The Secrets to a Great Financial Marriage
Like it or not, money is cited as the number one reason for divorce in this country. The good news is that this does not have to be the case. The real problem with money and marriage is that couples do an ineffective job of communicating when it comes to finances. Let’s face it – money is a tough and sometimes emotional subject to discuss with your spouse. It also doesn’t help that a husband and a wife bring in their own sets of baggage about money that was learned prior to marriage.
The key is taking two sets of financial value systems and making them work together. Here are a few tips to financial success in your marriage.
Release the need to be right – Arguing is nothing more than an attempt to declare someone right and someone wrong. Couples spend a lot of time unnecessarily fighting over who is right and wrong when it comes to money. The truth of the matter is that arguing makes both the husband and the wife wrong. Release the need to be right and focus on working through the issues until you figure out what works for both of you.
Give respect by seeking to understand – We all have our own views when it comes to money. Many times we work so hard at having our views understood that we don’t stop and take the time to show respect to our spouse and understand their views. The key to being heard is listening to and understanding the other person’s viewpoint. We cannot begin to help our spouse understand our views until we first understand how they feel. As Stephen Covey writes, “Seek first to understand, then be understood.” You can never go wrong giving your spouse the respect of their views.
Leave your ego at the door and let God in – This is the key element to making all of this work. This isn’t about you and your needs. This is about your family as a whole. Make that your objective. Before discussing finances with your spouse, pray about it together first. It is tough to argue when God has been invited to the meeting.
Respect your parents’ advice and remember that you have your own family – I do believe that parents have good intentions when they give advice. Oftentimes parents will get a little too involved in the affairs of their grown children. You always want to listen to and respect your parents. That is biblical. You also have to remember that your responsibility is to your family. You no longer live under your parents’ roof. Pray about the advice you are being given and let God be the deciding factor as to the decisions that you make.
In marriage it is not yours or mine, it is ours – In order to have a good financial system in a marriage, it comes down to teamwork and communication. Someone needs to be in charge of the bills and keeping the bank accounts. Both spouses need to manage the outcome of that process together. Many times it is one spouse that is in charge and the other spouse is in the dark. Communication and being on the same page are both key.
Two separate sets of values mold new family values – Two sets of values concerning money have a hard time coexisting in a relationship. Each of us has our own set of financial values. That is what makes us unique. Work to find out how two sets of values can compliment each other and form a new set of family values. It isn’t about what is important for you individually; it is about what is important for the family. Compromising for a bigger objective is the key.