How Do I Make My Marriage Work When Finances are Not Working?

BY: - 31 Oct '17 | Money

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Dear Dr. Buckingham,

I need help and fast, I been married 2 years and financially my husband and I are unstable He has an ex wife and a child with her. I have two from a previous relationship and we have a child together. A few years ago I picked up and moved so we could be closer to his daughter. Things didn’t work out so we moved back to my hometown. Before I met my husband I was doing great with my finance but now its like we can’t get the bills paid. He works two jobs and we still can’t afford too pay our bills. We just moved out of my parents’ house because I don’t want to stay with anyone else. I am often depressed. I don’t want to be bothered with him. He loves me and I know it but love can’t keep food on the table.

I had an offer to go back to work, but he wants me to wait until our son gets in school. Also, I have put off school for the last 3 years. Either he is working and not making enough or he is not working. Sometimes I ask him to complete applications and he never does. I am tired already. I am really frustrated because we are two months behind on our mortgage and I cannot get a loan because I helped his mother pay her cable bill. Now, I have that on my credit. Also, I cosigned a loan for him. Things are not great and I feel like we should do something different cause this isn’t working. How Do I Make My Marriage Work When Finances are Not Working?


Last dollar

Ask Dr. Buckingham

Dear Last Dollar,

Given that the top three reasons for divorce include infidelity, money problems and ineffective communication, I highly recommend that you and your husband seek financial guidance and counseling. Churches and certain non-for profit organizations can assist with both.

Seeking financial guidance can help with your finances and professional counseling can help you manage feelings of depression. Seeking help is important because you all might need to receive some education about money and crisis management. Without knowing his and your spending habits, it is difficult to comment about how you should move forward from a financial perspective. However, in talking with hundreds of couples over the years, I have learned that many couples do not manage their money well. Believe it or not, I have counseled couples who make over $500K annually and were still in financial trouble. I mention this to say that a lack of money is not always the problem.

I agree with your sentiment that love can’t keep food on the table. However, I do believe that love can position individuals to work together in order to keep food on the table. You have a right to be tired and I assume that your husband is as well. You stated that he has worked two jobs and you all still cannot pay the bills. I realize that it is difficult to remain positive and hopeful when basic needs (shelter, food, etc.) are not met, but you all cannot afford to allow distressful emotions to further divide the household.

You can make your marriage work when finances are not working by sitting down with your husband and organizing the finances. Also, you all need to discuss possible resources. While living with your parents was not ideal it was probably the best option available. Being resourceful is the best way to navigate through financial struggles.

There are a lot of online financial tools that allow you to analyze your income and expenses. Also, there are a wealth of free food pantries and non-profit organizations that offer donations and contributions. Additionally, thrift shops offer clothing at a discounted price. As you work to improve your financial situation, do not allow your pride to prevent you from thriving. Reflecting on your past financial stability is not going to help you move forward.

In my opinion inefficient finances destroys marriages because individuals do not truly understand the meaning of their marriage vows: “To have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth”.

You and your husband made a commitment to marriage so I recommend that you all make a commitment to managing your financial instability. I would argue that your husband is struggling with pride issues and is probably depressed as well. Also, I would argue that marriages do not fail because of finances, but because people do not know how to cope with or manage the emotional distress that stems from insufficient finances. Ego and insecurity issues surface when individuals are faced with hard times.

Instead of focusing on what is wrong in your marriage from a financial perspective, focus on what resources are available and use them on your road to financial recovery.

Best regards,

Dr. Buckingham

If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to

Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.

About the author

Dwayne Buckingham wrote 212 articles on this blog.

Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham, author of Qualified, yet Single: Why Good Men Remain Single and Unconditional Love: What Every Woman and Man Desires in a Relationship, is a highly acclaimed international clinical psychotherapist, life coach, relationship and resiliency expert, motivational speaker and corporate consultant. He is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of R.E.A.L. Horizons Consulting Service, located in Silver Spring, Maryland. To learn more about Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham visit his website at


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Here’s How My Son Sold His First House at 14

BY: - 3 Nov '17 | Money

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By: Kito J. Johnson

As a single father, I involve my children in nearly everything I do. I’m the broker of a realty firm. That means lots of business meetings and time spent with associates, and they all know who my children are. Family is a very important aspect of my life and so is my business and anyone who knows me will agree.

Many professionals love to imagine the idea of their children filling in their shoes and continuing their legacy. Whether it be their business, professional involvements, or even personal endeavors. It would make us more than proud to see them carry on something we built and make it greater well after we are gone. The true definition of generational wealth.

I first discovered my son, Immanuel, becoming interested in entrepreneurship around the age of 9, not unlike myself. He would look for opportunities to sell or help out with something. By 12, he was selling things online and charging people a percentage to do so. To his credit, he’s sold anything from candy to cars, furniture and art, even a 48-passenger bus and an 18 wheeler.

But I imagine it was the constant exposure. By watching me in real estate, being attentive in my meetings, observing my actions, he got that constant exposure he would need with the equal advantage of a college internship. And like a child ahead of his time, he took advantage of the opportunity. Summer breaks were spent joining me everywhere I went. My investors and mentees knew him. He would overhear meetings and presentations and through that he picked up on the language of the business, in turn developing a passion for it.

FREE RESOURCE: Click here to download a FREE mini video training from the author – How Much House Can I Flip? This FREE mini video training shares insider secrets to determining how much house you can afford to flip in your area!


Immanuel has always been a good researcher. As a broker, I’d log into my MLS account and he’d sit and watch me and then he’d go and log in on his own and property-search for himself, looking up comps and values of properties. He’d then set up email alerts for areas I was interested in and email me suggestions. I’d look at them, thoroughly impressed with his attention to detail.

Now came time to test his chops. As a kid in school he obviously couldn’t set up meetings with clients or go prospecting so he found a ready prospect in the form of a family friend at a function we attended. She was discussing her desire to move but had concern about keeping her son in a certain school district and she also talked about her price point.

Almost immediately he logged into my MLS account and searched criteria based on her price range. Without communicating it with me he sent a property to my client, called the listing agent, and set an appointment with the client to view the property. I found out through a text message he sent to me from school informing me that we had a showing appointment at 6pm that evening. When I asked him about it he explained what he had done.

To his advantage, the client was interested. He told me not to be concerned; he already called the listing agent and set the appointment at 6pm. Well, the client loved it and the next day they decided to make an offer on the home-which was accepted. Three weeks later they closed on the house. marking the beginning of a journey still being written for such a young man.

A growing passion

People often ask if my son is seriously passionate about real estate. I’d say he is but it’s not limited to the many other things he’s interested in. It’s not his only passion, but the financial rewards certainly intrigue him. And his involvement doesn’t end with the buying and selling side of real estate, but also the renovation, remodeling, layouts, and paint choices. He’s already a self-proclaimed design expert.

I do continue to train him, but it’s mostly in our daily exchange at the end of each day. He’ll tell me about his day at school and I’ll talk about my day at the office. Real Estate is a major part of my life so there’s always conversation around it. He has a keen ability to pick up on nuggets in natural conversation.

How do I get my child started?

If you would like your children to follow in your footsteps, there are some major keys to consider:

  • Start early on. Children’s brains absorb environments like sponges. Introducing them to your profession or business in their adolescent years is key to successfully guiding them on a path to success.
  • Don’t be afraid to challenge them. Let them learn, ask questions and even test them in subtle ways. Encourage them when they fail as well as instill in them critical thinking for independence.
  • Expose your children to opportunities to be involved in wealth creation and entrepreneurship by being more transparent about your business and professional environment.
  • Inspire them to go beyond their peers. Suggest ways to grow and think outside the box. A great way to practice is to continuously have conversations that challenge them.

Pass down your legacy

The key to this is to train without them knowing they’re being trained. Create opportunities for them to receive the information. If they could see, for instance, people their age with similar interests, this allows for a nurturing atmosphere, which promotes focus. Attend functions, seminars, and networking events with them.

Enroll them in programs and camps they can benefit from. The right books can be a good way to build their expertise. You could even make it fun by making games and competitions out of it if you have multiple children all interested in the same thing. Constant nurturing is beneficial to their
focus on the training. Uplift them. Allowing them to make mistakes and encouraging them when they do. Reward the wins and ask them about their goals.

Be the business partner to them that you always felt best working with. I am blessed to be in a profession that also inspires my children. They challenge me to not just do my best, but to always reach higher. Given the right encouragement, your children can do the same for you. As you show them that there are no limits to what you can achieve, the ceiling of limitation is removed from them as well!

BMWK, are you ready to change the game financially for generations to come?

FREE RESOURCE: Click here to download a FREE mini video training from the author – How Much House Can I Flip? This FREE mini video training shares insider secrets to determining how much house you can afford to flip in your area!

About the Author: Kito J. Johnson is an accomplished real estate broker who specializes in teaching others how to create generational wealth through principles of real estate investing and entrepreneurship. A licensed broker in four states, his stellar 20-year career boasts over 1,000 real estate transactions. A master networker and CEO of Atlanta-based brokerage, Buy N Sell, Inc., Kito has been dubbed “the guy to know” in circles ranging from community leaders to elite investors.

About the author

BMWK Staff wrote 1250 articles on this blog.

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