Skilled thoughtful communication is the foundation for satisfying relationships. We teach effective, assertive communication skills along with conflict resolution and negotiation to individuals, couples and families.
DEALING WITH MONEY CONFLICTS
Dealing with money conflicts can be one of the most contentious areas of conflict in a relationship. All new marital relationships, whether first marriage, or second, etc., must resolve how money is handled. This is tricky business because beliefs and values around money are engrained early in life. Money is energy and holds power to control or feel controlled. It can be a source of fear or a great source of shared value and engagement in a relationship.
Suggestions for Resolving Money Conflicts in a Marriage
• Take the time to understand what your disposable income is and exactly where you are in terms of total income and assets. This allows both you and your partner to be working with the same information. It also provides you both the opportunity to deal with money realistically.
• Try to understand what motivates your spouse’s actions. A seemingly irrational attitude towards money makes more sense once you know the cause.
• Don’t worry if your and your mate’s views about money are out of sync. Studies show this doesn’t have to mean conflict, except when one partner really dominates.
• Don’t let one spouse’s income become the luxury money, while the other spouse’s income takes care of necessities. That makes one person the good guy in the family and may lead to bad feelings on the part of the other.
• Whether you handle your money in a joint account or separate ones, try to make sure that you and your spouse each have personal spending money. This way, you can each make your own choices and not feel that you need to ask permission for purchases.
• Don’t confuse the woman’s spending money with a household allowance that covers necessities. When your money comes from the same pot, this often leads to ill will (the “peanut butter again because Mom just bought a new blouse” syndrome).
• Don’t expect to find solutions from the past to resolve your money disputes. The way your parents handled finances may have worked for them, but may not necessarily work for you.
• Make sure your children have some understanding of the family’s financial situation. This will make them more realistic about spending.
• Share your personal goals and expectations. Figure out how much money you will need to get them.
• Remember: Money is not power, control, love or security. Money is money.
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