by Dr. Kristin Davin
Money is a complicated topic. It’s also a main contributor to divorce. So, the early and more often couples discuss this dicey topic, the better. Discussions around money can quickly spiral out of control and become circular arguments with no end in sight. How couples navigate this conversation has as much to do with how they were each raised around money as it does with how they are currently living their lives. The likelihood that you will end up with someone whose family experiences with money are similar to yours is slim to none. Yet, it is important to remember that these experiences help shape how they perceive the role of money in their life and the degree to which they are – or are not – financially astute and responsible (Timmons).
It should come as no surprise that most couples would rather ignore the subject and pretend that money issues don’t need to be addressed (or have teeth extracted!) – and think if we “tap our red shoes three times, the problems will magically disappear” (they won’t). The only guarantee that comes with ignoring financial problems is that they will grow in size and become bigger problems –both in the short– and long–term. Some couples believe – erroneously – that talking about them only creates a larger vacuum of problems, circular conversations, and “road that leads to nowhere” – fast. But that’s the opposite of what really happens.
Yet, despite couples that are hesitant to disclose, there are ways to build greater financial intimacy even if, in the moment, it doesn’t feel that way. Taking the steps, even small ones in the beginning, will encourage greater intimacy, promote a unified relationship, and create hope for the future – together – over time . However, having these conversations is easier said than done – at least in the beginning. In theory, it might work fine, but in actual practice it feels painful, like you are crawling out of your skin.
But, despite the obstacles, with the right ingredients – effort, intention, willingness, support, safety, commitment, time, and the mindset by both parties that talking about their financial relationship is vital to keeping their relationship healthy – success is possible. Both partners must agree to be on board and make an investment in both their present and their financial future. This investment is fueled by their commitment as a couple and a belief that having these difficult and uncomfortable conversations will, over time, strengthen their relationship and resolve.
Learn here the 7 Steps To Greater Financial Intimacy