I was planning this week to write about about how to handle financial disagreements when they do arise in your relationship, and with all that’s been going on in our country, it’s a perfect time to bring in some specific examples and unpack the tools needed to get through stressful financial times. Now, couples are faced with a great opportunity to band together against the financial infidelity taking place in the world around them, and use this time to work together toward long term financial success, yes, but perhaps more importantly toward relationship success as well.
Disagreeing About Money
Fights about money crop up frequently in most relationships and with added stresses – like potential job loss, inability to pay bills, possibility of foreclosure, etc., etc. – arguing about ANYTHING can be painful, but talking about money heaps stress upon stress. In order to avoid the fallouts that often come in these high-stress situations, it’s important to focus on using “attachment language” when you argue, and also ensure that your partner has a “safe landing” during what can often be heated discussions. In other words, don’t blame each other. Look at the situation as objectively as possible. Allow each person to state their fears, concerns and frustrations without interruption or fear of reprisal, and by doing so create a safe place in which financial discussion can occur.
The “rules” for arguing are the same now as they were before “Financial 9/11,” but it’s even more important to put them into action at this point in time. A failure to do so can have an opposite-than-desired affect, and push your partner and family further away from you. When we’re facing difficult circumstances we need the support of those around us – and often these relationships, when maintained properly, can themselves help to reduce our feelings of stress!
How It Can Bring You Closer
Another way to mitigate stress surrounding money in your relationship is to focus on the good things that can come from a personal or national financial downturn. Yes, there are a few good things worth mentioning … things like:
*People are taking time to connect. Whereas before, most people knew how to make money and create some amount of success for themselves, the focus can now be on connecting with your loved ones and family.
*It’s enabled us to focus on simpler things: spending time with family, cooking meals and eating together, watching a movie at home, etc.
*We’re learning that money doesn’t HAVE to buy us happiness – happiness can come from the important relationships and interactions in our life.
There’s no better time than now to put this knowledge into action and focus on how much your relationship means to you.