Communication is a necessary ingredient for a good relationship. Having been married for 15 years I completely agree with that statement. I believe most people would agree that communication is an incredibly important part of your relationship. So why do you not talk to your significant other about money? When the number one cause of divorce is money related problems why are we not talking about our money problems? I am going to tell you the most common reasons why you aren’t talking and how you can start talking.
#1- You don’t want to admit there is a problem.
Situation- Pretending like a problem doesn’t exist will not make it go away. Sometimes it can be scary to face the truth but here is the truth that matters in this situation: you made a commitment to each other that you would stand together through difficult things and this is something that you need to stand together to get through.
Solution- Ask your spouse to set up a time to sit down together somewhere private and talk about your goals. If either of you is having trouble facing your reality, start by dreaming of a possible future together. Making a dream future for yourselves not only brings you closer together but it makes it so you know what you are working towards together once you start your journey to taking control of your money.
#2- You don’t think you can change it.
Situation- You have always been bad with money so you will always be bad with money. Or that is what your brain keeps telling you over and over. Your past failures will only dictate your future results if you allow them to.
Solution- Talk to your spouse about what you perceive to be your past failures with money and encourage them to do the same. After you list off those failures I want you to forgive yourselves for making them. You are committed to learning how to not make the same mistakes again. Your past failures will serve as reminders of what to avoid, not scars of guilt.
#3- You are scared of the truth.
Situation- The truth is the truth if you recognize it or not. Allowing the fear to stay unchecked will make the fear grow. And you know, you are scared already ignoring the truth.
Solution- Shining a light on the truth will make the fear of the truth disappear. Tell your spouse you are scared, let them know how you really feel about it. Heck, let yourself know how you really feel about it. Because as soon as you can recognize the truth for what it is the sooner you can change it into the truth you want to be living.
#4- My spouse handles all the money stuff.
Situation- You aren’t good with money so you allow your spouse to do all the money related things and you know nothing about them. This is not fair for you to allow your spouse to shoulder the entire weight of your finances by themselves. Although you do not need to be a part of the day to day money workings, you need to have an overall view of your finances and together make all your important financial decisions.
Solution- Tell your spouse that you want them to teach you about your money so that you can help contribute to the family’s financial goals. Do not say anything negative about the way they are handling the finances now because you don’t know anything about what they are doing. Let them know that you desire to be an equal partner in every aspect of your marriage and that includes the money part. Express to them that you want to help support them, not criticize or take over. And then follow-through by not criticizing them.