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Financial Intimacy

 

Financial Intimacy  101

Money is not a four-letter word.  Then why do some couples fight about it or even refuse to discuss it all together?

You may have heard the statistic that money is the #1 cause of divorce, but that’s only partly true.  Whether you have it or not isn’t the root of the problem, it is typically what each person in the relationship thinks should be done with it that is the issue.

Some people grew up in a home where money was a taboo subject.  They experience anxiety or shame when they discuss finances.  Some grew up in a household where there simply wasn’t an abundance so they often heard the adults around them complaining about money.  Still, others experienced life with financially savvy adults who were not afraid to discuss money, no matter how much or how little there was, it was simply a fact of life.

No matter your background, you can change your outlook on money and finances at any time you choose.  Its never too late to begin discussions with your significant other about the finances you share.  Here are some quick tips to get the conversation started:

-Start the discussion at a mutually convenient, calm time of day.  Maybe skip that evening TV and sit down to look over the bank account together.

-Start small. Keep the conversations brief in the beginning.  Have a goal for the conversation, accomplish it and move on.  If talking about finances stresses one partner out, taking baby steps can keep them from getting turned off to the idea altogether.

-Keep the emotions at bay.  Money and finances can make people very emotional.  If you feel sadness, despair, anger or frustration start to emerge it’s time to take a break.  Admit that you need a break and will come back to the topic once you have had a chance to wrap your head around things.

-Decide on regular budget meetings (or whatever you choose to call them) that you and your partner can sit down together and see that you are on the same page with your money management.  This is especially important if you are working on specific financial goals like saving for a house, new car, vacation or paying off debt.

-If one person making all of the financial decisions works for your situation, then go for it.  If it doesn’t, don’t be afraid to speak up.  Even if one person is making all of the decisions on where the money should/could be spent, it is crucial both parties stay informed of the current financial status of the household.

I hope these quick tips help get the conversation started.   We are committed to your success as a couple, if you or your partner need mediation or counseling to help you through please don’t hesitate to call for an appointment.

 

Are you wanting a vacation in paradise, one that will re-kindle the passion that has been lost? A vacation without kids. A vacation where you learn how to communicate. A vacation where your partner actually hears you and gains insight – Vacation Counseling is Your Next Vacation.

The Number 1 Relationship Killer

#1 Relationship Killer & Therapy Can Help

Couple fighting

#1 Relationship Killer & Therapy Can Help

By Gerald Schoenewolf, Ph.D.
~ 3 min read
When there’s a problem in a relationship, couples try to talk about it. If they can talk about in a way that resolves the problem, all is well. If they can’t talk about it in a way that resolves the problem, all is not well.

When they can’t talk about the problem successfully, it is usually because of one thing. They are trying to win. Wanting to win causes them to argue about the problem rather than discussing it in a calm and objective manner. They have a need to be right. The need to win is the one thing that is most likely to destroy a relationship.
“It’s you,” one partner will say to the other. “You are the cause of the problem. You just can’t see it.”

“No, it’s you,” the other partner will respond. “You’re wrong and you don’t want to admit it. All my friends agree with me.”

The need to win (the need to be right) is an aspect of narcissism. Narcissism is an outgrowth of insecurity. The more insecure we are, the more we need to compensate for that insecurity. We compensate by erecting a defensive shell. That defensive shell wants to protect us from being wrong, because being wrong would mean, in our unconscious mind, we are a total failure as a human being. Being right means we are successful; we are a human being who knows what is right and what is wrong.

Invariably when couples come to me for therapy, this is the underlying problem. It is an easy problem to detect. As soon as I hear them arguing in my office it becomes apparent. You might think that all I would need to do to help them solve the problem is to tell them that they are trying to win and this is the main obstacle to their having a successful relationship. But it is not that easy. They may respond, “Yes, you’re right, I’m trying to win,” but a week later they are arguing the same way. They are still trying to win. It is deeply ingrained in their character.