Obviously, the goal of therapy is to keep people together. At Family First Psychotherapy Services LLC., we want to support your marriage journey, help you see how you can live together as a couple, and/or as a family regardless of the problems, especially those regarding finances.
Whether you are starting a long-term relationship or trying to maintain one, there are some helpful tips to consider regarding your relationships and finances.
Are You Willing to Try?
We definitely should be willing to try, try and try again until we get this thing right in terms of efforts! Willingness is so key to most of the problems that we have in our relationships. Everyone has to be willing to make an effort on an agreed upon resolution to the problem.
Are You Willing to Communicate?
Communication also has to be at the top of the list. You have to talk about your finances, your career/retirement plans that involve finances, and your philosophy of spending. These are major "must talks" to have around finances. We know that talking about finances can be tricky, so here are 7 guidelines to help improve talking tips when it comes to financial concerns in your marriage or long-term relationship:
1. Your Family of Origin's Spending Habits
How was it done in your family? Are you happy about what your parents did financially or are you in a situation where you help them out with their money circumstances now that you've become an adult?
Parents set examples for us, but you can break free of that lifestyle and value something else. Maybe you've learned how to save and you live within your means but your parents were never able to get it right. So, go back and look at what you don't want financially in your relationship and take notes.
2. Money Priorities
What priorities have you set when it comes to spending or saving? Maybe you like to "keep things" rather than to "experience things in life." This is not good or bad but will help in setting priorities between you and your mate. You both should learn what your partner's thoughts are on this subject matter and agree to something that works financially for both of you; not just for you emotionally.
3. Financial Havoc
How do you define "financial havoc?" Different people have different thresholds for financial chaos. Maybe you are alright with creditors calling because you're behind in your payments, your house is in foreclosure status, and your car was just saved from repossession by a relative; all this while your partner just wants to be committed to a hospital because he/she can not take any more.
These differences are such big deals in your relationship. You definitely should look at honoring the other person's feelings and their credit. Remember sometimes the "couple preservation" involves credit responsible actions even if you're not bothered by the situation. Your partner maybe coming apart, and that should be honored.
Asking your partner about his/her debt or admitting to your own debt is a "must have" conversation when starting off a long-term relationship. Having debt is a situation that concerns both of you, not just one of you. It affects your lifestyle, vacations, family, education, and more. You should know that if you're hiding your current debt balance, then there is something wrong. Debt secrets should not exist in your relationship!
5. Joint or Separate Accounts
Should there be joint or separate accounts in your long-term romantic financial relationship? Studies show that joining money makes couples happier, builds trust, and that the happiness increases with the percentage of money that is joined. This is a great thing! But if you're still hiding and keeping secrets about money, there are greater issues in your relationship than money. You must work together through tough times to move closer together; struggling together creates closeness. Having a joint account makes you stay on top of your relationship as well as your finances. If you don't eat, no one eats!
6. Financial Decisions
What do you consider to be a big purchase? What about your partner? This is information that you should both agree on in your financial relationship. This question also speaks to trust and communication in your relationship. Setting limits for one another is not a bad thing. It helps us to respect our partner's decisions as well as them respecting ours. This is yet another aspect of a happy, romantic, financial life.
7. Financial Goals
What are your financial goals together? This is a big question for a couple and it should be thought out and answered with care. Once we include children, education, our careers, and retirement it's a lot of responsibility. Hopefully, you've built your trust and communication to handle the tough and good financial road of your relationship.
Please take the time to plan short- and long-term financial goals. This is your future.
If you have any other questions or concerns about finances and your relationships, contact Nicole on 301-710-2403.