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Expert Answers Your Questions on Financial Infidelity

Find out what our expert had to say.

ByABC News via logo
October 20, 2008, 7:22 PM

Oct. 28, 2008 — -- Therapist and author Bonnie Eaker Weil, the author of "Financial Infidelity: Seven Steps to Conquering the #1 Relationship Wrecker," a book about how money can influence relationships, answered "Good Morning America's" viewer questions on the subject. Check out her tips and responses below.

1. Gaze into each other's eyes (for at least 20 seconds).
2. Kiss for 30 seconds minimum to stimulate the immune system and increase oxytocin (the cuddle hormone for bonding).
3. Cuddle in bed for 20 seconds when you wake up and go to sleep for a dopamine rush to feel better.
4. Use tender words, compliments (verbal aphrodisiacs) daily.
5. Hold hands.
6. Embrace.
7. Remember you can get through this if you don't shame or blame.
8. Give the men plenty of "time outs."
9. Safety through the money love language will foster love, bonding and financial fidelity! It will increase passion through conflict if you "fight fair" instead of shaming and blaming.
10. Men cannot ignore you, and must get back to you with 24 hours with answers.

He can't pay it, he is taking money from his cards and paying his bills, but now he doesn't have money anymore, all his credit card limits decreased, some banks even closed his accounts. And I know that this situation is damaging my marriage, even my kids. I can't do anything, we don't have money, and I don't know what to do. Even for my kids I can't buy whatever they want, every time when we go to store, I have to tell them that I don't have money. Please, I am asking you your help, help me, give us some advice, I would say my husband needs more advice, he never listens to me.

Your husband may have a gambling problem or he may be living above his means. Since he never listens to you, he is "taking you out" because he thinks it will "all work out somehow." He has been hedging his bets until the credit cards dried up.

You need to sit down in a calm, safe way. I advocate "Fighting Fair" with my money love language dialogue since language can be wounding and then men tune out and ignore you and if you yell they shut down and close up more so.

Make an appointment

1. Ask him to sit down, look him in the eye, put on that emotional bullet-proof vest so you don't judge him.
2. Tell him you love him, you're here to help, not shame him or blame him; and to come up with solutions.

3. Talk about creative ways to pay off credit cards (find jobs for either or both of you).

4. A debt agency that can help you lower the interest rates and maybe bargain with the creditors as well as helping you create a budget. A different voice usually works, not yours.
5. Have a talk with your husband about whether he feels hopeless that his income was not enough so he overspent.
6. Pull together out of love, not anger. There is help to solve this.

Please ask your husband to hang this on the refrigerator so he can avoid "bad money behaviors." This will prevent you "nagging him" and he being accountable and taking responsibility for his actions and stopping these "bad money behaviors" before they occur.

I was intently listening to the couple you just had on discussing finances. My husband and I were having a "budget" conversation just yesterday. Like your couple, I fall into the majority of women who worry more than my husband as I am the saver and he is the spender. (Although he would disagree with you!)

My question is how do you budget when your income is primarily commission? My husband is a tennis instructor, and I work part time at the local hospital for benefits. His income varies from month to month.

Thank you for any help you can give. We will be celebrating our 25th anniversary next month and want to make it the distance. Finances seem to like to throw a "knockout punch" to that goal.

Congratulations on your 25th Anniversary! You definitely are doing something right. See my tips for all couples to go another 25 years.

No need for a "knockout punch."

A sure way is to use the amount he makes -- meaning the low ball, not the high ball amount. If his high is $2,000, then use the low amount $1,000 as an example for your budget.

See Fighting Fair techniques and use the Mirror Mirror Exercise for your husband so he can get a handle on his spending. Remember we pick a person who gives us the most trouble. Switch roles, ask him to start using the attached exercises.

Best of luck to you!

What about the kids' finances? Today, now more than ever, we want to make the right choices when it comes to our children's savings and planning for their future. Our eldest is a senior in high school and our youngest is a freshman. We encourage the senior to put some money in a savings account when he gets paid from his part time job. But is that enough?

1. Make an appointment, time limited (give him as many timeouts as he needs). Be understanding, tell him you love him and want to help.

2. Do not under any circumstances get reactive or angry so he feels safe.

3. Remember words are wounding if not used carefully.

4. Use my attachment "Money Love Language" which will make him feel safe and loved.

5. Put on an "emotional bullet proof vest" so you do not spook him.

6. Walk in his shoes even if you disagree while he speaks.

7. Give him some ideas of how both of you can recover, taking extra jobs, consulting, etc. and listen to his ideas.

8. After the talk bond by hugging, tickling to reverse the brain chemicals and evoke endorphin high.

Thank you.

Yes, you would benefit from professional help. Your husband needs to help separate the business from personal because now your credit rating is affected. With the economy plummeting, he probably doesn't have the cash flow and looks to you for surplus. This will affect your trust towards your husband. He does not realize that he is committing financial infidelity out of desperation.