Marriage offers a great sense of security and stability... if you play your cards right.
"…Richer or poorer, to have and to hold until death do us part..."
Whoops… this sounds like quite a commitment. How do we see into the future and know that this person will be our partner for the rest of our lives, regardless? We don't. And we really don't if we are not clear about who we are, which is why the divorce rate is so high: 50 percent!
There is a reason happily-ever-afters are called fairy tales; they are the invention of a rich imagination from someone defining what they think perfection is. And, more importantly, fairy tales include being rescued... and always by a man. To be more specific, a rich, handsome PRINCE discovers a beautiful woman who is poor but has a heart of gold; she has to have some noble qualities to bring to the table.
This is a very unrealistic view of finances and marriage. Are you living in a fantasy fairy tale? Are you making any of these mistakes when it comes to matters of love and money?
Mistake number 1: Keeping secrets about money.
This is the most dangerous mistake of all because it involves losing trust. Trust is the cornerstone of any good relationship. Break it and the journey to reclaim it is long and tricky. Do it twice, and you are creating the conditions for a disaster. In other words? the "steps" in your two-story home looked reliable, but the bottom one already gave way.
Mistake number 2: Assumptions.
The feelings of being in love often distract us from reality. Being in love in the early stages wraps us in the expansiveness of feeling that everything is okay… ergo, everything will be okay. Wrong assumption! Fairy dust does not sprinkle down and solve an argument about money. If you did not have the pre-martial money discussion, you have left the back door open. How can you avoid this? Have those difficult money talks before you get married, not after.
Mistake number 3: Not taking responsibility.
Sometimes, with all good intentions, things just go awry. We did not plan it to happen; it's just the way it unfolded. When the people involved don't take responsibility for their behaviors, and it spills into money, things get very messy — especially if family members are involved. If you made a mistake or your financial situation has gone all wrong, own up and handle it calmly with your partner.
Mistake number 4: Not talking.
So you've been together long enough the blush is off the rose. You have settled in to a nice comfortable pattern with each other. Things seem predictable which is comforting, but in some areas, leads to a malaise. The habits the two of you have established maybe have been a combination of compromise, letting-go and resigning yourself… or so you would say. But, often in relationships, we say we have resigned ourselves but really we have pushed away our true feelings, which float around and surface in other areas…disguised.
There are areas you tip-toe around for fear it will just make him defensive. But, avoiding talking about the "sticky stuff" eats away at your intimacy with each other.
Get talking. Get closer.
For more great tips on love and money — plus a free PDF of my book, check out my website! http://thefinancialwhisperer.com/
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- When Is The Right Time For A Woman To Get Married
- The 50 Best Marriage Tips, Ever
- Got Kids? Stay Married... It's That Simple