After a flash of anxiety over whether I was failing to help this couple communicate, I realized what was really going on. Of course my office was the only place they argued about money. It was the only place they ever discussed money.
For couples who want a healthy relationship with each other and with money, it is essential to break the taboo against talking about money. Sometimes, especially at first, those are difficult and contentious conversations. The following suggestions may make it easier to begin those discussions.
If one partner is responsible for most of the day-to-day money management or the couple's investments, it is essential for the other partner to have full access to accounts and be involved in decisions. At the same time, each spouse is entitled to have some money (an equal personal allowance) that is private money, to be spent without needing the partner's input or approval.
There is one simple way to decide whether keeping silent about a money concern is privacy or secrecy. Is this something you would be ashamed or embarrassed for your partner to know? If so, it is a potentially destructive money secret.
Becoming more comfortable talking about money is crucial if couples want to resolve their money differences. Couples build stronger financial and emotional partnerships when they can transform money arguments into money conversations.
Rick Kahler, Certified Financial Planner®, MS, ChFC, CCIM, founded Kahler Financial Group, and became South Dakota's first fee-only financial planner in 1983. In 2009, Wealth Manager named Kahler Financial Group as the largest financial planning firm in a seven-state area. A pioneer in the evolution of integrating financial psychology with traditional financial planning profession, Rick is co-founder and co-facilitator of the five-day intensive Healing Money Issues Workshop offered by Onsite Workshops of Nashville, Tennessee. He is one of only a handful of planners nationwide who partner with professional coaches and financial therapists to deliver financial coaching and therapy to his clients. Visit KahlerFinancial.com today!
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