Love And Money Communication – 7 Questions You Should Ask Your Mate
Statistics consistently show that money is the number one source of disagreement in the early years of marriage. In fact, it is has been shown to be one of the top three reasons as to why couples seek divorce. With statistics like this, it makes you wonder why even in today’s time, couples still shy away from communicating about money.
Although most of the couples that I come in contact with agree that it’s important to have healthy discussions about their finances, I find that most shy away from it. They either don’t like talking about money and/or don’t know how to converse about it in a productive way.
Let’s look at some of the statistics found on couples and money:
Nearly all Americans in committed relationships (91 percent) agree that it is important to discuss their partner’s financial history before marriage, yet more than one quarter (26 percent) admit they tend to avoid talking about finances. Source: 2011 Lawyers.com Couples and Money survey
86 percent of those who either got married in the past five years — or plan to get married in the next 12 months — say they plan on talking about money and their financial situations prior to the wedding. Source: Online survey commissioned by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) and conducted by Harris Interactive in May 2011
An American Express survey found that only 43 percent of the general population talked money before marriage, but the number rises to 57 percent for affluent couples and jumps to 81 percent for young professionals. And twelve percent of the general population says they’ve never talked about money with their spouse. How they manage that is definitely unclear. Source: American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, June 2010
A financial survey found that only 51 percent of couples discussed how they would manage their money before tying the knot. Source: COUNTRY Financial survey May 2011
If you are married or in a relationship that is headed towards marriage, it’s important to examine your feelings about talking about money with your partner. Self awareness is always the first step to healthy change and growth. Some questions that might be helpful to explore are as follows:
- How comfortable are you with talking about your finances? Are there any money beliefs or emotions that may get in the way?
- What are some potential obstacles that could get in the way of communicating about finances with your spouse? What are some possible solutions to these obstacles?
- How good are you at with seeing your partner’s side of view?
- What are your financial goals for the relationship?
- How good are you at with brainstorming ideas and developing creative solutions to problems that may come up?
- Are you a team player?
- What are your communication strengths and what areas do you need to grow in with regard to communicating with your partner?
If you are in a relationship and you haven’t had the money talk yet, or you have tried to have it with little success, my challenge for you is to sit down with your partner over the course of the next week and establish some goals around communicating around your finances. Establish and understanding of how you want to communicate about finances. What do you want your communication picture to look like, what do you not want it to look like? What has worked in the past, what has not worked? Last, it’s important to know that if you continue to run into roadblocks, it is ok to seek professional support in this area if needed.