Your beliefs are not wrong, nor are your partner’s, they’re just different, and if they are not in sync with each other this misalignment can lead to constant conflict, anger, resentment, broken trust and connection, stress, unhappiness, and divorce. The good news is once you discover and understand your money assumptions and how they drive your and your partner’s choices, attitudes, and perceptions, it becomes easier to discuss them and resolve financial stand downs. Here are some suggestions you may want to try:
1) Try to suspend any judgment of your partner and his family. Remember he or she doesn’t know what they don’t know. This money belief programming has taken years to download. You cannot undo it in one sitting.
2) Identify the unhealthy or irrational habits that may have served him/her that may not be appropriate to serve the goals of your partnership. Remind your partner gently that you respect what worked for them as a single, but it no longer serves them now that they are in a partnership. Just as fast food may not serve you or your partner if you are now committed to a healthy lifestyle. Which ones are you willing to surrender? Write them down. Try to find some humor in them without judgment or blame.
3) Identify the fiscal strengths that each partner brings into the relationship. Which traits complement and balance the budget, the savings, the earnings, the goals, the investments? Build on those. Co create your new plan.
4) Have a “money check in” once a month. Try to keep the same time and day each month. Celebrate each small progress of your partner as they retrain their old habits.
5) Define the goal. What is the priority? To pay down debt? To save? To cut back on spending? Choose one small goal every 3 months so as to not overwhelm and discourage you both.
6) Now align your new co created priorities. Meet on common ground respectful of each other’s needs. Suspend blame or judgment and move outside your comfort zone as you decide mutually on what necessities are and what niceties are. Be conscious of those outdated money beliefs creeping back. Agree that all financial decisions going forward will be in alignment with your new goals and vision for your future together.
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Copyright © 2011 by Denise Wade, Ph.D. All rights reserved in all media. Used with permission.
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Denise Wade, Ph.D. is devoted to helping committed couples reignite passion and intimacy through awareness of each other’s unique sexual and emotional needs. Denise provides gender education and marriage principles coaching, a comfortable alternative to marriage counseling. www.sweetharmony.net 1.215-913-7997.