by GALTime.com StaffWhen you think about the issues that send married couples into therapy, you probably think money, children, sex, infidelity, in-laws. Well, here's a new one that may shock you...the environment! That's right... going green has some partners seeing red.
"Like anything that goes on between two people, when one person wants to take new actions and promote health and the other person starts to experience it as unwelcome change rather than something they're on board with, its inevitably going to create conflict," says renowned marriage and family therapist Jane Greer, Ph.D.
Tania Reuben charged head first into the green movement after her children were born. She now writes a blog as the Pure Natural Diva. "We recycle. We're now composting. I use power strips and reusable bags. I send my daughter to school with waste free lunches," says Reuben.
Sounds simple, but for husband Michael it was quite an adjustment. "She was, I think, voted or put in some book as one of the 100 greenest women in America and I would be put in the book for 100 most miserable men in America," he says jokingly.
Tania says in some areas her husband is very cooperative and in other areas she drives him crazy. "It's added another area where we can have challenges," she says. And he adds, "Before she went green I was a very happy guy. We hardly had any disagreements. Life was just awesome."Their eco-squabbles have never sent them searching for outside help. They've learned to work things out themselves.
"You try to have a discussion about it, but when someone is green there's no convincing them of any other way, so I have to sneak things... like I have a hidden stash of water bottles," admits Michael.
Dr. Greer says going green is like any other topic in marriage. You've got to approach it the right way. "If you're the person initiating the going green change, talk to your partner about it and present it in a way where you're offering them a choice, where you're inviting them in to participate in the new plan," says Greer.
Explain the benefits, but don't try to force change. Read more...Read the tips and then let us know how you handle differences of opinion over environmental causes in your house!
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