Money and marriage is an important topic. Financial troubles are the source of a lot of problems in marriage. What do you think is the source of a lot of money troubles between partners?
A major source of financial difficulties is an inability to talk about money. Studies show that couples that are able to work together financially are happier, and generally have more assets and financial resources. The first step in working together, however, is being able to talk about money and marriage so you can create a plan. Now this is a big topic…too big to handle here fully. Here’s a couple tips.
When broaching the topic of money and marriage with your partner keep in mind that men are all about winning. When they see a goal, they want to go for it, and therefore, tend to be more aggressive around money. They seek the straightest line between where they are and where they want to be. Women, on the other hand, often have their radar on the lookout for what’s not safe. From an evolutionary biology perspective, women bear the kids. They’re also not as physically strong as men. As a result, they’ve developed other skills for managing danger, and one of those is to be prepared for it. They see the big picture and scan the horizon for potential threats.
It’s not difficult to see how these differences – men wanting to aggressively pursue a goal, and women wanting to ensure everything is safe – can cause conflict around money. Take, for example, a couple who carries a sizable debt load. He may be less concerned about it because he knows he can go out and work more to make the money to pay it off. His preference is resolution through production. She might see this as risky and possibly unrealistic. She may prefer to focus on reducing expenses to free up the money for the debt. She may also be more open than him to seeking outside assistance (debt counselling, for instance) to get support in managing the debt.
Obviously, this is just one example and doesn’t cover how men and women react in other circumstances. This also isn’t to say that men and women never see eye-to-eye on money. It just points to the many opportunities there are for conflict in the area of money and marriage as a result of not understanding who your partner is and what’s really important to them. When you understand the other person, you can empathise, and empathy opens the door for win-win outcomes. Of course this is true in other areas besides money.
Understanding your partner (and yourself for that matter) gives you access to better communication in every area. It allows you to get into their world, and them to get into yours…the perfect interaction that leads to connection and trust. The best part is that you just have to be you. Nobody has to change. You are whole, perfect and complete just as you are, and so is your partner. In other words, you already have everything you need to make your relationship AWESOME!
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