When Being Widowed is a Relief

In the seminars I used to give about financial intimacy in marriage, some women confessed to social taboos they had never even shared with their friends. These taboos serve as protective fictions which allow relationships to function.For example, one woman said” the nicest thing my husband did for me was die and save me the trouble of divorcing him.” Or the caregiver wife who admitted ‘he’s taking too long to die”. I remember also the financially abused wives who paid for the seminar in cash because they were afraid to write a check or put the seminar cost on their credit cards....more

Professional Women Opt Out

Sometimes, you can't help overhearing a conversation. Five women were having coffee at Starbucks, surrounded by their collective seven children. From their talk, it was clear they were professionals who had opted out of their careers to raise their kids. One confided that her husband was angry about the financial pressure he felt at being the sole earner in the family....more

Letter from a Newly Widowed Baby Boomer

Dear Helga,I was widowed when my husband died suddenly. For the the last two years , he was making sure his parents' estate was in order. He planned to start on ours this fall.  "We" own several businesses and I understood a bit about them, but not nearly enough. I listened to your radio broadcast and heard such familiar feelings.  Trying to negotiate finance decisions in the middle of grieving is very hard for me. Do you have any advice for someone who wishes she had read your book last year? Katie...more

An Ex-Husband and a Dog

I ran into my friend Carol the other day in the park. She had celebrated her 60th birthday by filing for divorce after years of marital unhappiness. First, she had waited for the children to grow up. Then she waited for the grandchildren. Then it was fear of being alone, fear of not knowing how to manage her finances, fear of winding up a bag lady, and lots of other fears which she’s now uncovering in her weekly psychotherapy group....more

Regretting the Things We Didn't Say

The mysterious disappearance of Malaysia flight MH370 in 2014 with 239 people on board may finally yield some answers. This week, experts are analyzing a wing piece that washed up on the shores of an island thousands of miles from where the plane is thought to have crashed into the ocean....more

Consulting a Lawyer Before Divorce

 It can feel intimidating to talk to a lawyer. I’ve learned the hard way that if your lawyer can’t explain things to you as if you are a smart 14-year-old, you should find a lawyer who can. A lawyer is supposed to make your life easier, not more stressful....more

Four Dangerous Seductive Words

Anyone who remembers George Carlin remembers his routine about the seven ‘dirty’ words you can never say on radio or television. I’m too much of a lady to say them in a blog.However, here are four dangerous, but seductive clean words we hear from financial advisors, surgeons, lawyers, mechanics, plumbers and others to whom we turn to for help or advice: “If all goes well…” "If all goes well"....more

Money Talks: How Being Silent About Finances Can Hurt Intimacy

Is discussing money a hot button subject at your house?Is your husband involved in business deals you don't understand?Even worse, does he withhold financial information when you ask for it?One of the women I interviewed for my book said, "He wants to have sex every night and I can't know what our net worth is? And I'm supposed to pretend it doesn't matter?"...more

Parents Abused by Adult Children

Parental abuse is a silent problem, widely prevalent but not widely discussed. Search online and most of what comes up is about parents who abuse children.Parents who are bullied by their adult children have trouble admitting it; they may even deny that there is a problem. They feel depressed, and anxious....more

Counterintuitive Thinking about Marriage

Here's another way to think about marriage and money. It’s counterintuitive to think about widowhood or divorce when you’re getting married. Few women do.However, without thinking of the consequences of letting our husband manage our money, we set ourselves up for financial vulnerability. We trust him to be making financial choices that will benefit us both. Sometimes he is; sometimes he isn’t. Most of the time, he’s not thinking of our future without him....more