How Money Discussions Can Make Your Marriage Stronger
Nothing is more exciting than being in love; your eyes sparkle, your pulse quickens, your pupils dilate, you lose your appetite, you feel expansive and generous. You want this feeling forever, but forever is the future, and where you are now is reality.
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How many times have you heard: “I don’t know what happened, one day he came home and said it was over.” Or, “I think he is cheating on me.” Or, “It’s been 3 months since we’ve had sex.”
At the end of the day, what we all want is acceptance. This is one of the reasons we are so attached to our pets; they accept us no matter how we behave, what secrets we keep from them, or that we put our needs first most of the time.
Acceptance and rejection is the seesaw we are constantly on if we allow our fears to dictate our actions. Being able to talk to those closest to us about the things that cause dis-comfort and shame is a test.
Being able to talk about money is the #1 challenge. If we don’t talk, it sits in our living room like the 500 lb. gorilla with everyone tip-toeing around it and will be a hidden agenda in making decisions.
All of us have “stinky issues” and how liberating it is to let go of them. Money, on one level or another, impacts everyone in every society because it relates to control; who has it, who needs it, how does one get it?
There is nothing more relationship affirming than sharing the shame-filled money issues with that special person and experiencing them loving you more, in spite of what you have said or done.
That vulnerability is very compelling and oddly enough gives you power and control. You have told the truth. Whoever speaks the truth owns the room, gets the ‘respect’ medal and is perceived as the one with integrity.
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But: you need to be aware that sometimes talking to another about something shameful can trigger things within them, and their initial reaction may not be easy, sweet and welcoming; people are complicated and all you can control is you…and all you can take charge of is you.
How well do you know your partner? In all relationships, we get to both experience the person and observe the person at the same time. Being clear about who they are really depends upon how well we know ourselves.