November 18, 2008

Wall Street meltdown a threat to marriages

The more couples lose in the stock market, the more they fight putting a strain on their marriage, a U.S. psychotherapist says.

Mary Jo Rapini of The Methodist Hospital in Houston says she has been counseling more couples who find that anxiety over their economic situation threatens the long-range outlook of their lives together.

The more couples spend and lose in the stock market, the more they fight, Rapini says in a statement. The bickering can put a huge strain on a marriage. Stress and anxiety can erode trust between partners, especially if one misunderstands why the other is acting distant or distracted.

Couples need to remember that money is symbolic. In men, it represents strength, power and self worth, while for women, money is more of a sense of security and a feeling of being loved when their husbands provide for the household, Rapini says.

Rapini suggests that if couples are too angry to talk, write a note, but talk later. Keeping feelings inside only harbors resentment in the long run, and in many cases, can lead to cheating or divorce, Rapini says.