Marriage Confidential — Provocative but Unsatisfying

Posted by on Mar 13, 2012 | 0 comments

Pamela Haag’s Marriage Confidential is a promising and provocative but ultimately disappointing exploration of modern marriage. In what she calls the “post-romantic” era of marriage the author introduces the concept of the “semi-happy” or “low-conflict” marriage – a partnership that remains intact not because it satisfies the spouses’ romantic yearnings but rather because it makes pragmatic sense. Declaring herself to be semi-happily married, Haag suggests that the prevalence (within her social circle, at least) of this marital phenomenon, along with the high divorce rate,...

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Childcare – Who Pays?

Posted by on Dec 21, 2010 | 0 comments

“I’d love to work, but I’d barely make enough to pay for childcare,” says my friend, a mother of three. And I’ve heard this explanation from many stay-at-home-moms, heck, it was my reasoning for a long time as well. But assessing the cost of childcare solely to the mother’s income doesn’t make sense, says Joan Williams, author of Re-Shaping the Work-Family Debate: Why Men and Class Matter. Instead, couples should view the cost of childcare as a cost of “protecting the economic future of the entire family, and specifically the children”...

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How Much is Enough?

Posted by on Sep 4, 2010 | 0 comments

Money. We all need it, and daily we make decisions large and small about how to use it. We are constantly bombarded with news of the economy, and many of us have definite opinions about the local, national, and world economies. But when it comes to personal finances, we are often vague and uncomfortable. Talking about our finances is unseemly, pretty nearly taboo. You can be sexually intimate with someone, but don’t ask what your lover’s income is. Despite our diffidence in talking about it, money is a big driver for most of us – determining what job we take, where we live, and...

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Couples: Tips to Build Positivity in 15 minutes (or Less!)

Posted by on Apr 18, 2010 | 1 comment

  Today in my Dual Career Couples Workshop, we focused on building connection, appreciation, and aligning values. It was really fun and inspiring to witness four couples engaging one another on topics that really matter. They were talking and listening, being serious and laughing, disagreeing and compromising, fundamentally respecting one another. Here are some of the suggestions I gave them to increase positivity in their relationships: *Send your partner a text message or email during the day just to check how their day is going or to relate a success or something funny. *Make your...

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The 69%

Posted by on Apr 15, 2010 | 0 comments

  It turns out that 69% of marital conflicts are perpetual. Yup. Sixty. Nine. Percent. This is true for even the most successful, happy marriages. The first time I heard this statistic, I found it utterly discouraging to think that the vast majority of areas of friction between me and my husband would never go away, never be fixed. Ugh. But then, thanks to John Gottman, I went through a radical reframing of the issue and actually started to feel relieved. Here’s my thinking: so long as I am trying to resolve these conflicts, I am in this stressed-out territory where I am trying to...

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Getting to 50/50

Posted by on Apr 14, 2010 | 0 comments

  How many women and men in their 30s and 40s thought they were going to have an “equal partnership” marriage and then found that it was not as easy as they thought, especially once kids entered the picture? Finding balance in your marriage can be tricky, especially given the many subtle and not-so-subtle pressures on women to carry most of the burden on the home front and the concomitant pressure on their partners to provide. Getting to 50/50 How Working Couples Can Have It All by Sharing It All is a great resource for couples grappling with the daily reality of caring for...

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