- Materialism causes spouses to make bad financial decisions such as spending beyond their means, which puts them in debt and stresses the marriage.
- People who are materialistic are working more to "get things." They forget, don't value, or run out of time in a day to nurture their relationships.
Only married people were included in this study, but Dr. Carroll and his team believe the pattern is similar in couples who are cohabitating or long time partners. So, what do we do when we want nice things, or need to make the payments on the nice things we already have? How do we value our partner, but still work hard enough to make our payments, live in a nice neighborhood, send our kids to nice schools, and splurge on a special gift for the holidays? 4 Ways To Protect Your Relationship During the Holidays
These 5 tips may help:
- No matter how hard you work, if you communicate with your spouse each day, letting them know something as simple as, "I am thinking about you," you will be nurturing your relationship.
- Balance is everything. At times that is difficult and unattainable. When you know in advance that work will be consuming a lot of your time, tell your partner in advance so they can mentally prepare. Take them to dinner or spend extra time with them prior to the week or month that you need to focus on work. Remind them by saying something such as, "I am glad we have this time together, because next week (or next month) is going to be very demanding at work." This tells your partner they are more important to you than money.
- Have a family day. One day a week is sacred to families. Shut all communication off on that day. Program that day into your Blackberry, iPhone or whatever device you have so you won't schedule business.
- Husbands, wives, and children all like nice things, but they love you. Their love is a gift, not something you will get paid for. No amount of money or nice things you can ever acquire will replace this love.
- As a family, it's nice to have a charity to which you give every year. Let the kids be part of planning which charity means the most to them. Teaching your children early to value life rather than material is very important.
Dr. Phil once said that "If you marry for money, you earn every bit of it." What is equally true is that your family for generations to come will earn it too. Is keeping up with the Joneses ruining your marriage?
We all like nice things, but when they are valued more than our loved ones, it becomes a downhill ride, and you usually end up at the bottom alone. –Mary Jo Rapini
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