Do you want four secrets to improve money in relationships?
Money in relationships can be a touchy subject. When money difficulties develop, they seep into every aspect of your relationship and become hot buttons. This can make it difficult to fix problems because you’d prefer to avoid the guaranteed argument that’ll come from even bringing up the word “money.” It becomes Voldemort around your house…the subject that must not be named (yes, I love Harry Potter!)
“For all the single ladies, all the single ladies,” don’t stop reading because this is important for you, too.
When I counsel couples going through a difficult financial situation, the problems are usually the same at the root. On the other side, when I’m helping couples that are managing their money well, these four areas are the secret to their success.
The first secret is the foundation for any relationship, and that’s trust. Without trust, you aren’t able to build a good bond. Being able to have faith that you’ll each keep the commitment you’ve made to one another about money is crucial. I’ve seen it time and time again as a financial stressor in relationships. It can be one or the other using money for something they haven’t discussed, stealing money or even hiding it. More often than not, mistrust in money comes from some other problem in a relationship such as unfaithfulness. No matter how it happened, if either has broken trust already, you can still make a comeback—it’ll just take time and patience on both parts to earn it back.
The second, I mentioned last week, is communication. It’s a key to managing money successfully in relationships. It’s crucial to be on the same page with your partner and to work together to meet your financial goals. Since mind reading isn’t an option, you’ll have to talk with one another about them—what you want to buy and your money worries. Don’t decide for your husband that Tuesday night, right when he walks in the door from a 10-hour day and the whole family’s starving, is the perfect time to “communicate about money.” Discuss dates and times to have a laid back chat when the kids are in bed or entertained. Also, Ladies, this isn’t an interrogation, it’s a discussion, give him a chance to share his thoughts.
Compromise is the third secret that I also mentioned before. It may sound simple, but we sometimes forget to meet our mates halfway. Yes, you may feel like setting aside money for hunting trips is a waste, but if it’s your husband’s money goal, then compromise here will be returned on things he finds pointless, such as mani-pedis. I’ll be honest, sometimes compromise sucks but it’s for the greater good of the relationship so give it a shot.
The fourth is my favorite to discuss, and it’s letting go of the past. I like to call this the “backpack full of BS”—we all have one, and it comes from our experiences and money memories in life. In any situation, we bring this BS backpack with us and inside are our hopes and fears, all the times we’ve been done wrong and the times we’ve been scared. For example, imagine you don’t know your fiancée’s backpack is carrying the time his ex-girlfriend stole all the money out of his bank account. If you’re unaware of that history, then you won’t be able to understand why in the world your sweet fiancée is coming unglued at the mention of joining your money in a simple checking account. It’s important to communicate (guys, don’t be scared) these issues, so your partner understands areas you’re sensitive to when dealing with money. Unloading some of the crap in your BS backpack by talking it out will mean less arguing later and help create a better future!
Following the above secrets will turn you and your hubby into Bill and Melinda Gates (wink, wink.) Okay, maybe not, but taking the time to work on these four areas with the special someone in your life will significantly improve how you’re managing money together and take the Voldemort out of the word “money” in your house.
Lots of gratitude,