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Mon, Sept. 23

Would new surroundings help our marriage?

Dear Jan:

My wife and I have been married for 19 years. We have four children. We are drowning in debt. I want to move away from here and start a new life for us, but my wife is dead set against it. I feel if we had new surroundings, then perhaps we could start over. How can I make her understand this would be the best thing for us?

Dear Jan:

I am the wife of the man writing to you. We have moved five times in our 19 years of marriage. Every time we moved, it was for the same reasons. We were in debt, and he wanted a fresh start. I say, enough is enough. Our kids are older now, and we have to consider their lives, too. Our daughter wants to graduate with her friends next year, and I don't think it would be fair to uproot the family because my husband just "wants a change." I am not running this time. Can you help us reach an agreement?

Signed, Husband and Wife

Dear Husband and Wife:

Husband, surely you know that you cannot run away from you problems. Your debts are going to follow you where ever you go. It is time to get some stability in your life.

Believe it or not, I do understand how you feel about a change. I am a very adventurous person. Bill and I have lived all over the country and we loved every place we lived. We moved for different reasons than you. Ours was all ministry related. But I do understand enjoying changes.

However, there came a time for us that we, too had to "settle down" and think of our kids and their future.

Let your daughter graduate, and the other kids, too. In the meantime, you two need to get on a financial plan to get out of debt. While the kids are growing up, if you will work on your finances, stop the spending that brings on the debts, by the time the kids are grown, you can be debt free. THEN, you and your wife can move and live wherever you like. It would be great fun. And, with the debts out of the way, you won't have that "running away" feeling. You can wander around for the fun of it. Make you plans. Stick with it, and enjoy your life.

Signed, Jan

Dear Jan:

I am 16-year-girl in high school. I really like this boy in my school. He is 16 also, and very nice.

My parents won't let me date him until they meet him, but I am ashamed to bring him to my home. Our house is such a mess all the time. My mom and dad both work, and they are tired when they get home.

I would be embarrassed for my new boy friend to see how we live, but I don't want to hurt my mom's feelings. What can I do? I don't want to sneak around because I know that is not the right thing to do. What choice do I have?



Dear Embarrassed:

You sound like a very nice girl, not wanting to go behind your parents back to date secretly. I admire that.

I would suggest that you very lovingly tell you mother and dad that you are excited about your boyfriend meeting them, and ask them when would be a good time for them.

Tell them that you want to give them plenty of notice so you can help them get the house in order. Stay as excited and pleasant as you can. Don't tell them you are embarrassed. Just be excited, talk about the snacks or food you would like to prepare, and again, offer your help.

I am sure they will work with you and you can all have a good time.

Signed, Jan

You can write to Jan Kolb at P.O. Box 27545, Prescott Valley, AZ 86312. Or email:

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