There are a lot of different questions that we should be asking ourselves, especially those that are in a relationship or looking to be married one day. By addressing certain questions regarding our finances: We can get on the same page to understand why we spend. Why are we so conservative? Why are we so restrictive or private with our finances? Why are we in debt? Why do we have bad credit? Discuss these things and put them out on the table. And once we begin to communicate and put together a plan, we agree on which action to take. That resolves a whole lot of arguments right there.
Become open and honest about it. We no longer hide those financial decisions or habits that we are not proud of. Marriage is about being honest, open, and revealing.
Communication and consistency help build trust. And little communication can also mean secrets.
Maybe, when you were dating, you didn’t share that you had these bill balances floating around, and you now know all of these different things going on, and maybe it’s really difficult to talk about it.
An article a few years ago stated that 20 to 30% of couples actually hide accounts from their spouse. When we hide things from our spouse, we are damaging trust. Some hide their poor financial decisions out of embarrassment.
In marriage, it’s important to share what you don’t understand and, when possible, learn it together or have one teach the other. It’s okay to have made mistakes; just be sure not to run from them. When a spouse opens up, learn to respond with compassion so that they will continue to open up and work as a team.
It’s not enough to discuss finances a few times per year. Consider meeting together at least once or twice a month to discuss income and expenses. Come together to see how much money you’ve spent, comparing spending, saving, and investment trends from months before and whether you’re meeting your couples’ financial goals. Sit down and see how much money you do have. Sit down and see what bills are coming in and what needs to be paid.
Both of you should know what’s happening financially.
Oftentimes, we tend to make money decisions out of emotions. We should be creating a home of security and safety. If your spouse feels safe and secure, She/He has no problem telling meany issues that they may face or any concerns or mistakes that she’s made. They have a safe place with us. We do not judge them for money issues, concerns, or mistakes. Learn to listen. So, when those things come up, we have a place that makes it easier to talk about any financial issues or concerns that you may have.
If your finances are causing you extreme stress. Pause… Take a breath. Take a step back.
Assess all of what’s happening, especially the positives. Maybe there is still food on the table. You are still in your home. We can overlook these positives and just worry about the future that hasn’t even happened yet.
You may have to let it out through tears.
But always remember to move forward and have each other’s back. Could you lean all the way back and let your partner catch you? Do you trust them to that extent Friction, low moments like this can be a time where you either turn on each other Or you turn to each other?
Written by: Natasha D. Oates, Award-winning therapist & marriage counselor