the back and forth so far, seems like you're in the right place. From my experience, I know it's hard to take it all in at first, and easy to get defensive. Just remember, we're all on your team.

2) Money problems can create or exacerbate marriage problems. Addressing money problems spotlights marriage problems. I found it helpful to take everything at face value in discussions with my husband - not to read the tea leaves of his every response. For example, when he refused to increase his work hours, I did not say, "You lousy bum, you never worked enough!" What I said was, "Okay, let's try to come up with another way to increase our income". Beyond that, when I stuck to my (new) guns, the relationship tumbled downhill all on its own.

3) My father was a physician and made a lot of money - but I'm the oldest of 7 children so there was not a lot to spare (unbeknownst to me; all I knew was that doctors made a lot of money). I wanted to go to the same summer camp as my classmates. My parents said no because we had a lovely summer home and could not afford both. They kindly said my opinion was considered but not decisive and they were choosing the home. I ranted and raved and threw myself on the floor screaming. (I was in high school for dog's sake...) They held their ground.

It took me only a couple of years to realize that they made a very appropriate trade-off: a summer home for the whole family, and many other luxuries, rather than 6 weeks in a woo-woo summer camp for me. They tolerated the anxiety created by my tantrums. In a way, it would have been easier for them to give in. (Not to mention that my siblings would have demanded the same ridiculous luxury.)

My siblings and I still enjoy that summer home, where my mother now lives year-round. I guess it's time for me to apologize to her for that tantrum.

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