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7 Ways to Resolve Money Conflicts For Saving Your Marriage

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You may perceive two hundred dollars as small change, but your partner kicks up a big fuss.

You may deem the purchase of an item as a necessary expense, but your partner thinks otherwise.

You may place a cap for spending on a vacation at one thousand dollars, but your partner has a different quantum in mind.

Then, there is the question of fairness. Who is entitled to spend the excess money in the joint account first?

With the end of the honeymoon phase in your marriage, you could find that money is the constant thing that you had been bickering about with your spouse.

Well, you are not alone.

It is common for couples to fight over money matters. As I wrote last week, money has been cited as a major factor leading to a marriage breakdown.

Money is an issue that is best discussed about prior to marriage, but which many couples fail to do. And even if you have taken the trouble to the extent of drawing up a pre-nuptial agreement, it is still possible to encounter new financial situations that you did not previously anticipate. After all, life is filled with changes and it sometimes springs unwanted surprises. You and your partner may discover hidden secrets that could shake your love for each other.

My husband and I have got our share of money issues over the years too. Both of us had left our professional careers to become self-employed. As a result, we had to deal with the financial uncertainty of not having a steady pay check and having to deal with changing business conditions.

However, we have worked together to resolve our conflicts, despite the challenges. I may not be a relationship coach but I have certainly learnt a lot through my journey. I would like to share some of the things I have gathered in this article. Hopefully, you will find them helpful too :-)

Here are 7 ways that may also help you resolve money matters if there are financial triggers that are threatening your relationship:

“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.” Thomas Merton

1. Establish Open Communication Channels

A healthy relationship requires healthy open communication. Learn to communicate your needs and desires to each other. If you can start to understand where your partner is coming from, you will find it easier to seek compromises.

2. Adopt a Partnership Perspective

See yourself as someone in a partnership rather than as a lone warrior going into battle against your partner. Let go of the need to change your partner in order to fit your idea of a perfect marriage. You can’t force him to change against his will.

Marriage is a union. Rather than insisting on your own needs, place establishing a harmonious and loving relationship as top priority. Your marriage will strengthen a lot more, if you focus on partnership.

3. Heal Your Past

Money situations form important feedback. If you find yourself feeling negative emotions around money issues, find out what the root causes are. Often, the root causes lie in your past. Your attitudes and reactions about money issues could be a result of what your parents taught you when you were a child. Your money beliefs are potentially limiting and no longer serving you.

Healing the past invariably frees you into a space of love. You are able to stop acting irrationally around money from losing your phobias. No longer cluttered with negative emotions, you also become more empowered to make wiser financial decisions. (If you need assistance with inner healing, consider working with me. Start here.)

4. Understand Your Partner’s Upbringing

Empathy arises more easily when you start to heal yourself. You begin to realize that similar to you and your past, partner’s current attitudes and reactions about money are a result of his past. Empathy allows you to put yourself in the shoes of your partner.

Your partner could be extremely careful about spending because his family used to be very poor. Or, your partner could be a spendthrift because he grew up in an affluent background. You realize that his excessive expenditure patterns could be due to some unfulfilled need.

An increased understanding of your partner’s spending habits does not mean that you now allow him to make excuses for being financially irresponsible. Rather, an understanding simply opens up your willingness to find a responsible and conscious way to work things out together. Both parties still need to be accountable to each other.

5. Allocate Budget for Individual Spending Account

Find yourself having to hide your purchases in the cupboard, lest your spouse finds out?

You may feel defensive about your need to have a new handbag.

Then again, your spouse may feel defensive about his need to buy a new golf club.

Well, one way forward is to allocate the same dollar amount for individual “personal” expense. Having a “personal” account allows some flexibility in individual spending and gives each other a chance to enjoy such frills according to personal desire. The “personal” account is to be kept separate from the family expense account.

Say, for instance, both of you decided that you are individually entitled to spend $500 per month. Each party is given the permission to spend the allocation in whichever way he or she deems fit, with no questions asked. Also, since this is an equal partnership, the amount allotted to each should ideally be the same, regardless of who earns more.

6. Enlist Help of a Qualified Finance Professional

Get the assistance of a qualified professional such as an accountant or financial planner, so that you can plan out a budget or create a plan together. You are less likely to meet with conflicts, with the help of an objective third party. Make an informed decision, rather than be ruled by your emotions.

7. Agree on Guiding Principles for Making Financial Decisions

Agree on principles and values that both of you deem as important and if possible, rank them. Agreeing on common principles helps to reduce conflict and sets the stage for smooth financial planning.

For instance, you and your partner may decide to undertake varying financial instruments according to age, with the excess money in the joint account. You agree to take on less risk taking now that you are entering your forties. Hence, “security” and “savings” rank over “growth” and “options trading”.

Build a Strong Relationship

“The more connections you and your lover make, not just between your bodies, but between your minds, your hearts, and your souls, the more you will strengthen the fabric of your relationship, and the more real moments you will experience together.” Barbara de Angelis

All in, avoid making money a topic of contention. Take financial responsibility. Be willing to address your money issues at the root.

Being in a partnership team allows for an integration of masculine and feminine energies. You lend greater support to each other and also to a joint vision. You are each other’s soul mate, undergoing important life lessons together.

Team synergy activates greater energy. Invariably, abundance comes in multiple flows. Best of all, you have got someone dear to enjoy the fruits of your work success with. From a higher perspective, money is but a tool for bringing greater happiness, love and joy.

Love and abundance always,

evelyn-lim

Abundance Alignment Coach


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by EVELYN on October 20, 2014

First, let me introduce myself. My vision is to turn dreams into reality through self awareness, inspiring others to do the same. The various roles I play in the school of life include being a life coach, mother, wife, ex-Banker, Singaporean, and an internet entrepreneur. In terms of qualifications, I am also a Certified Emotional Freedom Technique Practitioner, an Intuitive Consultant, and Vision Board Counselor. On this blog, I share about the various personal insights I have gained, my successes and challenges. I have since published books and programs such as Abundance Alchemy: Journey of Gold,Self-Love Secrets and Life Vision Mastery.

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