"I, proudly take you to be my lawfully wedded (husband/wife), to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part..." and you sealed the deal with a special kiss...
To date, if could go back in time, you would still share those same vows with pride and joy in knowing that you have just married the best person for you.
But, there are times when being happily married is not always easy. And it being uneasy is not due to infidelty, cheating, or in-laws.
But in this case, it is difficult because you and your spouse disagree over money.
Couples fighting about money is not uncommon. In fact, fights about money are among the top fights that couples tend to have. But money in isolation may not be what is in fact causing these financial arguments. Instead, the real problem may stem from 1) the way that your spouse “sees” money and 2) his/her personal money policy that they may have been taught or inherited from their parents prior to the marriage.
In spite of where the problems may have come from, we have three (3) solutions to help you and your spouse amicably discuss the finances.
1. Agree to discuss your finances without judgement.
This can be achieved by picking an afternoon when all parties are free. Turn off your phones and other interruptions and select a quiet and confidential environment (e.g., your home living room) since you will be discussing very private matters.
2. Set Ground Rules
These are the rules that you will use to discuss your finances. It’s important that you both agree not to throw one another’s short falls or mistakes at each other. However, you may address a particular situation in a neutral manner as long as you are not making it all about the other person or using it for a personal attack.
Also, you must agree to not name call or other derogatory language towards one another through the course of your discussion because this could turn an amicable discussion into a very heated and ugly argument.
3. Agree to disagree
This is when you explain to your spouse that it is okay for them to disagree with you and you will not get mad or take their disagreement as a personal attach against you. This also gives your spouse a freedom to openly and transparently discuss matters in a neutral way.
My wife and I like to call this, "Friendmode Discussion" because when friends this agree, it's usually always okay and we are still friends. But, as husband and wife, sometimes disagreement can create unneccessary tension so for us, we have this discussion as husband and wife, but in "Friendmode" and when we disagree, there are no issues or icy distance between us (lol).
4. Try to Learn About and Understand the Concerns of Both Parties as it Relates to Money.
You can do this one with an activity. Simply give your spouse a sheet of paper and allow them to answer the following questions:
1. How do you see money?
2. What are your short-term goals?
3. What are your long-term goals?
4. And what are your top five (5) money concerns?
Take about five to ten minutes and allow each spouse to answer these questions. Afterwards, exchange papers. Read their stuff but before responding Remember rules #1, #2, #3, and #4.
5. Agree to do something fun together
After each money discussion, agree to do something fun with your spouse. This helps to remind you all of the reasons you all are together instead of focusing on issues that have historically pulled couples and marriages apart.
For additionally reading on this topic, please purchase my book, Investitude (www.Investitude.com) as there is a special Chapter for couples to build on this discussion.