You've seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel Alone in Their Marriages keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show, Braxton Family Values. Now it's your turn to sit in her chair...
Hi Dr Sherry,
My boyfriend and I have known each-other several years. We have had breakups and gotten back together on multiple occassions. Admittedly the back and forth aspect of our relationship is in part my doing for not knowing how to deal with relationship issues or conflict. My fears stem from my childhood and some issues with my father which I am working through in therapy. My man is a good person. He's honest, trustworthy, educated and hard working but he is not as financially stable as I am. He is everything I want in a man and that's the only piece that is missing. I'm conflicted because I know financial issues can ruin a relationship and I feel pressure from friends and family to have a financially stable mate, one that is on my level or higher. My boyfriend's core values regarding money are steeped in morality and are commendable but they may conflict with mine in that he is minimalistic and against consumerism, while I want to live well and enjoy certain lavishes. We have discussed our wants and I have agreed upon compromising with him on certain things as long as I don't feel in my spirit that I'm forgoing my own deep personal desires and wants. Same goes for him. My question is, can a minimalist and an ambitious Diva survive in the long run?
Woman who adores her simple man
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Hi there sis,
It is great that you recognize challenges from your past that interfere with your current relationship. More importantly, it is fantastic that you are actually dealing with it. You are definitely going to need to know how to deal with relationship issues and conflict if you are seriously committing to a long term relationship with someone who is financially unstable and considers himself a "minimalist." Communication, communication, communication is the major key to survival of your relationship with you being an "ambitious diva" and your boyfriend a "minimalist." The first thing you must do is get a very clear understanding of how your boyfriend is defining "minimalist." Also, how is his core values regarding money "steeped in morality?" Does his values and views line up with yours? It may sound okay on the surface or in theory but can you accept and live with it? A person does not have to be financially unstable just because they are a minimalist and against consumerism. A person could just be a "cheapskate" and holding on to their money. If your boyfriend is definitely financially unstable, you must ask yourself what that really means for you long term. You must decide if you are willing to accept his financial instability and minimize your lifestyle just to be with him. An honest conversation about finances and values regarding money is needed now. Regardless how great a person may be in other areas of their life, finances are one of the top things that causes conflict and lead to breakups in relationships. The decision to remain with you boyfriend is your decision and yours only. But make sure you do not ignore the pressure you feel from family and friends without understanding what the real pressure is about. Your "simple man" may not be that simple after all. --Dr Sherry