Do you fall into the 99.99% of people who didn’t receive any guidance or training on how to create an epic marriage AND handle your finances together?
You’re not alone, because according to statistics from the University of Virginia National Marriage Project, if you’re a married American, your marriage is between 40 and 50 percent likely to end in divorce – with money being the #1 stressor.
If you argue with your spouse about finances once a week, your marriage is 30 percent more likely to end in divorce than if you argue with your spouse about finances less frequently.
Here’s the thing, we all hear things about money growing up that are usually not empowering or conflicting: “Money doesn’t grow on trees” or “it’s the source of all evil”, and even the occasional “you only live once!”.
As individuals become united in marriage, the additional challenge that comes with partnership is trying to bring together two different backgrounds and two unique ways of thinking about this sensitive subject.
What commonly happens is that we bring the beliefs and habits that we’ve observed as kids into our marriages and come to find out, they can be the source of friction for most relationships.
THE LOVE THIEF: MONEY DOES NOT NEED TO ROB YOUR MARRIAGE OF JOY
When you spoke your vows to each other on your wedding day, you both expressed a 100% commitment to loving, cherishing and honoring each other….but then somewhere along the line, something happens with money and it feels more like stress than love.
The stress may come from unexpected setbacks because of damage to your house, or you found out that one or both of you has no idea how to handle money. Maybe you discover that your dream to travel the world is going to take 150 years at the rate you’re going so you can pay for a vacation.
Whichever financial “hurdle” you are experiencing when it comes to your dreams and desires in life, we’re here to show you how MONEY does not need to be the “thing” that gets between you, your loved one and your dreams together.
Peeling back the layers: Have you ever been stuck in these common situations with your partner?:
“I can’t believe you bought another X (…fill in the blank with shoes, golf clubs, kitchen item).”
You can call this hidden trap the “I’m right and you’re wrong” trap.
When we’re fully authentic, there are times we ALL love to be ‘right’ in an argument. It’s human nature.
But it doesn’t have to run the show in our marriage if we’re aware of it in the moment. If 50% of the divorces that occur because of money related issues could be resolved by releasing attachment to being ‘right,’ imagine the difference that would make in the world.
“Disrespect breeds disrespect.” said renowned couples mediator Laurie Puhn during a US News interview. “ If you ask your spouse why he thinks it’s important that he spends money on something, and while he’s answering, you cut him off, don’t expect to be able to finish your own thoughts during the conversation.”
In our experience, this hiccup showed up because we desired different things with money and we instantly judged what the other person valued without first understanding.
Does that sound familiar? One partner ends up hiding what they purchased while trying to avoid an argument about the disagreement on a purchase.
“If we go see your family for the holidays this year, we can’t go to Europe next year.”
We call this hidden trap the “We’re stuck and there’s no other way.” trap.
You see, this is how we give money way too much power. We think it has some kind of limit. The fallacy we hear when we grow up is “money doesn’t grow on trees” or “we’re always broke”. The seed of a ‘lack mindset’ is planted as to the amount of money we can circulate.
This belief is pervasive and creates patterns of being “unresourceful.” Don’t get us wrong, we hit those moments of feeling “stuck,” too. We’ve experienced pivotal moments where our dream REALLY was bigger than we thought we had the financial resources to follow.
For example, when Jocelyn felt called to retire from her nursing career in 2015, we grappled with our subconscious belief that money would run out. Looking at it objectively, we were deeply rooted in the fallacy that money doesn’t grow on trees. We didn’t trust our resourcefulness.
One of our mentors said, “it’s never about a lack of resources, but a lack of resourcefulness” and that changed everything for us. For yourself, really take an objective look about whether you say “no, we can’t do that” before getting creative and resourceful. More ‘solutions’ to come below.
“I’m afraid that if you keep spending MY money, we won’t have any left.”
We call this hidden trap the “it’s my money trap.”
This is actually one of the most common underlying conversations we hear with couples that robs them of freedom and power together with money. However, there’s nothing to shame here, this is commonly created because we heard one of our parents yell at the other about it being THEIR money and they have no right to spend it.
Time magazine found that in a survey of millennials and boomers, the top source of financial conflict among couples was “overspending on frivolous purchases”. When one partner feels an attachment to THEIR money, they can subconsciously feel threatened if they perceive that the other partner is overspending their money.
Most people say that deep down, they feel that the money they make is THEIR money to spend if they earned it and they feel some type of resistance to their partner spending THEIR money.
This easily breeds separation and a loss of deeper connection between the two partners, ultimately allowing money to become a rift in their love.
You CAN take the power back.
THE TOP 3 WAYS FOR COUPLES TO RESOLVE ANY MONEY ARGUMENT:
Transform your relationship to money:
Individually & together take on personal development specifically in regards to money. You see, you aren’t stuck believing what you believe about money, you really can form new beliefs which will create new results.
Read books from thought leaders, go to seminars to learn about your financial mindset and ultimately go on a personal journey of learning what you desire to create in life and how money can support your mission.
Discover a relationship to money where you feel synergy and freedom and trust that your dreams are fully funded. There is no lack.
Let yourselves dream together:
Allow money to be more than just paying bills and saving. We have found that couples experience financial breakthroughs when they allow themselves to dream about what they would to do, see, be and have in life. AND, it’s okay if you find that you value different things.
For example, one of you might have a dream to travel the world for 2 months out of the year and one of you might have a dream to get a new wardrobe. One of them is NOT better than the other. AND, both of them are possible.
If you really choose to transform your relationship to money and trust, all of your desires can be fulfilled. We like to say “Your vision is fully funded.”
Create a game plan together:
Now we don’t believe there has to be a “one size fits all” plan for people and their finances. However, we have found that one structure in particular has made a MASSIVE difference for couples not only to be able to pay their bills, save money, invest have plenty of fun money, but also plenty to GIVE to others.
The best place to read this plan is in our book, which you can get for free here:
Have a weekly family meeting
We are huge advocates of proactively talking about all areas of life on a recurring basis, so that any issues, desires, needs can be identified before they potentially fester into something bigger.
We recommend sitting down weekly and having one of the topics be finances.
What is the current status? (you’ve got to know what currently exists so you can measure growth). What are your goals for the next month? And goals for the next year? What are your plans to achieve that?
And be sure to have this conversation be as a TEAM, you’re on the same side. If at any point it brings up stress or concern for one of you, have compassion and ‘hold space’ for each other.
Find out if there’s a deeper fear that comes up for you around money and see how you can transform that belief.
This family meeting is meant to bring you together and create together, enjoy the experience.
Ultimately, Be a TEAM together!
And remember, your vision is fully funded.
In gratitude, The Freemans
P.S. if this article made any kind of difference for you, we would be so grateful if you would ‘share’ the article so we can spread this important message to couples around the world.
Reposted and used with permission from Meet The Freemans
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