3. Let your partner react. Before you get to the "Why" (which in your mind may either have been a good or bad reason) your partner will need to have their emotional response. Seriously, it's the least you can do. Your job is just to listen. Let them have whatever feeling they have. Don't try and defend yourself, unless you want to create a fight. This is also not the time to explain why. Just listen. If in your partner's reaction, they ask why, include your response as part of step four, after you own it. (Note to Partner... you are responsible for your own E.L.Q. too. You are allowed to honestly react but not to bludgeon, scream, attack, tear apart or try and make your partner - who is trying to be honest with you -- feel guilty or ashamed. You can be angry but you still owe this person your respect and unconditional love. Be angry at the action, not the person... and DON'T take it personally, their action was not a personal attack on you.)
4. Own your action again, apologize for breaking the agreement and then, finally, you can share... not your defense but your heart. Your simple response is, "You are right. I acted outside of our agreement. I am sorry." Let that apology land. Then take a breath and say, "I'd like to share why I made this decision..." and then share with them, from your heart what motivated you to make the choice to spend money this way. Be vulnerable. Do not get defensive. Do not bring up any of their actions from the past to throw in their face. Remember, the two of you are on the same side, and have committed to helping each other be the best people you can be.
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5. Create Conscious Next Steps.
i. Discuss the "Now what?" Come to agreement on how you manage any financial stress this may cause, and work together to make it work.
ii. Create an agreement or modify the previous one. Converse about what really works for you both and talk about it until you both feel really good.
iii. State your agreed to expectations out loud. This will make sure there is no confusion, and will eliminate the need for any secrets.
And our favorite last step to this whole process...
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Pinky Swear on your agreement and then seal it with a smooch!