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#1

Dan and Ann keep getting into arguments. Dan is uncomfortable with how often Ann goes out dancing with her friends. Ann says it's inappropriate for Dan to tell her what to do. How do you advise them?

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  • I encourage Ann to find out if Dan is jealous, or feels that the problem is Ann doing something “sexy.” If Dan is feeling insecure, I suggest he work on those feelings himself.

  • I tell Ann it’s definitely inappropriate for Dan’s insecurity to dictate what she does with her free time and encourage her to continue doing what she wants.

  • I think they both have valid points and suggest Ann spend more time with Dan.

  • It’s definitely inappropriate for Ann to be out dancing, especially if there’s other guys. She should be with Dan.

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#2

Ellie comes to you saying that her boyfriend never listens. She says she communicates constantly, for example,“The trash is getting really full,"but he never understands and takes action (or takes out the trash). What do you tell her?

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  • Just keep trying. He’ll come around eventually.

  • Call him out on it. If he isn’t listening, he needs to shape up!

  • Try saying the same thing in a variety of different ways to get the point across.

  • Be more direct and never assume he knows what you want from context clues. Focus on communicating, not just talking.

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#3

Two of your friends are getting married, and they're trying to decide whether to combine their bank accounts. What do you tell them?

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  • Whether you combine or not does not symbolize how much you love each other. Do what’s most practical.

  • I’d suggest having a mix: one combined account for combined expenses but individual accounts so that each person still has some financial security.

  • Definitely combine all your assets. You’re committed for life. What are you afraid of?

  • Keep all your assets separate.

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#4

Anna and Ellen have started to get in more fights lately, and Ellen has started yelling. Sometimes she curses at Anna. Anna comes to you looking for advice. What do you tell her?

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  • All couples fight. Anna just needs to learn how to move forward.

  • Anna should tell Ellen she feels very uncomfortable with it and ask her to fight more productively.

  • It’s never appropriate for a partner to yell and swear. Anna needs to set that boundary or end the relationship.

  • Anna needs to take care of herself when this kind of thing happens and ask friends for support.

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#5

Olivia comes to you complaining about the fact that her partner Jacob never helps out around the house. How do you suggest they deal with it?

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  • Olivia should just stop doing the housework until Jacob realizes how much she does.

  • It’s never good to make your partner feel bad about themselves, so she should make sure her requests are always polite and timed well.

  • Time for a CHORE CHART!

  • Olivia should be very open with her partner and express that it makes her frustrated that she does most of the work. They should work together to divide the housework and make a schedule they can both accept.

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#6

Chad says that his partner always overreacts when criticized. What do you tell him to do?

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  • Chad should ask his partner if there is any emotional history there; does it trigger a memory? Then they can work on finding less difficult ways to bring up problems when they know why he reacts so strongly.

  • That’s just how men are. They don’t like to be criticized.

  • I suggest he take a look at when he’s criticizing his partner: Is it during otherwise stressful times? Bring up issues during a calm, easy time.

  • He might have to pick and choose which problems he brings up in his relationship if the reaction isn’t worth it.

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