Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Special Guest: Tim Kellis, Author of Equality: The Quest for the Happy Marriage

Good morning boomers! I've got a special super duper treat for you today. Tim Kellis, author of the relationship book, Equality: The Quest for the Happy Marriage is here with us today to answer whatever relationship questions you might have!

To begin with, let me tell you a little about Tim:

Renowned Wall Street analyst Tim Kellis takes on what could be considered society’s biggest problem today: divorce. The journey that led to him tackling such a significant issue was both personal and professional. After a successful career that eventually landed him on Wall Street, Tim met what he thought was the girl of his dreams, only to see that relationship end with bitterness and anger. The journey included work with a marital therapist, and after he discovered the therapist wasn’t really helping decided to tackle the issue himself.

Ambition and a strong aptitude for math helped lead Kellis to discover how to make relationships work. His math skills led directly to an engineering degree, nine years in the telecommunications industry, an MBA in finance, and finally on to Wall Street, where he became the very first semiconductor analyst to focus on the communications market.

After publishing a 300-page initiation piece entitled Initiating Coverage of the Semiconductor Industry: Riding the Bandwidth Wave, Kellis became a leading semiconductor analyst at one of the biggest firms on Wall Street. The experience he gained as a Wall Street analyst provided an excellent backdrop for becoming an expert on relationships, and resulted in his relationship book entitled Equality: The Quest for the Happy Marriage.

You can visit his website or his blog to find out more!

And this is what his book is about...

The journey through Equality: The Quest for the Happy Marriage includes a trip through history, where the most significant lessons civilization has learned over the last few thousand years are used to demonstrate not only the way to set up a positive relationship, but the causes of that relationship turning negative.

Additionally, I dive into the science of psychology to answer the most basic question anyone asks who goes through the pain of divorce, “why didn’t we work out”?

The basic premise of the book is that we have a 50% divorce rate yet there doesn’t appear to be anything happening to help solve this problem. Just because divorce has become a significant part of our culture doesn’t mean we should simply sit back while countless families suffer through the agony of splitting up.

The toll to society tomorrow because of our culture of divorce today is impossible to determine but future generations will have to deal with this change to the culture that has occurred over the last two generations.

For the first time in history I elaborate on a psychological solution to our psychological problems so that couples can learn how to change the direction of their negative relationships. In essence, the psychological objective is to understand what happens mentally between two people who make one of the most important decisions of their lives, to get married.

The objective of this book is to provide real, logical help to couples so that they can learn how to stay out of the divorce trap. The bottom line is to learn how to set up your relationship so that you can maintain a happy, healthy, harmonious, loving, affectionate, intimate marriage.

I'm so excited he has offered his expertise to answer whatever relationship questions you might have here at Boomer Chick today. To start off, he's answered a few questions to get us going. If you'd like to leave Tim a question, he'll only be here until the end of the day so get your questions in early!

Boomer Chick: What's a positive working relationship?

Tim: The funny thing about this question is I refer to this section of the book as the pedantic section, because from the outside a positive working relationship is described by the critics as boring. The positive working relationship is one where conflicts are solved as a partnership, in a similar manner as corporate partnerships resolve their conflicts. This can only be accomplished when the inevitable conflicts are resolved as disagreements, logical discussions, even about emotional issues, not by arguments, which are emotional discussions. Martin Luther King referred to this as civil disobedience, you can disagree on anything just be civil about it.

Boomer Chick: Explain what you mean when you say in the book that common sense is the foundation of a relationship?

Tim: The unfortunate reality about our psychology professionals today is they have yet to establish a foundation for resolving the inevitable conflicts that are again a part of almost every relationship. Dr. Phil even writes in his book that he basically did not solve a single serious relationship conflict in 25 years of practice. But fortunately the rest of society has for thousands of years been developing what I call the underground of society, questions to issues that are solved in mass, without the egos of leaders. We refer to this as common sense. Common sense is simply the solution to problems where the subjectivity of the individual is removed from the equation. This takes the emotional perspective of the insecurities, which are the root causes of the troubles in our relationships, out of the discussion.

Boomer Chick: Why should relationships work?

Tim: First and foremost is because of the influence of divorce on children. I chuckle every time I read another research report that concludes divorce has no material impact on the children. If those conducting the report were to only ask the children if the divorce of their parent troubled them then the outcome of all of those research reports would be the opposite. Does divorce impact your intellectual development? Not materially. But divorce does teach you one important negative character trait about marriages, to quit when the going gets tough. Now you as a child can respond by being stronger than your parents, but this influence is still something you must come to grips with. We will be dealing with our culture of divorce for generations.

Secondly, we are now in the age of spirituality, what is known as The Age of Aquarius. If we believe in the notion of spirituality then we also believe in the notion of soul mates, we fall in love with the one we were meant to spend our lives with. If we do not overcome our emotional issues then we leave that job for future generations of our spiritual existence.

Please, everyone, leave your questions below!


  1. I've got a question even though it's not marriage related...what was it like working on Wall Street?

  2. I have a question...If a relationship has ended in divorce, is it possible for that relationship to come back together again even if on one end there is no "feeling" of love? And what would some of the wrong reasons be to try again?

  3. Dorothy

    My pleasure and thanks for having me.

    Wow what a great question, what was it like to work on Wall Street. Please keep in mind the period I worked there, the last 5 years of the longest bull market in history followed by what is becoming more apparent as a collapse comparable to what led to the great depression.

    My joke was always be careful of what you wish for, it may come true. I never worked so hard in my entire life, until now, but never enjoyed work as much, until now. Just to explain what I did. I was a semiconductor analyst. There are probably 4 or 5 dozen semiconductor analysts in all of Wall Street. Analysts are like the R&D of the financial community. Everybody utilizes the work of the analysts. The sales and traders use analysts to develop relationships with investors by using the work of analysts to help investors with investments. Bankers utilize analysts for banking opportunities. And investors utilize analysts for investment decisions.

    The work was non-stop. A lot of my friends made a fortune of millions and tens of millions. So did I, only to see my portfolio collapse with the collapse of the market.

    But what I loved most was the intellectual challenge. Trying to figure out where stock prices are going tomorrow is one of the most challenging things anyone can do in our system of capitalism. There is no right answer. The objective is to be right more than you are wrong.

    This is one of the biggest points I try to teach couples, that the objective in relationships is trying to figure out where tomorrow is going, not where yesterday was.

    Thanks for the question.


  4. 4evergapeach

    And thanks for your question.

    I will always believe that even though a relationship has ended in divorce it is possible for reconciliation. Why? Well you fell in love in the first place.

    But to clarify your comment about one not having any "feelings" of love. What is important to understand is what happened for those feelings to go away. What happens to each of us individually, mentally, is the notion of development. Just like you develop an understanding of math in school, you also develop in a relationship.

    When you first fall in love you develop those feelings, and thoughts, about the other incredibly rapidly. And then you are supposed to learn to live together. The problem in negative relationships is you are reversing that development. Every time you get into an argument you are reversing those feelings and thoughts that you developed very rapidly when you first fell in love.

    And the reason you argue is you and/or your partner's fear of a negative situation from your past repeating itself. What you are doing is projecting that past situation onto your partner. Every argument about each issue in the future is a continuation of those projections, until eventually you have transfered those feelings, and thoughts, onto your partner. What you have done is build up that wall of vulnerability until you jump over it, with the completion of the transference process, leading to divorce.

    What is needed to reconcile the relationship is to convince the one over the wall to jump back over to your side, to try again. What is then needed is to begin back at the beginning, back when you two fell madly in love with each other, which is possible, but of course very difficult. What is most important here is the forgiveness of past hurts that led to the divorce in the first place, and this takes time.

    Let me know what you think.


  5. Did you ever see the big crash coming? Well, not an actual big crash, but did you ever feel everything was going to fall out?

  6. Hi Tim,

    Thanks for stopping by today to answer questions. What are some of the biggest issues couples argue about and how can they resolve these conflicts?



  7. "I will always believe that even though a relationship has ended in divorce it is possible for reconciliation. Why? Well you fell in love in the first place."

    I love this answer you gave ForeveraPeach, Tim. People need to understand that everyone comes into your life for a reason and even after divorce, that person will still be in your "life" whether you want them to be or not. Funny how life is. My ex and I fought like cats and dogs and finally today we've at least got on the level where we can be in front of each other without killing each other, lol. Over time, you forget a lot, but your spirit never forgets what you both had when you first met.

    I have a question. I know this is your second marriage and this is what led to writing your book, but how did you meet your first wife? Where did you propose? I love hearing these stories.

  8. Oops, another question. You have appeared on several TV shows. Did you pitch them or did you have someone do it for you, and if you are the one who pitched them, how did you make it happen? I know authors who would like to be on TV shows would love to know!

  9. I can honestly say that marriage is one area of my life that is sure thing. After 25+ years with a wonderful man, I am looking forward to the next 25. It's a give/take situation from both partners and lots of sacrifice. I wish you well on the rest of your book tour and I hope your book reveals to all those with rocky marriages that sometimes they shouldn't be too quick to walk away.

  10. Dorothy

    Let me answer the Wall Street question first. The thing about Wall Street, as with the rest of life, is hindsight is always 20/20 (and I abhor using words always/never so I use it here for a reason).

    The reality is the bull market started in the early 80s. The market even rebounded after the crash of 87 (I got my start investing in 86), so when stocks started to tumble in 2000 my belief, along with many others, was a rebound would happen. And of course I was wrong (NASDAQ at its peak, above 5, around 1,600).

    The funny thing about my admission of being wrong is how important this is for relationships (yes I do get back to relationships but our own analogies to life can often reflect on our relationships). Admitting your mistakes is a very important step to a happy relationship. But the point is my portfolio peaked at $12.5 million in 2000, and it has basically evaporated, so no I didn't see the crash coming.

    And actually the girl I wrote the book about and I never got married. We never made it that far, only to the engagement part. We had actually known each other for around 8 years before we got together, but she always had different boyfriends and I had a girlfriend for that entire period.

    But we met again, as we used to joke, through our mutual friend. And we fell hard and fast. I proposed after only about 6 months, in the South of France. We traveled with another couple where we stayed at a private house. The wife and husband set up candles by the pool, and I brought her out there, got down on my knees, and asked. She said yes, we both cried.

    Boy the falling in love period is so fascinating. I have the entire story in the book, including many of the wonderful cards she gave me during the courtship period.

    The TV shows...actually I had hired a PR firm down here right after leaving my Wall Street job in January 2008. The only thing they ever did in 6 months was set up 4 TV appearances, and 2 public appearances, the first one where I spoke for 2 hours and 15 minutes in front of 2 people. I secured the one national appearance on Lifetime's The Balancing Act on my own by meeting the guy who founded the production company that produces the show, down here in Boca Raton, FL

    Thanks for the questions.

  11. Cheryl

    Well sex and money. These are the two biggest issues couples argue about.

    But the reality is they are a result of problems not the cause of problems.

    I went to a marriage convention about a year ago and one presenter presented on sex, and as she put it, no always wins with sex. The reason for this is the difficulty in the one to open up to the intimate life that is supposed to be a very important aspect of marriage, because of lack of self esteem issues, or even worse, sexual problems from the past, even molestation.

    The money problems are a result of individuals who define themselves financially, the old "keeping up with the Joneses" phenomenon. I have a friend whose ex-wife basically used the fact that they rented a house instead of owned a house, in south florida, to destroy their marriage. This issue led to infidelity and the rest was down hill. She was embarrassed to admit to her friends she didn't own a house.

    And the other issues beyond sex and money are as endless as unhappy couples.

    I hope this answers your question.

  12. Thanks for taking the time to pop in here and answer my question Tim.


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