Brief Synopsis: A couple can’t stop arguing over their finances and their blended family.
Couple: Bridget and Chris
Challenge: Bridget and Chris each have children of their own from a previous marriage. They can’t seem to agree on how to raise their new blended family, and to make matters worse, Bridget turns to online shopping whenever she gets stressed.
How they cope: The couple’s budget is stretched thin and Bridget’s spending recently almost caused them to lose their house. She tries to cut back on shopping, but when she does, she just turns to food for comfort instead.
Where they’re stuck: Chris wants to trust his wife, but her secret spending and hidden shopping habits have him frustrated and overwhelmed. Meanwhile she doesn’t like him undermining her decisions with the children, and she is frustrated that her kids have to be well-behaved while his kids get by with no rules.
Dr. Berman’s homework:
Recognize that online shopping is an addiction like any other. Most people realize that drug addicts and alcoholics need help to stop using, but they don’t realize that shopping habits require similar treatment. Online shopping might not destroy your body or physical health, but it can destroy your finances, your relationship, and your self-esteem and mood. Most people need to stop: Find a 12-step program in your neighborhood or look for therapists that specialize in shopping addiction.
Get on the same page. Raising kids is never easy, but raising a blended family can be that much more difficult and complicated. Everyone is used to a different set of rules and it can be a very tough adjustment, especially if Mom and Dad aren’t on the same page. Agree to ‘pledge allegiance’ to your partner and have a set list of rules that everyone in the house can follow. You need to present a united front in order to make sure that your family life is as peaceful and secure as possible.