Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Value of Financial Stability


Here’s another interesting letter addressed to Washington Post advice columnist, Carolyn Hax:

Dear Carolyn:

What is a fair way for me to engage with my boyfriend’s vastly different financial situation? I am from a family that is comfortable financially, and I have zero debt. I make reasonable money for an above-entry-level job and live within those means.

My boyfriend moved here six months ago for two reasons — to stop being a ski bum, and to be with me (a bit of a spontaneous decision on his part).

When he moved here, he was underemployed and working food service. I paid more than my share of our expenses (dinners, concert tickets), but grew resentful when it seemed like he was making decent money but was always tight-fisted.

About three months in, he said he wanted to live together. The main motivation seemed to be financial, which I found offensive. However, I have come to realize that in addition to significant student loans, he has almost $8,000 in medical and credit card debt (from a skiing accident and from moving here, respectively).

I revisited the idea of living together. We spend basically every night together anyway, it almost seems silly to be paying rent in two places. He has also managed to get a full-time, salaried position with benefits, and is still working food service on weekends.

Still, I feel slightly torn. I love this man who moved here to be with me, but at the same time, the idea of building a future with someone with such massive financial liabilities is daunting. The student loans and medical bills are one thing, but I find credit card debt un-stomachable. Is it simply too soon to do something so radical for someone I’ve only been dating six months?


Hax offers good, solid advice about the question of moving in together. A few excerpts:

  • When people stay together for reasons other than being happy together, regrets ensue.
  • Don’t throw things out of balance by trying to take on his debts as your responsibility.
  • You apparently love each other, you’re growing closer, and you’re both making good/better financial choices. Why push what is progressing well on its own?

However, she fails to focus on the main issue: Financial security. The writer states that her boyfriend moved nearby "to stop being a ski bum” and that he has been “underemployed.” There is no indication of new stability—especially given that his suggestion to move in was mainly financial, something that she admittedly finds “offensive."

By failing to validate the advice seeker's natural need to feel secure, Hax follows the course of too many relationship experts, assuming that any problem can be solved by relying on patience and love. While these character traits are a necessary part of the solution, nothing will change until the boyfriend takes on his responsibility as Provider.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Book Critique: The Relationship Handbook, George S. Pransky, PhD, Part 4 of 15

George S. Pransky's book, The Relationship Handbook: A simple guide to satisfying relationships (ISBN 0971198802), is a lesser-known, self-published book that contains a number of strong insights into building a strong marriage. This book is worth reviewing as a supplement to my book, Dragonslayer, while working to overcome the disease of Gender Role Reversal.


Previous chapters: 1-A Fresh Start2-Compatibility, 3-Communication

Chapter 4: Moods

Pransky's Take

There is a connection between low moods and relationship disfunction. All conflicts happen when the participants are in low moods.

Pransky explains that the variable in all moods is security; as you feel secure, your mood rises, leading to better responsiveness and less reactivity.

Because thought patterns are dictated by mood, when we feel low our thinking increases, gravitating to problems and dissatisfaction. We experience a heightened and distorted sense of immediacy, feel self conscious, become pessimistic, and entertain negative thoughts, emotions and concerns.

While low moods produce “habitual circular, conditioned thought patterns," higher moods produce “vdiffuse, creative thought, allowing us to be relaxed, energetic, in good humor, patient, carefree, and compassionate."

The Sigma Male Says

Pransky’s thoughts align with accepted psychology: Moods are connected to relationship function/disfunction. This seems like a no-brainer. But he points out something even more important: The connection between security and mood.

When your wife feels secure, her mood will be elevated. In other words, when your wife is experiencing a low (bad) mood, it is an indication she does not feel the security that her husband—her Protector--should be providing.

Increase your ability to Protect and your mood will be elevated as well.

Next up: Emotions