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Dr. Phil & Robin's Do-It-Yourself Marriage Makeover

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Problem 2: Money Miseries continued...

Robin: One thing that I think was always very important in our relationship is that when it came to money, just because I didn't work outside the home didn't mean I wasn't contributing to the well-being of the household. The day we got married, I quit my job and quit school and then I was a stay-at-home mom. But Phillip never had the attitude or the opinion that it was his money and he would bring it home and tell me what to do with it.

You do have to negotiate whenever an issue comes up. Don't just spend the money and then say, "Hey, this is what it costs, deal with it." Talk things over beforehand. I ran our household budget, and he really didn't have the first idea about what anything would cost, so we would have ongoing conversations about what I needed to buy, and what he needed to expect.

Dr. Phil: It's fine for one person to be the money manager, the person who actually pays the bills. But it still has to be a partnership. I hate it when I meet with a couple and one of them says, "Oh, well, he handles all the bills." Well, you know what? You both need to participate in this plan. And when you're both aware that the electric bill is going to cost you $40 this month, it'll get a lot easier not to blow $40 on beer that night.

Problem 3: Family Members Who Meddle

Dr. Phil: First of all, I don't believe in divided loyalties. When you get married, your loyalty, first and foremost, is to your spouse, and to the family that you create together. You know the saying that good fences make good neighbors? Well, sometimes electrified fences make for good in-laws. Now, that's not to say that you shouldn't be close to your family. But if you're in a situation where your mother-in-law is constantly butting into your life and offering opinions, and you feel like your husband is always siding with her rather than you…. Guess whose problem that is? It's not yours. It's your husband's.

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