By DAWN BRANDVOLD-GRAY
Advice and relationship columns inevitably address the topic of “deal breakers”. It is always amusing when inconsequential things arise Р dirty socks on the floor, drinking out of the milk carton, leaving the cap off the toothpaste, the direction the toilet paper hangs. If these things are your idea of a “deal breaker,” I would say that the “deal” wasn’t all that great to begin with.
To have or not to have children, to attend or not to attend church...those things can affect the success of a relationship and should be hashed out before the “I dos”. But for me there is only one real issue that could bring down an otherwise strong bond and that is money.
How money is spent or saved can be a bone of contention for a couple who views financial stability differently. If one partner likes to watch the bank account grow and the other thinks nothing of spending big bucks on the latest technology or toy, there are bound to be arguments. If a wife cuts coupons and her spouse likes to splurge on courtside Jazz tickets, unless the wife is on board that the money they save is for play, it’s going to cause hard feelings.
Sometimes it’s not even that the money is spent, but how it is spent that can lead to a quarrel. Part of my joy on a vacation is to stay in a really nice hotel. We aren’t talking $500 a night, but somewhere that feels a little special. My husband doesn’t worry about hotel niceties. He thinks nothing of plunking down big bucks for a fancy meal. It wasn’t until I helped him understand that the joy he felt in a gourmet meal was the same that I felt staying in nice accommodations that things smoothed out.
Not having money is a terrible burden for any couple. Worrying over credit card or school loan debt can be crippling. But if everyone can be on the same page when it comes to finances, that is happiness that money can’t buy.
By MARK GRAY
A husband and wife can certainly hold differing political beliefs. (I know a lot of couples who “cancel” each other’s vote at the polls.) A couple can also disagree on household issues; a couple should not divorce over little things like closing the toilet lid or returning clothes to a closet hanger.
However, here are two differences that cannot be overlooked:
One is cruelty. If one spouse is verbally or physically abusive, the marriage is certain to break. Calling someone a “fat cow” is not free speech or appropriate persuasion; it is a good reason to make an appointment with an attorney. Using a fist is even worse; just call the police first, then the attorney.
Another deal breaker for me is music. I don’t mind if a spouse reads a different genre of literature or watches different television shows. Most of us have more than one television in the house and reading is a silent activity. However, I would have a hard time sitting in my wife’s car if she were listening to rap music. Similarly, if I came home from work to see the kitchen shelves shaking from the loud thumps of AC/DC tunes, I would be justified in turning around and seeking shelter from the storm.
Hey, my wife and I can debate a variety of things Р but “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” is not one of them!