OnLove: Experts Discuss How the Recession Gets Personal

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Experts

It's been a year since the financial meltdown on Wall Street, and while there are indications that the economy is beginning to improve, the crisis continues to reverberate in our communities and personal lives. We asked five local professionals who work with couples in different ways to tell us how they see the recession playing out in romantic relationships.

-- Ellen McCarthy

Jonathan Dana

Divorce lawyer

Many of the divorcing couples Dana sees "are fighting more because there's less to divide," he says. "People are fighting harder for that which remains. So we're getting into more finger pointing. And I think you're seeing some people staying together because they can't afford to get divorced.

"I'm getting lots of people who will come in, but they get sticker shock when you say that going to court can cost them six figures," he adds.

Dana thinks headier days allowed some couples to gloss over underlying relationship problems. "There are a lot of people who find happiness buying things and getting things -- and that kind of gives them a sense of well-being," he says. "And all of a sudden when you're not able to do that, then you have to deal with the deeper issues: 'Am I happy? Am I in love with this person? Is this person in love with me?' "

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