• Bob Brooks

How to Stop Arguing and Communicate With Your Spouse About Money

There are few subjects that can spark an argument as quickly as money. You are well aware of the statistics that state money is the biggest contributor to divorce. In over 25 years of working with families, I have seen my share of disagreements. So, what is the answer? How do you communicate without arguing?

Well, one PR agent sent me a pitch for a show promoting an author that wants to talk about how to win arguments when communicating with your spouse. I didn’t see the point in doing that interview. After all, I don’t think the answer is to become a more effective “arguer.”

I think that it comes down to rethinking the situation and changing the way you look at communication. Before I go on, I do have a disclaimer to what I believe to be true principles of communication. First, if there have been issues for many years, this isn’t going to change over night. It will take work. Second, you have to make a commitment to change. That is the only way it works.

Leave your ego at the door or said another way, lose the need to be right

The vast majority of money arguments are about one person being right and the other being wrong. That is pure and simple ego. Who cares who is right? Leave that ego at the door. If you are going to be right, you have to make the other person wrong.

Seek first to understand and then be understood or said another way, show respect

This is an old Stephen Covey principle that is so powerful. Step into your spouse’s situation and work to see it from their side. Once you understand them, help them understand your point of view through the lens of your new understanding. They will be more willing to accept how you feel given that you have extended that luxury first.

Show some grace or said another way, just do what God extends to us everyday

I have an old saying. Unless you are perfect, show Grace. Dealing with money is not easy. We all make dumb decisions or have made mistakes at one time or another. Just show your spouse some grace and understanding when mistakes are made. By doing so, you are building a valuable element into your relationship – trust.

Pray before you discuss or said another way invite God to the discussion

It is real difficult to argue with God sitting at the table.

I know what you are thinking. My spouse would never buy into any of this. There is a lot of baggage. That may be true. This is why to create a deeper relationship sometimes you have to take the lead and model the change for the other person. Be those principles and don’t accept anything less. Remember that it takes two to argue. Most importantly, realize that only God can change a person’s heart. Pray for that change. The alternative isn’t worth it in the end.
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