Let’s be totally honest folks. When we vowed to love our partner “for richer or poorer” – we were really hoping for richer. We never thought we’d need tools to help us not fight about money – because we were hoping we’d have enough money to keep everyone happy.
Then reality hits you like a ton of bricks. The bills need to be paid, taxes keep going up, the car breaks down and needs to be repaired, the kids come along. In other words, the expenses of life quickly add up – and it keeps getting more expensive with every passing year.
The next thing you know, you and your partner are at each other’s throats fighting about money. You fight about who wasted money on what purchases – and it never seems to end. These money fights begin to erode at the love and intimacy you feel for each other.
Following are 6 easy ways for handling money issues throughout your relationship so you don’t have to end up fighting about money. Consider these guidelines to be your relationship tools for keeping the spark alive in your relationship whether you are dealing with the “richer” or “poorer” times in your relationship.
Know what money really means to you & your partner. Be aware of what money really represents to you and your partner (this might require a little bit of soul searching). Money may mean something very different to each of you – respect these differences and learn to work with them. The first step towards working with these differences comes with accepting them.
Communicate your individual attitudes and values about money to each other so you develop a joint strategy you are both comfortable with. Think of this as your financial blueprint for relationship harmony! Develop a clear, concise plan for how you want to use your money; that is, how you spend it, and how you save it.
If you happen to come into a financial windfall – an inheritance or you hit the lottery (hey, somebody has to win) – discuss and develop a strategy for how you will use this money. Money that people “fall” into is often the start of a very slippery slope for the unraveling of relationships if plans for these monies are not discussed. This is why you need to be very clear on guideline #2 folks!
When you find you are at a crossroads when it comes to money issues, clearly communicate your differences to each other – using respect as your starting point. This will avoid all the finger pointing, blaming and accusations inherent in the following statements: “You don’t care how I feel about blah, blah, blah when it comes to spending money” etc., etc., etc.
When differences regarding financial decisions come up (and they will) respect these differences without accusing the other of being cheap, irresponsible or spending money like it is going out of style. Doing this will keep the issue focused on the differences regarding the finances and avoid the pitfall of entering the dead man’s zone of character assassination!
Keep money in its proper perspective in your relationship. Money does not define your relationship or your love for each other. Do not allow money to come between the two of you. Keep your love and respect for each other at the core of your relationship and defend this love at all costs!
Love is the platform whereby all financial decisions will be made – “in good times and in bad, for richer for poorer”.
Make no mistake about it; money is an absolute necessity in life. If we use love as our platform and respect as our baseline, money will have its appropriate place in our relationship. Although all differences regarding the handling of money might not always be reconciled, we will at least be able to “agree to disagree” respectfully.
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