Editorial Category: 
Date: 
Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Commonly Asked Relationship Questions Answered!

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Knoxville relationship coach, Lara Edington, of An Open Mind LLC, has a passion for bringing couples closer together through answering their toughest questions, mentoring them through confusing times, and coaching them to a strong, lasting relationship.

Lara addresses various topics including sex, family relations, and financial struggles. Below, she exemplifies her expertise through answering a few commonly asked questions from couples.

 

Keeping it Spicy!!

Our relationship has become predictable and mundane. I love my fiance, but I want our relationship to be more exciting! What do I do?

The first thing you do is accept that he isn’t going to be the one to make it more exciting and realize the task is likely going to fall onto your shoulders.  It’s not that he wants it to be mundane by any means, men just typically aren’t the ones that see a need for change in a relationship unless it has to do with the bedroom acrobatics or your cooking.

The second thing you do is figure out what it is that you want to be more exciting and less predictable.  Is it that you want to go more places, try new things in the sack, or start a hobby together?  Sit down and create a list of things you would like to do.  This could take days to finish and that’s fine.  The more, the better!

After you’ve determined exactly what it is in your all’s relationship that you want to be more exciting and you’ve compiled your list, then it’s time to share this with him.  I strongly suggest that you choose a time to have this conversation when he has no access to the TV or his phone so he’ll actually give you his full attention and not be distracted by ESPN or that friend that seems to always call or text right in the middle of the important stuff.  Tell your fiance that you’ve been doing some reading and found out that monotony is one of the biggest killers of marriages and you don’t want the two you to be just another statistic.  Share your list with him and ask for his input and ideas.

After the list is finished, number each item in the order that you all plan to complete it.  Make a decision on how many of these you plan to carry out each week, month, or year in order to stay on a schedule, which will lead to better follow through.  Once this is all complete, it’s all about holding each other accountable for carrying out the items on the list together.

Quick Tip:  If you’re not the two most creative people in the world, get a school coupon book and start working through it from A-Z.  There are tons of different restaurants and places to go so you should have more than enough to choose from and you’ll save money at the same time that can be used for the wedding.

 

Learning to Let Go

My fiancé is a “mamma’s boy.” How do I break him of always agreeing with his mother and always having to please her!?

Ewwww…that’s a hard one.  This answer could go on and on for days, because every mother/son relationship is so different, but so similar at the same time.  This issue will likely never go away completely as it seems to be the bond between most mothers and sons is unbreakable.

You have to set your boundary as his WIFE and not as his second mother in the very beginning.  You and his mother will have two very separate roles in his life, which will also consist of two very different opinions.  She will always cook his favorite meals and iron his shirts his favorite way.  That’s alright, because you do all kinds of new things for him that she has never done and he likes those too.

If it comes down to him actually putting her needs and feelings before your own, professional help is highly recommended to squash that before it squashes the marriage.

 

Communication

My fiance wants to get a prenuptial agreement.  I feel like that’s basically saying, “Hey, I don’t plan on this being a permanent thing.”  What should I do?

If you had asked me this question a while back, I would have been by your side ready to fight your fiance, but recently I’ve learned that prenuptials aren’t always about planning for divorce.  They can actually be highly beneficial in some situations.  If you were to come into the relationship with a large amount of money or assets, having a prenup can secure that money as your own if something were to happen and your spouse got sued or acquired a large amount of debt in his name.

If you are to have children, these agreements can also lay the groundwork for your will/trust/estate, which would protect money from creditors of your spouse for the benefit of your children.  Also, prenuptial agreements aren’t completely binding, so you could always decide later to commingle funds from your separate estate into the marital accounts.

And, finally, as horrible as it is to think about and realistically speaking, with divorce rates hovering around 50%, it can save you a lot of money in legal fees should you decide to get divorced down the road.  So to answer your original question, simply probe your fiance for his rationale behind getting a prenup.  If he doesn’t seem to have a very good reason, maybe look into professional help that could solidify the relationship before sending out the invitations to the wedding.  On the other hand, if he seems to have a logical explanation, go ahead and consult with a family law attorney for more advice to determine if it does actually make sense for the two of you to enter into a prenuptial agreement.

 

Finances

I have my finances completely in order and my fiance is the exact opposite.  How do I keep him from ruining my financial status after we combine our finances? 

Financial problems in marriages is considered the largest reason for divorce, which means that it’s good you’re getting a grasp on this now!

There is no rule that says you MUST combine your finances, so if you and your fiance can agree upon keeping things mostly separate for the first year to see if he can get his finances on track, just do that.  A very easy way to work the combined expenses and keep tabs on the money going out is to get a joint credit card that is used ONLY for these joint, agreed upon expenses.  He can write you a check at the end of the month for his half or other portion.  You can still separately pay your car payments, student loans, etc.  The mortgage and the rent can also be taken care of once a month by him writing you a check for his portion.  This way your name is not getting tainted by his lack of financial responsibility and quite possibly you will be helping his credit at the same time.

Now, if he doesn’t agree to this separation of the marital funds, then it’s time for Plan B.  This one isn’t so simplistic and requires you balancing being a wife and the financial disciplinarian in the relationship, which takes practice and patience.  You have to be very careful not to come across as his other mother, because that rarely goes over well with a man.  They like to be in control and it hurts their egos when you attempt to take that control away from them.  I would recommend that you set up a system prior to your wedding day so that it doesn’t feel to him like everything changed after the wedding.  Start having weekly or bi-weekly meetings to discuss your all’s financial situation so that you all can begin to get on the same page when it comes to this important topic.

These meetings would involve developing a budget, developing a plan to stay on budget, reviewing bank statements and bills, and long-term planning for large purchases.  A lot of men tend to think that debit cards are like a never-ending stream of money and have no idea how much they spend every month.  For these kinds of guys, develop a budget that allows for a planned amount of spending money each week and get that amount of cash out of the bank and have him leave the debit card at home.  This way he can’t go over his budget without asking for more cash or stealing his debit card back.

Again, you can’t allow this to become an issue of distrust and “Second Mother Syndrome” because that will surely wreck your finances and your relationship one bill at a time.  Anything you ask of him should be done by you as well to foster a feeling of mutual respect and partnership.  If the problems consist, consulting with a financial planner could be highly beneficial to your wallets as well as your relationship.

Contact Lara:

Contact Lara through The Bride Link or through her website to set up your own premarital/relationship coaching session.

 

Lara happily coaches women that prefer one-on-one sessions without their significant other present.

She also provides premarital coaching for couples which rewards them a $60 discount on their marriage license.

 

Photos by Last Forty Percent via Lucy Dylan Weddings

Photos by Bronco Prada via South Bound Bride

Photo by Eternal Reflections via Le Magnifique

Photo by Adam and Alli Photography via Valley and Co.

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