Dear Dr. Poussaint:

I and probably millions of others are having problems in marriage relations because of inflation and rising prices.

A year ago, with just my weekly wages, I could keep my wife and two kids very happy with things, and could afford to go out now and then. In the past months, my wife has started working part-time, and we both can barely make ends meet -- and that's with no relaxation and also without going out.

I have also recently gotten high blood pressure which I take medication for. I am trying to keep out of a divorce situation because of our sorrows.

I know all Americans are going to have to go to a lower standard of living, which I also realize is our government's very move to fight inflation. Don't get me wrong: I love this country very much, but I think they should start thinking of us people who are this nation.

Instead this nation, in my opinion, is trying to stay more powerful and have a good growing economy in the eyes of other powerful nations.

Without us and our children, this nation is nothing. As you can see, my opinion is the government is at fault. I also see that the large, rich companies and people are at fault for a lot of this because of their greed for money and profits.

I know President Carter said we don't know all the answers for our inflation, but then again, that's what our politicians are being paid for, and are in their offices for. If they don't know the answers, they shouldn't be in their jobs and should let people in who do know. I.M. Dear I.M.:

Like many Americans, you are undergoing considerable stress due to inflation and our sluggish economy. However, you must be careful not to attribute all of your family conflicts to rising prices and the sagging dollar. a

A lack of money can be disruptive to one's life, but does not necessarily have to lead to interpersonal difficulties. Perhaps you are trying to avoid some issues that are directly related to the problems you are having.

You should ask yourself if your problems would disappear if your income increased dramatically. If they wouldn't, search for other explanations for your difficulties.

Our government and private business have been unable to stabilize our economy, but they have become victims of international changes. The rising cost of oil and other raw materials has thrown much of the Western world into a tailspin. Clearly, our government's foreign policies have not always been soundly based, and emerging nations are beginning to assume a new and dramatic role.

You may be right in saying that Americans may have to adjust to a lower standard of living. However, this country still maintains one of the highest standards of living in the world.

If you are having problems with your wife and children, do talk to a counselor. It may be helpful. Dr. Poussaint