Money issues can be the source of a great deal of stress and conflict in marriages. These conflicts can also be a wonderful opportunity to grow together and deepen the intimacy in our relationships. Without question, I have found in the work that I do with couples, that those who develop a level of financial intimacy, often have the best marriages. Because when we feel safe with someone financially, we can relax and allow ourselves to be truly vulnerable.
Unfortunately, many couples do not have this kind of intimacy and often fall into what I call “money traps.” Some of the most common “money traps” that I have seen are:
- Using money as a form of control or manipulation
- Failure to understand each other’s money fears and triggers
- Misunderstanding each other’s financial wants & needs
- Unclear agreements about financial priorities
- Assuming unconscious roles (i.e. Dependent/Caretaker)
- Procrastinating or withholding pertinent financial information
Here are some ways to avoid these issues:
- Get to know each other’s “money types” early in your relationship.
- Talk openly about your issues, fears and concerns about money.
- Make clear agreements about how to handle money together as a couple.
- Don’t buy or withhold your love with money.
- Take responsibility for your own financial well-being.
- Deal with money issues as they arise so they don’t become a source of resentment.
I also recommend these simple practical tips for dealing with money that will allow you to work together as a team to co-create the financial life you desire:
- Create a Monthly Household Budget.
- Make joint decisions about what to do with the “leftovers” (spend it, save it, invest it).
- Establish a monthly “allowance” to spend or save as you each desire.
- Share the financial responsibilities and divide up the tasks or take turns.
- Have a monthly “Money Meeting” to discuss and clear up any unfinished or new money business.
- Create a list of goals and dreams to work on together and have fun with it.
- Acknowledge each other in positive ways for keeping agreements.
You can create the financial life you both want and deserve by understanding and supporting each other to be financially aware and empowered.
Peace and Blessings!