money

After both of you have reflected on your money philosophy, it is time to share.

Find an unstressed time to have this talk(s).

You can share all your responses at once or divide them into several chunks.  Or, one shares all and the other piecemeal. Whatever each is more comfortable with. 

It is important to respect your spouse’s capacity to give and receive information in manageable parcels. So that neither feels overloaded or stressed, and doesn’t risk becoming irritable or defensive.

Use your most effective communication skills.

  • How will we tell each other if it is too much for one time?
  • Interrupt to ask clarifying questions, or allow the speaker to just speak?
  • How will we know when one has finished speaking?
  • How will we respond to painful memories?
  • How will we ensure that we understand what each is saying and meaning? (you might mirror)

Agree on what will be the focus of the discussion. And stick to that.

During these conversations, you should get a better understanding of the reasonings behind each’s money styles. Do not judge, just seek to understand.

For example: If someone grew up seeing much poverty, she may want to make as much money as possible so she can alleviate the pain of others.

For example: If someone equates money with status, they may want to flaunt their money.

For example: If someone always heard negative comments about materialism, they may shun anything beyond the basic necessities and not allow themselves to have any comforts.

You should also talk about what type you might want to move toward or away from.  And what support you might need from each other to that end.

  • “I would like to move more toward this type of money personality…
  • “I’d like to move away from this money type(s)
  • “Here are some ways that I’d like to change my money attitudes and behaviors …
  • “You might be able to help me move closer to my goals by ….

Next, you should talk about what money types you each are and how that impacts the way you deal with money as a couple.

  • Share with respect. Listen with respect and no judgment.
  • Listen for the underlying reasons for your spouse’s money habits.
  • Be willing to negotiate and compromise to a point that both feel heard.
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