Money Talk With Your Significant Other

How to Merge Love with Money

The word love is one of the most used words in the English language. Love causes people to marry and pledge “till death do us part.” It is reported that 88% of couples marry because of love.  

Couples are encouraged to attend pre-marital counseling after the marriage proposal to ensure compatibility and discuss issues that will arise in the relationship.  It is in pre-marital counseling that topics like blending families, sexual habits/expectations, and finances are discussed.

Statistics reveal that couples who undergo pre-marital counseling have a 30% higher marital success rate than couples who don’t, so it is definitely a good thing.  Pre-marital counseling is intended to solidify the couples intentions and discuss issues that will arise as a result of their lifetime union.  It is at this phase that couples can decide if they want to formalize the union.

Despite pre-marital counseling’s effectiveness, the decision to marry for many couples, has already been made.  Thus, pre-marital counseling is viewed as a step towards the alter. In fact, some couples are already mentally married, but just waiting to publicly declare the union.

In my discussion a with counselor on this topic, she stated that most couples attend pre-marital counseling as a way to learn how to work together, and rarely halt the marriage as a result of the sessions.

According to researcher and professor Jeffrey Dew, Couples who “disagree about finances once a week” are over 30 percent more likely to get divorced than couples that report “disagreeing about finances a few times a month.”  So the above phenomenon is problematic.

Problems

How can we resolve this problem? For starters, communication is essential. Communication must occur during the dating process,  and not after you have decided to marry.  Communication requires a level of vulnerability that should not be shared with just anyone. Therefore, if you and your significant other are moving toward exclusivity,  learning about their financial habits, current financial status, and financial vision are essential.

Below are three tips to talking money with your significant other.

  • Discuss money when dating.  Discussions about merging families, sex, and money must be done to determine if you want to propose or accept the proposal, not after. If you’ve decided to be exclusive, money discussions are essential. You should be able to share proprietary information such as salaries,  total debt, budgets, credit scores, and financial goals at this phase.  This information allows you to know if you and this person can spend a lifetime of managing money together. If you don’t do it while dating, you will when married, so start early.
  • Attend a money management program together. Make an investment in learning about money together. This nominal investment will reveal your mate’s financial personality and spark conversations about financial goals for the relationship, children, and retirement. This will also provide practical strategies on managing money as a couple which will prepare you for a lifetime of financial decision making.
  • Hire a financial coach/advisor together. You do not need lots of money to have a financial coach/advisor. This person should be your financial educator and coach. They must be able to make complex concepts simple, be honest with you about your financial situation, and develop strategies that will allow you to meet your financial goals.  They must also ensure that you are properly protected-financially, and ultimately, interested in your total financial welfare.

The inability to share financial information with your significant other can reveal a lack of trust. Perhaps your last spouse or significant other jilted you or was fiscally irresponsible; whatever the case, before you decide to move to the next level in a relationship, you must deal with those issues.  It is often bewildering that people become physically and emotionally intimate before dealing with this important relationship-altering topic.

Financial problems are not necessarily deal breakers, but discussing them creates an environment of trust and unity paramount for a successful long-term relationship.

If you are now committed, reaffirm that you are the same team, and know that the tips listed above can be applied at any stage of the relationship.

I would love an opportunity to assist you as a financial coach. My goal is to Stop Broke-i$m by Developing Financially Confident Women. Email me at: april@brokeism.com or call 904-513-8595 to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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