How to Stop Fighting About Money with Your Spouse
Money and Relationships – now, there is a tough subject!
MagnifyMoney surveyed nearly 1,000 Gen Zers and millennials who are married, engaged, or in a relationship. According to their findings, nearly three-fourths said they were angry with their partner because of a financial decision they made.
Full survey findings: https://www.magnifymoney.com/blog/news/millennial-gen-z-relationships-survey/.
We have all done it. You find out your spouse makes a financial decision you don't like, and you automatically react angrily. You are now on a mission to make them regret that decision with the objective of getting into an argument so you can make them wrong and make you right – well if we were truthful about it! What's worse is the need to be right becomes ingrained in our lives. We react negatively as an automatic response.
Or, you can approach it another way! Consider these principles!
Unless you are perfect, show Grace
You've never made a mistake before? How about showing a little Grace? Sure, you can make your point and be heard. However, it is how you go about it that builds up relationships versus tearing them apart.
Your reaction is Key
Your reaction creates or tears down a trust zone. Your spouse either feels safe or not. Repetition of that negative reaction just reinforces that feeling. What would happen if you made better choices about your reactions?
Wrong: Arguments are about making your spouse wrong and you right – Right: Seek first to understand, then be understood
This is an old Stephen Covey principle. There is a big difference between listening to your spouse and giving them the floor versus making sure they know why you think you are right. In an argument, only your ego wins. Besides, most arguments are more about debating over opinions than facts.
The way you React could be/probably is why they didn't consult with You
Your reaction creates or tears down a trust zone. Your spouse either feels safe or not. Again, repetition of that negative reaction just reinforces that feeling.
Men - lose the condescending tone
If Cheri and I would get into a disagreement, she would say, "Stop yelling at me." That always confused me because I don't yell at my wife. It took me more than a few years to learn that you don't have to yell to get the same effect - use that condescending tone. To your spouse, it could have the same effect as yelling.
What do you not like about yourself?
Generally speaking, what we don't like about others directly reflects something we don't like about ourselves. For example, if you don't like it when you overspend, and it makes you feel guilty, you will more likely react negatively when your spouse overspends. In relationships, we are constantly looking in the mirror.
Now, you might be thinking, "Bob, you don't know my spouse." You might also be saying/thinking, "Bob has lost his mind."
I understand that this represents some of the hardest aspects of a relationship. Think of it as a process of rebuilding trust. Little by little, choose to react differently. Regardless of the circumstance, you can make better choices. Things won't change overnight. You will also slip up from time to time. It just takes practice. Try a new approach, and you might get a whole new result after a while.
Most importantly, pray about the new choices. God will help direct your ways! We just have to ask – don't forget to ask!!
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