Love, Money and Compassion, And Growing Up

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In these times of economic anxiety, couples can begin to worry about their financial security, and may even start to blame one another for their earning or spending habits. Many of us find it difficult to talk about money without becoming emotional and defensive. By learning to talk about money, we begin to grow up.

Trust and security are the foundations of a healthy relationship. Financial stability is one brick in this foundation and every couple will need to figure out a way to communicate about their feelings around money. Communication is the keystone when it comes to financial management between couples. So how do you develop the skills to talk about money.....

Be brutally honest with yourself and compassionately honest with your spouse.

If you spend more then you make, keep your spending habits a secret, or fail to follow a budget, you need to admit this to yourself and to your spouse. Honesty about finances is the first step to developing an adult relationship with money. As you take responsibility for your own spending habits you want to avoid blaming or shaming your spouse for his or her monetary habits. The blame game only serves to build up those defenses that inhibit grown-up communication.

Know yourself and your partner.

Because money is the number one reason couples fight, it will become important for you to explore your own beliefs and expectations around money. How was money handled in your family of origin, what does it mean to you, do you see money as power, as evil, and a means to an end? Once you identify your beliefs, you can choose to accept them or challenge them - but own them, they are yours. Share these beliefs with one another so that you know where you stand. Be just as curious about your partners' beliefs as your own and use the conversation to demonstrate compassion for one another.

Accept Responsibility.

Responsibility for your financial health belongs to both individuals, even when only one partner makes most of the money or pays the bills. Decisions about who manages the money can depend on who is best suited to the job, who has the most time available, or who is most interested in this particular task. Maybe in your situation, the tasks will be divided and spread between you. Either way, both parties need to be aware of what the other is doing. You need to know and understand your budget and you need to accept responsibility for it.

Compromise.

Because you will have differing beliefs about money, you will likely want to spend it in different ways. This is normal, it's natural, in fact, it's desirable. We really don't want to be married to someone who is exactly like us. We need the balance, the yin, the yang! We each bring different thoughts, ideas, and gifts to the relationship. Use these gifts to develop a strong and realistic budget.

Learn and accept the basics of money management.

A few basic things hold true when it comes to money. Once we accept them, our lives can become simple, our finances can align, and we can find the security we long for in our relationship. The basics are: don't spend more then you earn, stick to your budget, save a little for emergencies and for the future, spend a little on things that make you happy, develop compassion for yourself and your spouse when things don't go as you expected.

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Love, Money and Compassion, And Growing Up


 
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