Money is often a challenge for couples to talk about. Every aspect of money decisions has links to emotions and personal history. It is easy for fear, envy, anger, and more to be triggered.
This first year of marriage has had many financial complexities as Phil and I have integrated our lives together. Here are some tips for success that we have been learning:
- Stay aware of your emotions and assess the reasons behind them.
- Be honest with each other about what thoughts and feelings are arising.
- Take breaks in the discussion if emotions are too difficult to manage in the moment. Guard the unity of your relationship.
- Be sure you are dealing with the facts of the situation and not making assumptions.
- Ask questions respectfully to understand each other’s thoughts and reasoning.
Phil and I have taken months to determine the best arrangements for our bank accounts, bill-paying, filing, financial and retirement planning, and more. Now we are in the middle of arranging disability insurance, life insurance, and wills. We have struggled with the images of either of us being disabled or dying. It’s very hard to be newly married and think of these aspects of life.
We have come to recognize that part of loving each other is looking out for possible difficult futures and preparing for them. We have had a few tears along the way and have given ourselves the mercy and grace to have the process be gradual. We will consult about the topic for awhile and then set it back down again. When we are ready to resume, the consultation flows forward.
Both of us have had spouses die, one in an accident without health and estate documents in order, and one from cancer with all paperwork completed. We know the realities of life and have committed to completing these tasks for each other and our family members. However, we will be very glad when it’s done!
Are you ensuring your marital financial details are in order?
Resource: Need help making decisions as a couple? Please consider Deciding in Unity from Marriage Transformation or your favorite distributor.