Instead of Fighting About Money, Discover How to Be Intentional
THE BIG THING I WANT YOU TO KNOW:
We’re putting an end to the finger-pointing and re-configuring the conversation. Money can actually be an incredible tool to unite you and your spouse when you approach it differently and ask this ONE question.
money is neither your relationship’s problem nor the solution
Our office doesn’t have bar stools or fainting couches, but every now and again, I’ll meet with couples and a finger-pointing-let-it-all-out-airing-of-the-grievances fight unfolds before my eyes. And instead of trying to blend in with the surrounding, I love to jump right in!
When appropriate, I insert my commentary (and sometimes provide tissues) based on my professional knowledge and own experience (happily married with three kids here).
With all the fights I’ve mediated, i’ve found very few nuances and at the core of each is a fundamental financial rift that has manifested into bitterness and resentment.
I can tell you (and a brilliant friend of mine who just wrote a book on this subject will back me up) it’s not about money, per se. It’s the inability to talk about money.
Most couples believe they fight “because of money”, but the issue is often they don’t know the best healthy, ways to talk about money.
I Want You and Your Spouse to Walk Through This Together
Ask Your Spouse “What do you find yourself dreaming about for our future when you let your mind wander?”
Listen, my wife and I collapse in a weary heap at the end of most nights, but that doesn’t mean we sweep important things like this under the rug. You can’t ask this question when you’re half asleep and just finished reading this post.
Carve out a time to discuss your finances and dreams. Friends, please let your mind drfit to places it hasn’t gone to in a while, go long-term, reach for the stars with your dreams. Share those thoughts and ideas with your partner. THEY MATTER (And probably excite your partner.)
When you have buy-in from your spouse and you’ve BOTH shared your hopes, you’ll find enlightenment to what financial means can provide.
IMPORTANT DETAIL: (And maybe I’m calling out husbands, but this goes out to all.) This conversation is about DREAMS not about that recent shopping spree or major expense on the horizon. DREAMS.
Spouses must refrain from comments like “you spend too much,” “I want a nice vacation,” and “let’s have more date nights” or the blame game will arrive and kick out or mind-wandering dreaming.
The goal is to work towards identifying your target together.
But Chris, Dreaming Won’t Bring the financial help we need
If you were an archer, you would not just place an arrow and shoot it and draw an arrow around it to say you’ve hit the target.
OF COURSE NOT!
You have to have a target to have a direction and track progress. So many people in so many areas of our lives just work to “save more,” and “spend less,” and “hope to retire.” But you have to have a target and the dreams you identify allow you to have a picture of WHAT you hope life looks like in the future?
With a target you have a defined target to shoot for.
The key to talking about money in your relationships and you have a shared topic changes everything.
A common goal in a marriage changes the conversation about finances.
The conversation about budgeting and pointing fingers will end when you look at it as how you are working together for progress towards your goal.
The freedom in creating a target will not only affect your relationship with finances, but hopefully enrich your life and your marriage!
Want to Be Further Convinced to Shift How Your Relationship Handles Finances?! Here’s The Biggest Reward You may never See
When you and your spouse recapture the dreams you’ve been missing for years and begin to focus on making real progress towards your goals not only will you…
Ignite your hopes.
Have excitement about your BUDGET (YES!).
See noticeable meaning and progress in your goals.
Sleep better at night.
Change the dynamic of your relationship.
You will also… change how your children see and relate to money.
You’re time to sit down with your spouse and do this can impact generations to come. I know it sounds exaggerated, but I’ve seen it. I SEE IT OFTEN.
We pass on our money when we die, but that’s not the only thing our children and grandchildren stand to inherit.
Our children see how we relate to money, how we talk about money, how we idolize it, how we leverage it, or how it allows us to come together and be united towards something we believe in and that is deeply impactful.
Children are sponges who absorb everything around them. It’s the truth. If you and your spouse constantly fight about money, those arguments are absorbed by your children and will impact their financial relationships in adulthood.
Here’s another piece of Dr. Phil knowledge: your relationship with money is likely similar to your parents’ relationship with money.
Want to have another deep conversation with your significant other? (Warning: You may need to schedule a babysitter, this one will open up the gates.) Ask them about how their parent’s relationship with money influences how they approach their finances.
a goal to have the biggest bank account is fine, but if you adjust your goals to focus on your dreams and how you’re going to get there, you will discover a life-giving intentionality with your money.
Stop Fighting About Money & Start Finding Meaning Together
It doesn’t matter if you’re a newlywed or you’ve recently celebrated your 50th wedding anniversary, in both cases, cheers to you and yours. My gift to you is this advice: “See money as a tool to bring you two together toward what moves you both.”
Despite your history with money, your future with money can be healthy and an area of your relationship you both actually enjoy rather than avoid. I PROMISE! (And this is not only applicable to a specific income level.)
How can your relationship with your spouse change dramatically? You work together towards a common goal. It is life changing, Life-giving, and Hope producing. and it’s helpful to have a mediator.
You set a target together. Our team helps you get there.
Setting the goal and dreaming is the job of both of you. (Not just the more vocal spouse - ha!)
If you’re serious about making a change, sourcing outside help shouldn’t be interpreted as a weakness but more of a strength and display of commitment to making that change.
Be it a personal trainer (I’ve done that), a marital counselor (we’ve done that), personal therapist (I’ve done that), those saintly people are trained to listen to your problems and offer you unbiased guidance that’s going to serve you best.
If you don’t invite an impartial person to play referee and facilitate financial discussions, there’s a strong chance you’ll find yourselves down the well-worn path of arguing, name calling and disagreeing. Only with the support of trained and impartial pros (who know A LOT about financial planning), will both partners feel like they can open up. You might be surprised with what your share and what you’ll hear.
Friend, jump in. Come play. We’re here and we have whistles should we see an offsides play that needs to be called.
How would a common dream and a common goal change your life and relationship?