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Earlier this month, a man in Milwaukee was charged with spiking his wife's tea with the antidepressant Lexapro. The reason? The couple had been arguing about bills and he wanted to calm her down, according to reports.
Everyone knows that money issues can strain a marriage, especially when times are tough. It's even been said that recessions tend to raise divorce rates. But there are ways to keep peace in your house—without drugs or divorce. For advice, we turned to Emma K. Viglucci, a marriage and family therapist and clinical director, supervisor, founder and president of Metropolitan Marriage & Family Therapy in New York City. Here are her tips:
1. Talk. Have a discussion and prioritize your expenses and investment goals. "That can be challenging in and of itself if you have different perspectives or goals," Viglucci says, "but hear each other out and try to compromise as best as you can." Once that's settled, agree on a plan to meet those priorities.
2. Touch base. Weekly, biweekly, monthly—whatever meets your needs—touch base to see how the plan is going. "Typically, one person in the household takes care of all the bills and that creates stress for both people," Viglucci says. "Having a regular meeting will keep both people in the know."
3. Safeguard your connections. When you're stressed out or overwhelmed, you may have difficulty staying emotionally connected to your partner. "Sometimes, even if you're spending a lot of time together, you won't feel a connection," Viglucci says. "Make an effort to stay connected and don't do anything to break that connection." For example, if your partner calls while you're busy at work, keep your frustration in check and don't just hang up on them, she says. Instead say, "I can't talk right now, but let's touch base before dinner."