Foundational Issues

Most couples start couples counseling, wanting to talk about their last fight or blowout, but Patrick said he didn’t want to do that. He wanted to talk about foundational issues. These are issues that may not have shown up in their last conflict but themes that consistently appear in their relationship.

In the last session, Patrick brought up finances. Patrick makes a decent living but is concerned about his wife Ashley’s spending. As a child, Ashley’s parents spent more than they had, and Ashley adopted this tendency. Patrick said this issue was so problematic that it put their relationship at risk.

Ashley heard this and moved into action. She put together a spreadsheet of her spending to get a better handle on it. She tended to be generous with their kids and consistently bought things for the house. She felt empowered by limiting her spending to essentials, and Patrick really appreciated her efforts.

Now, they were ready to move on to their next foundational issue—parenting.