May 20, 2018

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Money to blame for marriage woes?

We mine the Free Press archives for advice that still applies today (...or doesn’t)

From Barney Yellen, Family Counsellor, published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Sept. 15, 1980

Dear Mr. Yellen: Don’t you think that money problems are the main reasons marriages break down? With the bad condition our economy is in, it’s not surprising that the divorce rate is so high. My wife and I don’t have anything to worry about ourselves where money is concerned, yet when we argue is it inevitably about money.

Frankly, I don’t see what it takes to keep a woman satisfied these days. My wife now has every fancy gizmo in her kitchen that is imaginable and yet she still gives me a hard time.

She says these things don’t count with her – she wants something more. I honestly don’t know what I can do to make her happy. — S.J.

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From Barney Yellen, Family Counsellor, published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Sept. 15, 1980

Dear Mr. Yellen: Don’t you think that money problems are the main reasons marriages break down? With the bad condition our economy is in, it’s not surprising that the divorce rate is so high. My wife and I don’t have anything to worry about ourselves where money is concerned, yet when we argue is it inevitably about money.

Frankly, I don’t see what it takes to keep a woman satisfied these days. My wife now has every fancy gizmo in her kitchen that is imaginable and yet she still gives me a hard time.

A one-pound serving of Alaskan King Crab Legs (plus butter, potato, bread, salad and tea or coffee) was advertised for $7.95 at the Lock Stock and Barrel in September 1980. With inflation the price tag would be $22.69 in today's dollars. </p>

A one-pound serving of Alaskan King Crab Legs (plus butter, potato, bread, salad and tea or coffee) was advertised for $7.95 at the Lock Stock and Barrel in September 1980. With inflation the price tag would be $22.69 in today's dollars.

She says these things don’t count with her – she wants something more. I honestly don’t know what I can do to make her happy. — S.J.

Dear S.J.: It is a commonly held myth that money troubles are the main reasons marriages fold. It cannot be denied that the extra pressure on a relationship that comes with this kind of problem can aggravate an already unstable marriage. But wealth doesn’t create an immunity to marital troubles and I know of many poor couples with healthy marriages.

Perhaps your wife is having trouble telling you that what counts are not things but people. Maybe she’d like to be able to spend less time in the kitchen and more time with you. 

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