Marriage and money is inseparable. However talking about money with your spouse can be one of the most stressful and intimidating topics to bring up. In fact, finances in marriage are one of the leading causes of divorce in America. Money is an emotional topic and how you deal with it can affect generations to come. Do not believe the lie and associate tension and fights with money conversations in your marriage. You can successfully communicate finances in your marriage! Below are 7 ways to reach financial intimacy with your spouse.
“How good and pleasant it is when brothers can live together! v. 3 It is like the dew of Hermon falling on the mountains of Zion. For there the Lord has appointed the blessings – life forevermore.”Psalm 133: 1,3 ~ A unified couple will RECEIVE blessing and life. Anon
7 Ways to Reach Financial Intimacy With Your Spouse
Understand and respect each other’s money personality.
According to Kenneth Doyle, psychologist and professor at University of Minnesota, there are four financial personality types. You and your spouse are either a “driver – money means success,” “analytic – money means security,” “amiable – money means love,” or “expressive – money means acceptance.” You can also categorize these into either saver or spender. None is better than the other, just different. However, knowing what your spouse brings to the conversations will help you understand values, behaviors, and the best approach to communicating your financial future.
Communicate your why.
Couples in healthier and happier marriages are 94% more likely to share marriage dreams around money compared to 45% of couples that say their marriages are okay. Communicate your why, all of the dreams you have together, the fears, and attitudes for giving. If you have to start low so you mutually can create goals, do that so you both can celebrate the wins. Make your vision strong enough to get you through the tough times when you don’t want to follow through on your plan. What would you love to be able to do in 1 year, 5 years, or 10 years if you could manage your money in marriage? Creating short-term and long-term goals are key.
Know that you are teammates and partners.
Alignment and unity is key to financial intimacy. As one of the 7 ways to reach financial intimacy with your spouse, each spouse should feel like they are contributing to their financial conversation as equal partners. One way to eliminate tensions is to share one account and relinquish the spirit to have to control everything. In addition to the shared account, each spouse can also have set aside fun money. This amount that is agreed upon gives each spouse liberty to spend without consent. Moreover, work with each other and not against.
Trust and be open and honest.
According to research from Ramsey solutions, 1 in 3 spouses confess they have hid purchases from their spouse. “Financial infidelity is more prevalent than people think.” Rachel Cruze Trust is core to any healthy relationship and even in financial intimacy with your spouse. Overcommunicate and bring everything out to the open.
Set up routine “fun” financial meetings or money talk dates.
Create a comfortable environment where you and your spouse can talk about finances, your emotions, and listen to one another. If you and your spouse are not in a place where the money talk is cordial, go to a public restaurant so you cannot get escalated in tension and fight in the open. When it comes to money talks, they should be proactive. You do not want them to be reactive in which your are constantly reacting to financial issues and pressures you have not talked about. You certainly do not want them to be radioactive, which means certain financial issues are too dangerous to discuss because emotions are too high. Schedule these fun date money talks routinely every other week, monthly, or however it fits your family.
Give each other grace and compromise.
Compromise is a language of marriage. Sometimes there isn’t enough to have it both ways…yet. So it’s important to pray through decisions for clarity and be flexible. Share your appreciations for grace and be okay with switching things up if something isn’t working. Ultimately, you want to be a safe place for your spouse to land. Money mistakes will happen, but as long as you learn from them, they can make you stronger. Marriage is about give and take. Allow some wiggle room.
Be open to financial counseling or a third party.
Be open to financial counseling, a therapist, or trusted confidant. There’s nothing wrong with asking for some expert advice. Doing so can help you find common ground so that you both can work as teammates and partners. Then you can reach your goals together.
You can have a healthy marriage with healthy money conversations! As Rachel Cruz stated, “When couples get on the same page – through talking regularly, making money goals, and discussing dreams together – they build a strong foundation for their relationship.” (How to Talk To Your Spouse About Money)