There's no getting around it: in marriage, a budget is a requirement for good money management. A budget is simply (1) a tool to increase your consciousness of how and where you spend your money, and (2) a guideline to help you spend your money on the things that are most important to you. Following a budget can create money for savings, where you thought there was none.
To help couples better understand where they stand on financial issues, here is a mini quiz that both partners can take and use to facilitate a discussion about money.
Throughout our lives, we will all experience endless irritations and frustrations, as well as many losses, such as losing a job, suffering betrayal and abuse, and the death of a loved one. What makes the difference between those who stay down and those who pick themselves up and start rebuilding?
You marry for love and friendship. Yet there are practical concerns involved in making a living and managing your finances that can affect the quality of your marriage.
There are some marital issues that are too sensitive for a couple to handle alone. These issues might include mistrust; lack of marital satisfaction; conflict involving in-laws, friends, siblings, and children; verbal abuse; and so on. When dealing with such problems, the best course is to ask a professional outside party for advice and opinions.
When parents come to talk to me about a troubled child or teenager, I often find it helpful to explore whether or not their marriage is causing at-risk issues in their home.
There are theories to help explain how change occurs. The Stages of Change Model (SCM), which was introduced in the late 1970s by researchers James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente*, has been used to help us understand the mind/body stages we go through when we change. The model also provides us with the sense as to the complexity and chaos involved in the process. With this awareness, there is greater potential for us to generate more patience, understanding and compassion - towards others and towards ourselves - as we navigate the struggles within each stage.
In evaluating three styles of communication: competitive, avoiding and compromising, being competitive or avoiding conflict share the same risk of alienating the other person.
No matter how couples try to make sure everything in their lives is perfect, at some point they may experience conflict in their marriage. Conflict is not as dramatic as it sounds. In marriage, independent of how much you love someone, you may have differing ideas about money or education, preferences, or various special activities you both want to do.
At different points in their lives, many people will attempt to make behavioral changes. Whether the changes are temporary or lasting will depend greatly upon several factors. For example: Does the person want to change? Does the individual have the resources and knowledge to successfully make a lasting change? Is there anything preventing the person from changing? Then there is always the expected relapse. What factors will trigger a person's return to a former behavior?
The abbreviated language of text messaging has entered our everyday lives. While texting is an excellent, quick way to communicate with our friends and family, it is a symptom of a greater issue facing today's students: declining writing skills.
About 10 years ago, I went to Israel for a brief visit and met up with the Kuper family, old friends I hadn't seen for many years.
Domestic abuse is an issue that affects people of all religious and cultural backgrounds. It is for this reason that most communities today have organizations that will respond to abuse in a manner appropriate for its constituents.
Last week, a frum-from-birth mother in one of my classes thanked me for encouraging her to stay home with her last baby (which was her sixth). She said, "Until I met you, I didn't know it was important for babies to be cuddled or held. Thanks to you, I decided to nurse for the first time and it was a wonderful experience. Instead of rushing off to work in the morning, he got a calm mom - at least until I returned to part-time work when he was eight months old."