Marriage and money can prove to be a stressful combination, as many couples fight about money. During stressful economic times, marriages can be strained when money troubles arise. Here's how to find harmony with your marriage and money.
Time Required: Ongoing
- Remain Calm
When tempers flare, people can say things that they wish they could take back -- but can't. It's best for your marriage and money stress levels to remain calm when discussing finances. This means using stress management techniques like breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, exchanging massages, or simply putting on some soothing music. Keeping each other calm can help your marriage, and can help you solve your money problems.
- Get A Clear View
It may not be fun, but it's important that you both have a clear view of your money situation. You both need to know what you have, what you owe, what you make, and where it goes. Sometimes one person does the bulk of the budgeting, but when coming up with solutions for money problems, it's important for both of you to know where you stand. Get everything on the table, and look at it together.
- Focus On Solutions
When faced with the sometimes stark reality of money problems, it's sometimes easy to slip into patterns of anger and blame. Don't. This can cause more stress in your marriage, and can actually lead you away from solutions! Focus on accepting the situation you are in now, and working on a clear plan to get to a better financial future together.
- Work Together
Two heads are better than one, and in a marriage, it's important for the two of you to be on the same page when it comes to money. Work together to come up with a budget that will work for both of you, and stick to it. (You owe it to one another, as well as to your kids, if you have any.) Encourage your partner's ideas, and remember that your marriage and your money situation will do better of you two are managing money as a team.
- Get Help If You Need It
If your money situation is quickly deteriorating and you don't know how to make a plan that can save your finances, it may be a good idea to talk to a financial advisor together. This can provide fresh ideas and an educated perspective, and give you both a neutral third party to trust in. If your marriage is quickly deteriorating from money fights, it may likewise be a good idea to talk to a marriage counselor. Money problems can take a toll on a relationship, and a counselor can help you examine your patterns and come up with a healthier way to relate to one another.
- Remain Connected--Even when you're frustrated by your situation, you can still hold hands as you talk, take breaks to give each other massages, share a joke, and keep your connection alive in simple ways. You can help one another through this!
- Be Aware--If you always seem to fight about money, and especially if you don't entirely know why, it may be a good idea to examine your history and your partner's history and take a look at your 'money issues'. Just being aware of whether you carry negative patterns from childhood, unrealistic expectations, or 'hot buttons' that keep getting pressed, can help you to deal with your triggers.
- Take a Break If You Need To--If things get too stressful, take a break and do something you both enjoy together, or take some time alone, and then come back after you both have a set of 'fresh eyes' and an extra dose of patience.
- Remain Calm--I've said it before, and it's important enough to mention again. Staying calm when you're dealing with finances can make the difference between a fruitful planning session and a damaging altercation. See the suggestions above, or the resources below.
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