I hope you have
That probably seems
like an odd thing to say, but it's true. I hope the biggest problem in your
marriage is money because it's one of the easiest to fix. Note, I didn't say you
wouldn't have money problems, but it won't be a problem in your marriage if you
learn to look at money differently.
So here's one
question that may change your perspective. Is money more important than your
If your answer is
yes, then zoom on back to the first marriage therapy lesson and do it so you can
see how amazing your spouse is. Everyone has amazing, you just have to find
it. If you're still struggling after that exercise, let me know and I'll write
more on that subject.
If your answer is
no, which I hope is most everyone's honest answer, then that's the best first
step to eradicating money as a problem in your marriage. Money should never be
more important than a human being. Duh, right? But when we fight about money,
get upset about money, complain about money, then we are placing it as a higher
value over the people in our lives. If you're feeling awful because you've done one of the things just listed, don't beat yourself up. We've all done it and now you have the proper perspective to change it.
thing to consider. No matter how much money couples have or don't have, they
could fight over it. But you don't have to be that way. You can learn to look at
money troubles as a challenge that you can conquer together. Here's some steps
informed. Track purchases from the last few months to see where your money is
going. Don't get frustrated
by it. It's in the past. It's done. What matters is how you are going to change
to make it better.
2. Set a reasonable goal. Figure out a
dollar amount with your spouse that you should save, or not spend, or put toward
something else. Give your goal a time frame. You may not agree with your
spouse's goal and he/she might not agree with yours. So each of you will have to
budge and come up with a goal somewhere in the middle. It's hard, but once you
can both agree on something together, you'll be able to work on it
3 . Look for ways
that YOU can cut back, not your spouse. Don't put blame on them, even if they
spend more than you do. Everyone has a different emotional attachment to money.
Show them love and encouragement instead of criticism and you will be able to
make progress. I repeat, criticism will NOT help you in your money issues. It
won't help you in your marriage in any way either.
4 . If your spouse
doesn't volunteer to cut back, ask your spouse nicely if they could make some
changes. If you yell at them, they won't make changes.
5. Track your progress. Track
receipts. There are some online services that can help you do this. I personally
use a computer spreadsheet program. If you prefer oldschool, go the paper route.
As you work on money issues
together in a blame free environment, you'll grow together. If you overspend,
say you're sorry and try to do better. If your spouse overspends, forgive them
with encouragement so they can improve.
money is so tight that you're hungry, know that I get it. We've been there
before. It's hard. But we worked through it. You can too. You'll need hope, optimism, and determination to work hard. Trust in each other that things will
work out, even if they seem impossible. Experience and reading about the
countless lives of others has taught me that things will work out for those who
keep trying with hope and optimism.
And just think, you have someone beside you to
work through the difficulties of life. How lucky is that?