Trends Toward Smaller Weddings Indicate More Successful Future says Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil

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Even as celebrities continue to spend millions on their weddings, and the cost of the "average" big day is around $27,000 (New York Times:, more people are opting for smaller, cheaper affairs. Finance and relationship expert Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil says this bodes well for the couple's relationship as well as their financial future.

A trend toward simpler and less expensive weddings is taking place (New York Times, and finance and relationship expert Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil says this gives couples a much better foundation. "When weddings get out of control," she says, "not only does the couple loose focus of what's really important but it makes for a difficult phase after the wedding." Dr. Bonnie calls this the Moneymoan phase - the time period following the honeymoon, when marriage blues start to set in and couples start to fight about money more frequently. Protecting against this at any stage in a relationship is important, but especially early on, these types of arguments can start a marriage off on the wrong foot.

A study by Utah State University shows that couples who fight about finances once a week were 30 percent more likely to get divorced than those who had less frequent money-related spats. Dealing with money can be a power struggle, and that power struggle can be a definite passion-killer and relationship-wrecker. The biggest priority, Dr. Bonnie says, is making open conversations about money part of the relationship.

It's also important to learn how to fight fair. Money is a hot-button topic even in the most communicative of relationships. Even if a newlywed couple can side-step issues of finances early on, things will likely boil over at some point. Creating an environment where each person trusts the other to be honest during a dispute, without being vindictive, is a crucial component of fighting fair. MSNBC explains that it's actually healthy to fight about how you fight to ensure that each person is fairly represented when arguments do break out.

“Avoiding the moneymoan phase is important for a healthy relationship,” says Dr. Bonnie, “but so is creating an environment in which each person feels heard and understood – even during times of high conflict.

To see Dr. Bonnie talking more about money and finances, click here:

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