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Premarital Counseling

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Tightwads & Spendthrifts

Spendthrifts Marrying Tightwads

Maybe you have always been a little uncomfortable about how much money you spend. So it’s not surprising that you will attracted a tightwad. You perhaps will assume that this person will help you rein in your carefree use of credit cards. But be careful.

Recent research from University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania and Northwestern University suggest that your marriage maybe headed for some genuine unhappiness. One of the biggest bones of marital contention centers around, you guessed it, money. Particularly in these times of economic crisis, arguments about who gets to control the money can be quite intense.

Couples need to talk about their expectations around money. How much do you intend to save for a house, children’s college or retirement

When do you put the brakes on? Is it only after you have maxed all credit cards? Is it only when your cash available dips below 30,000? Do you touch the principle or do you blow through inherited money because it’s there?

Discussions about long term plans for retirement, about your parents style of saving , or how much either of you are in debt can be one of the most important conversations to have before walking down the aisle. If you know how to confront each other and find win-win solutions, you can deal with polar opposites in spending habits. If not, you may want to find someone who naturally thinks about money in a way similar to yours. See the NY Times article:


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What If I Am Not Sure I Want to Marry My Fiancé

Do I really Want to Marry My Fiance


If You Are Unsure About the Relationship

Let’s say you have gotten engaged and told your family and friends. Then you find yourself raising questions about whether this is the right step. In fact, you are feeling quite anxious about taking the plunge. So you are probably mystified: “Is this normal “pre-wedding jitters” or is this something you need to take very seriously?”

You probably would not be reading this article if you were not already beginning to take it seriously. The following questions will help you decide what to do:

1. Have you discovered anything about your partner that makes you question his or her character?

a. Examples
i. Excess drinking or drug use
ii. Abusive behavior toward you or others that is either physical or verbal
iii. Dishonesty or deliberate acts of misleading you or others

2. Do you still enjoy major activities with your partner?

3. Has your partner seemed distant since you became engaged?

4. Do you feel that your partner is choosing loyalty to family over loyalty to you?

5. Have you and your partner engaged in battles that do not seem to lead to meaningful making up and decisions about how to do things in the future.

6. When your partner challenges your point of view, do you feel you diminished rather than supported?

7. Does your partner withdraw into a shell and avoid dealing with many issues?

If you have answered “yes” to any of the above questions, you would be wise to investigate further. Each of these issues could well point to trouble in the future. They do not necessarily mean that you cannot build a good marriage. But the truth is, you can make the most meaningful and effective change now rather than when you are married, especially after you have had children.

A counseling process may lead to you to decide not to go through with the marriage. However, if you do make this decision , you will feel that you gave it your best shot and will have less regret or concern that you made the wrong decision.
Effective tools for dealing with the above issues can help the two of you build a successful and meaningful marriage. Talk to your partner about your concerns. Plan to seek some premarital counseling as a way of building a great marriage or relationship from the beginning.

Be sure to read:

12 Topics and 75 Questions You Should Talk about Before You Get Married

Provocative article by Maureen Dowd about “Whom Not to Marry.”

Dr. Jim Walkup sees many couples for premarital counseling.  Sometimes they come wondering if they really should get married and what tools do they need to gain in order to confidently walk down the aisle to build a great marital relationship.  For an appointment call Dr. Jim at 914 548 8645 or email at dr-jim.com.

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Dr. Jim Walkup, Director

Call Dr. Jim Walkup for a 10 Minute Telephone Conversation. 914-548-8645

 Associate Therapist Providing Saturday Hours


 Carrie Babe M.S.


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Mid-Manhattan Office:
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914 548 8645

The Counseling Center:
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