Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Commitment doesn't have to be expensive

The stress inflicted on us in light of the current economic situation can not only ruin a girl's complexion, it can also unnecessarily wreak havoc on your love life. Guess what? Love issues aside, much of the arguing/bickering/throwing dishes across the room in frustration that you may do these days is just that: an embodiment of your frustration. Frustration at losing your job, or seeing your friends lose their jobs, or struggling to pay bills. You get the picture.

Well, ere is a guest post from my buddy, Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil, on recommitting yourself to your personal relationships. Bonnie was recently named one of America's top therapists by Psychology Today, so who better than her to shed light on the matter? Enjoy!

Commitment doesn't have to be expensive. This is good news since most of us can't afford one more expense this year! As the economy has fallen apart, most Americans have been cutting back on their expenditures whether it be drastically — from necessity — or little by little, in preparation for what might be to come.

Sure, money — or lack there of — causes stress, but it's important to bear that stress as a couple and not let it DETRACT from the time you spend investing in each other and in your relationship. In some of my past posts, I've tackled how to do that — by asking the right questions, learning to fight fair and not being afraid to open up about your financial past.

But putting money aside and connecting on a relational level is just as important. Here are a few things you can do to re-invest in your relationship so that it will be left standing, long after the financial crisis has come and gone:
  • Make a decision to fall in love again. Fidelity – both sexual and financial – results from intent to REMAIN in love. These types of commitments don't just happen. A strong relationship may feel fun and exciting at first, but it's not based on those feelings! It's normal that these initial impulses start to fade, but you have to commit to growing your love stronger than it was before.
  • Treat each other like you did at the beginning. Why does it seem to be the case that we only hurt the ones we love? We tend to show our “best selves” to the people who play less-important roles in our lives. Aside from learning to be nice to each other again, and learning to treat each other respectfully, bring back things that you did when you first met – and feel free to spice it up. Make these activities your top priority!
  • A touch can be magical. It can get your hormones flowing and build attraction. Rediscover romance by bringing physical connection – at whatever lever you're comfortable with – back into your life. (Ed. Note -- Hey, it's free!)
  • Give up your old money relationships. You must give up your old ways of dealing with money and re-map these problem areas with healthy habits. (Ed. Note -- If you're not sure where to begin, I've published a few blog posts recently on cultivating new money habits. Check 'em out!)

Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil has been an internationally acclaimed relationship therapist for thirty years. New York Magazine named her one of the city's top therapists. Her most recent book, Financial Infidelity, is available on Amazon.

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