Millions of individuals marry every year where they promise to "love, honor and cherish each other for better or worse, for richer or poorer…till death do us part." Yet, one of the top challenges marriages face is unforeseen financial difficulties. No matter how close couples are when it comes to money issues, it can pull at the very fiber of their relationship. Financial obstacles facing many couples can be altered by aligning their money values and beliefs. Let’s face it, financial harmony is easier said than done, but it something couples can cultivate.
Cultivating a solid Financial Relationship
Each of us has a unique set of values and spending habits learned from our parents and brought into our marriages. Understanding each other’s views about money and spending behaviors is essential to developing a sound financial relationship. Since the subject of money is so emotionally charged, it is a tough topic to discuss. Therefore, know when to pursue money conversations and when to stop. In sharing each other parents’ money values and patterns, maintain an open mind and be respectful of each other’s experiences. Integrity and open communication
Dr. Ralf Nichols states "The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them."
Explore how you feel about and use Money
How we feel about and use money has been influenced by our parents and our grandparents. Here are a few example questions to consider in exploring you and your partner’s values and beliefs about money. Keep in mind it will take several discussions with your partner. Did your parents openly speak about money? Did they argue about money? What money stories did your parents share about your grandparents? What hardships did you family members endure? What was/is your parents’ economic status? Who influenced your financial decision? What did your parent’s actions show you about money? What financial changes will we make when we have children? What if one of us is out of work? What if one of us becomes very ill?
Dr. Ralf Nichols, who is considered as the father of the field of listening, states, “Most people will not really listen to or pay attention to your point of view until they become convinced you have heard and appreciate theirs.”
Any couple can live in financial harmony
Seeking assistance from a financial adviser and creating a financial plan can also help in sorting through and prioritizing your financial goals. Remember, a successful marriage is not when the "perfect couple" join their lives together." A healthy marriage develops when couples honor their differences, learns how to navigate these differences and work towards common goals.
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