Marriage and Money: Communicating With Your Partner

candice-picard-1129114-unsplash.jpg

A few weeks ago, a couple sat down in my office to talk about a financial issue.

I’m not a therapist, but after years of counseling people in financial matters, I recognize that those who come to see me are in one of three financial stages:

  • The oblivious stage

  • The engaged stage

  • The crisis stage

My goal is to get both members of the couple into the engaged stage, where they can really start to work together toward the same objective.

The Oblivious Stage

A person who is “oblivious” with money must be in my office on accident or perhaps someone else told them to come.

A young man once connected with me and said, “My mother paid for this. I don’t know what we’re going to talk about.”

Oh my word, I thought. This is going to be tough.

But it actually turned out to be a great conversation. He was building some business ideas, and as we talked, he got really excited and we met three more times.

In the oblivious stage, a person doesn’t find money interesting. They are living in a spontaneous, almost sheltered place financially. This could be because they have lots of money; it could also be because they have no money and someone else is covering their living expenses. Either way, the person is essentially in an incubator and hasn’t needed to think about money.

The Crisis Stage

Most people who come to see me are in the crisis stage. They ask for a Financial Sozo, Financial Sozo training, Prosperous Soul teaching, purpose training, etc. They have seen the state of their finances and know something needs to change.

People in the oblivious stage and those in the crisis stage have something in common: They both need to move into the center place of engagement.

Marriage, Money, and Engagement

When I speak with a couple in financial trouble, my goal is to get both people to engage side by side.

In a game of tug-of-war, two people or groups are positioned on either end of a rope. They are not working together—they are opponents trying to conquer.

That is a vivid picture of what often occurs inside a couple in the crisis stage. Two people who are supposed to be working together have become opponents instead.

So what needs to happen is a change of heart and position. With the Holy Spirit’s guidance, I try to help these two people let go of the rope, change their positions, and start going after the same goal.

But how does this work? What’s the first step?

If you and your spouse are playing financial tug-of-war right now, I want to give you a simple unity tip that will help you begin to relax and practice better communication.

Letting Go of the Rope

When I can tell the couple sitting in my office are in a power struggle, I ask them to do two things:

  1. Breathe.

  2. Place their hands in their laps with their palms turned up, and sit that way for the rest of the conversation.

That’s your money tip for today—to practice unity with your spouse.

The open palm is a simple but powerful posture of surrender. It doesn’t mean the problem is now solved—but it does mean we are increasing the likelihood of good communication.

If you and your spouse are not on the same page with money, follow those two steps and discuss the situation while in that posture. Talk back and forth and, if needed, have a third person sit with you to moderate.

If you need additional help, go ask for it. Seek counsel from a leader, mentor, pastor, or some of the people around you who have strength and experience in the financial arena. Get the help you need so the two of you can move beyond this place of struggle and begin to thrive.

A May Blessing

May the month of May be a breakthrough month for you—one where all the work you’ve done in the past springs up like a garden to yield great fruitfulness.

I pray you have a mighty month, O Prosperous Soul.

 

To read more about money and finding freedom for your soul, check out the following articles:

Lauren Stinton