by Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil

These days, who isn’t stressed? About finances, work, career, and – likely – relationships as well. Or maybe you’re bored in your relationship and looking for a change. Maybe you’re facing all of the above! It can be tempting to self-medicate any tension you feel in your relationship – or in your life in general – by engaging in thrill-seeking behavior and looking for a high that won’t last, and will only lead you right back where you started. And often in worse shape than when you began.

Instead of seeking out stress reduction and excitement outside your relationship, re-create the connection you had when you first met. Not only will this mitigate the boredom you might be feeling, it will help reduce the stress in your life as well. You know those feelings you had when you first met? That’s the newness and excitement you’re looking for. Bring new elements into your relationship, and help yourself fall back in love with your partner.

As the holidays are upon us, it can be particularly tempting to slip into a pattern of financial infidelity (a pattern I talk about extensively in the book of the same name) to deal with feelings of discontentedness. Or maybe you’re worried about the occurrence of a literal affair as guards are down, tensions run high and the need to unwind hits hard this season.

Consider agreeing to commit to a “contract” for financial fidelity. Here are a few things put forth in “Financial Infidelity” that you could work out under this contract:

*Make a decision to fall in love again.
Fidelity – both sexual and financial – results from intent to REMAIN in love. These types of commitments don’t just happen. A strong relationship may feel fun and exciting at first, but it’s not based on those feelings! It’s normal that these initial impulses start to fade, but you have to commit to growing your love stronger than it was before.

*Treat each other like you did at the beginning.
Why does it seem to be the case that we only hurt the ones we love? We tend to show our “best selves” to the people who play less-important roles in our lives. Aside from learning to be nice to each other again, and learning to treat each other respectfully, bring back things that you did when you first met – and feel free to spice it up. Make these activities your top priority!

*Give up your old money relationships
Just as you would have to do if you had an affair and decided to work things out with your partner, you must give up your old ways of dealing with money and re-map these problem areas with healthy habits.

It may seem difficult to find the time to work on a relationship during this busy time of year, but an investment now will last long after the season is over!

To Confront or Not Confront: If you suspect infidelity this holiday season


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