2,140,272! That’s the number of marriages there are currently in the United States (According to the CDC). That’s a pretty big number! I’m not surprised though. Marriage is a wonderful thing. It’s sole purpose is based on love! The thing that everyone seeks to find. The thought of getting married is extremely exciting. At least it was for me!
When you think about marriage one thing you usually don’t want to think about is divorce. The fact of the matter is, divorce is a real possibility for most marriages. Nearly 50% of marriages end in Divorce and one of the main causes… MONEY!
Couples fight about money. How to gain it and how to spend it. I don’t want my marriage or anyone else’s marriage to have this tragic ending. Which is why I think it is vital for every married couple to learn how to talk about money effectively.
Why it’s hard to talk about
One of the main reasons it’s hard to talk about money is because it is a major stress factor in today’s world. Especially when do you don’t have very much of it. I know money doesn’t buy happiness but it is really stressful when you only have about five dollars left and still need to buy groceries.
Another reason it is hard is because people have different ideas on how to spend it. Some are more focused on saving for the future and others are more focused on the things they want to buy with it right now. When you have two conflicting ideas on what to do with money can cause major marital problems.
Why it’s important to talk about it well
The main reason is that fighting about money is the leading cause of divorce. If you can’t talk about it well with your spouse then you may be doomed. The tension and stress over the topic will eventually get greater than your love for one another and the only option you will be able to see is divorce.
If you can tackle this one topic with ease then it will be one less thing you have to fight about. And this my friends will make for a happier and healthier marriage. Marriage is hard enough as it is, you don’t need to make it more difficult by constantly fighting about money.
How to bring it up
The most important thing when bringing up the topic about money is to make sure that you are calm and you don’t blame your spouse for all the money problems. If you make them feel like you are attacking them then they will automatically get defensive. Once that happens it will turn into an argument and both parties will leave the conversation feeling frustrated and angry.
Start the conversation by asking if you can talk about your budget or your future plans. If you are worried or it is causing you stress then you need to communicate that to your spouse. They are your partner and need to know that it is something that is causing you grief. Make sure that you do not say that it is their spending that is causing you grief say things like our and we. Using these words will make them feel like you are a team. (Which you are so it should feel that way)
What to say during the conversation
Again, it is important to remember to stay calm and do not get defensive. This should be a conversation and not a fight. Once it starts to get heated you may need to end the conversation and come back to it later.
Make sure that you communicate your worries and fears. Tell them that you are worried about something happening to the care and not being able to afford it because you don’t put money into savings (or something else that is likely to happen in your life). Come up with a solution to that problem by saying how you could cut back in order to be able to save. If you do this make sure it is on things that both of you could cut back on and not just what they could cut back on. It needs to be a joint effort.
Remember that you need to be using we and our in this conversation. You are married and it is you AND your spouses problem. It is good to remember if you have a problem you need to come with a solution but still be willing to compromise on that solution. I am a big advocate for not complaining about your problems but solving them!
How to compromise
This can be difficult for some. I admit that it is for me sometimes! I am not ashamed. After all, I am human and by no means perfect!
With marriage almost everything you do is a compromise. Handling money isn’t any different. Maybe you are trying to save money on groceries so you both should cut out something that you don’t NEED to buy. It should never be just one of you cutting out something.
Try saying “I will cut out ___________, if you could cut out _________” This can be said for anything regarding the budget and not just the grocery list. For example, “I will stop getting my nails done every two weeks if you could stop getting a coffee everyday before work. It would save us about $120 dollars a month. This would allow us to put $120 dollars a month in savings. In a year we could save $1,440 dollars.” To help your side you could even offer to help make the coffee in the morning by alternating days of the week.
Now your turn
It’s your turn now. Think about the worries and fears that you have when it comes to money and then why you have those worries or fears (write them down if you need). Plan how you would bring up the conversation and make sure that it isn’t you attacking your spouse but a problem and solution kind of conversation.
Make sure that you are prepared to be calm and collected during the conversation and are willing to use words such a we and our. If you can’t do that then you need to hold off on starting the conversation until you can be. You will not get anything accomplished if you are not.
Always remember that money problems is the number one cause of divorce and nearly 50% of marriages end in divorce. Don’t allow yourself to be part of that statistic. Talking about money is hard because it is an extremely stressful subject. This is the exact reason why it is extremely important to be good at it.
In order to be good you need to start the conversation off on the right foot by calmly stating your worries or fears and then explaining a solution to those fears that involves you both making compromises. If you can do these, you will succeed. Your marriage will be that much easier with one less cause of stress and tension.
If you need any other help or want to talk through how you want your conversation to go let me know in the comments below. You could also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to help you with this difficult topic! Don’t forget to add any tips that you may have!
Thanks for stopping by! Hope to “see” you again!