When a couple falls in love they are dazzled by each other and either ignore or are blinded to behaviors or attitudes that may create tremendous stress to their relationship in the future. Differences in your attitude values and how you handle money often takes center stage in your marriage once the honeymoon subsides and the rose-colored glasses come off. The credit cards come due and fights about money rear its very ugly head. Read below to learn 3 ways to avoid fighting about money once you recognize you and your partner view money from two different perspectives. (You might be a saver; your partner might be a spender or vice versa.)
- Acknowledge the difference between the two of you regarding your attitudes about money. Once you realize that one of you love to save money while the other one loves to spend, don’t ignore these two very fundamentally different ways to look at money. Ignoring this difference creates resentment in the relationship not only between what is spent and what is saved, but builds up into how you feel about each other separate from money. The saver starts to view the spender as not caring about their feelings and need to save money and comes to feel that the spender is intentionally “spending” to ignore their feelings. The spender begins to view the “saver” as being cheap and unappreciative of their view that money is meant to be used for your near-term enjoyment.
- Openly and honestly communicate about these differences in how you value money once it has been acknowledged. Have this conversation at the right place and the right time. In other words, speeding down the highway on the way to visit friends is not the time for this conversation. Instead, establish a physically and emotionally safe place to have your conversation about money with your partner. A physically safe place refers to a highly personal environment customized to make you and your partner feel physically safe and comfortable.
- Discuss one specific money issue at a time. If you and your spouse differ over how you view credit card debt, credit card debt should be the one and only topic of discussion designated for a specific time. Although it’s tempting, don’t throw other money issues or unrelated topics into the credit card discussion since this will only create more stress and tension in what is sure to be an already emotional discussion. Discussing the specific money issue at hand helps break down into manageable pieces what is usually a very complex and complicated topic.
The more efficiently you communicate your differences regarding money, the more efficiently you handle these differences in your marriage.
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