"The Issue of Money in
by Susie and Otto
Sex and money are two of the biggest issues that
challenge couples. Today
we're going to talk about money and the unique opportunities for growth in
tackling these issues.
So why does money drive a wedge between two people
who are committed to one another? We all come from different backgrounds
and carry different values and belief systems from our birth families and
Here are some ways we see people differ on this
1. Spender and Saver Combination
One person likes to spend money while the other person prefers saving over
2. Never taught about money
Most people aren't taught how to deal with money with a partner.
They use their parent's model.
3. Two people--different goals for their financial
One person's concern may be paying for a child's college education while
the other person may want to save for a vacation home.
There are many more examples that we could list. The most important thing
we have discovered is that when there are unresolved money issues in a
relationship, there are problems with safety and trust.
In a relationship where there are safety and trust
issues surrounding money, you can almost always trace it back to one
person having more either real or perceived power in the relationship and
the other feeling more vulnerable.
So, we have some tips on dealing with money that
we've used in our spiritual partnership and they may work for you.
1. Examine your perceptions about money.
Ask yourself who was your role model for your beliefs about money and then
question if these beliefs still serve you. Susie's parents lived during the depression and saving money
was an important part of their lives.
Therefore Susie likes the security of having a financial cushion to
fall back on. To Otto, saving
money does not have the importance that it does to Susie.We've discovered
that we were both out of balance and need to come to the center on this
2. If you decide to form a partnership, decide in
advance how you are going to handle the finances. Early in our relationship, we decided to share equally the
household expenses but not combine our personal finances. It has been important to us to feel like equal partners and
this was one way that we could do it.
This is only one model that works for us because are individual
incomes are similar. This may
not work in your circumstance. All
we are saying is to consciously decide about finances.
3. Discuss what each of you values in the area of
What are your short-term and long-term goals?
Talk about them with your partner.
It's only after you know what's important to you and your partner,
can you move forward toward having the needs of both met.
4. When misunderstandings arise, listen to your
partner and try to understand the frame of reference he/she is coming
A simple problem of semantics like the one we had recently illustrates
this point. Last week when we
were discussing business finances, Otto felt tight and restricted when
Susie used the word "budget".
His frame of reference as 20 years in sales suggested to him that
budgets were rigid and could never be changed.
Budgets were imposed from on high.
He preferred to talk about plans.
Susie's frame of reference comes from managing a library and she
deals with budgets everyday. A
budget does not have a negative connotation to her but is merely a
business tool. It was only until after each of us understood the other's
frame of reference for this word could we resolve it and move past this
In your relationships, whether you're talking about
money or anything else, it's important to constantly communicate, one
moment at a time. It's
important to understand and respect your partner's needs, their desires,
their frame of reference and their values, as well as your own.