A large part of my work at the Money Coaching Institute is working with couples who have money issues. Financial conflict is common in many relationships and left unmanaged, can seriously fracture a marriage. And unfortunately, money issues remain one of the most common causes of divorce today.
In my experience, many relationships could be saved if couples could learn how to communicate more effectively around money. But for many couples this is easier said than done since money is still possibly the most difficult and taboo subject to talk about in the world.
It’s important to understand that money is a core survival issue and highly triggering emotionally. If you do not feel safe financially with your spouse, it can erode at the trust and foundation of your relationship. So, it’s important that you learn to communicate (not blame) your fears and concerns to your spouse in a way that can be heard.
Even in good financial times, money issues can be a source of conflict. In tough times, due to added financial stress and pressures, money issues and conflicts can easily become more challenging.
If you, or someone you know, is going through a tough time due to this
financial crisis, here are my Six Survival Steps for Relationships that
can truly help you through this time. Remember that now, more than ever, you need your
relationship to provide a loving, supportive shelter from the storm
that is occurring around you.
1. Remember that your core money issues get triggered when you are
under stress, but most likely they did not begin in your marriage. They
represent unhealed wounds and patterns from childhood that you each brought into the
relationship. Have compassion for each other and your wounds from the
past. Learn to understand how you trigger one another and then try to
avoid doing so.
2. It is so easy to focus on what’s wrong that we often forget to
remember what’s good in our relationship. Make a list of what is
working in your relationship and what you truly love about your
partner. Share this out loud with one another. We all greatly need to be
appreciated and acknowledged.
3. Most financial differences are due to a failure to effectively
communicate our needs, fears and grievances, which tend to accumulate
over time. Learn to talk openly and calmly and without blame. If there
is an issue that is too difficult to resolve alone, seek the guidance of a money coach, therapist or minister. Remember, the cost of getting help is far less expensive than divorce.
4. Respect one another and either accept your differences, or work together to resolve them. Become a team in resolving your issues.
5. Never fight about money in front of your children. It can cause your children to become highly fearful and develop negative associations and money issues of their own later in life.
6. I also recommend participating daily in this special process
from the Institute of Heart Math, developed by psychologist Deborah
Rozman. It is scientifically
proven to you adjust your heart rhythms into a cohesive pattern. It
can actually help you and your spouse to get your hearts in-sync and nurture your love and
connection. Just follow these simple steps to do reap the benefits of
this profound process.
Step One: Heart Focus – Shift your attention to the area of your heart
and breathe slowly and deeply. (Note: I have found it helps to put your
hand on your heart while doing this.)
Step Two: Heart Breathing – Keep your focus on the heart by gently
breathing – five seconds in and five seconds out – through your heart.
(Note: Do this two or three times together, if possible, while looking
into each others eyes.)
Step Three: Heart Feeling – Activate and sustain a genuine feeling of
love, appreciation or caring for your partner, or something you share
in your life together. Focus on the good heart feeling as you continue
to breathe through the area of your heart.
Do this exercise together daily and you will begin to feel more
connected and at peace in your relationship. Whenever issues arise,
commit to using this practice as a medium for heart-centered
Last but not least, pray this wonderful prayer together:
Please make of our relationship a great and holy adventure.
May our joining be a sacred space.
May the two of us find rest here, a haven for our souls.
We surrender to You our conflicts and our burdens.
We know You are our answer and our rock.
Help us to not forget.
Bring us together in heart and mind as well as body.
Remove from us the temptation to criticize or be cruel.
May we not be tempted by fantasies and projections.
But guide us in the ways of holiness.
Save us from darkness.
May this relationship be a burst of light.
May it be a fount of love and wisdom for us, for our family, for our community, for our world.
May this bond be a channel for Your love and healing, a vehicle of Your grace and power.
As lessons come and challenges grow, let us not be tempted to forsake each other.
Let us always remember that in each other we have the most beautiful woman, the most beautiful man,
The strongest one,
The sacred one in whose arms we are repaired.
May be remain young in this relationship.
Bring us what You desire for us,
And show us how You would have us be.
Thank You, dear God,
You who are the cement between us.
Thank You for this love.
~ Marianne Williamson (from Illuminata)
Peace & Blessings!