Monday, August 31, 2009

Cash Clash: What's Below the Surface?

For the full article by Mitch Temple, read here:

If you've tried to resolve arguments related to finances, but they keep popping up, it may be time for you to look below the surface. Here are a few questions to ask:
  1. Do we have a breakdown in communication? If you fail to communicate your thoughts, desires, preferences and so on, your spouse is left to guess what they are. Guessing often leads to misunderstanding, which can lead to hurt feelings and even resentment.

    If the only time you try to communicate about finances is when you're already upset or angry, your emotions will get in the way and the conservation will most likely lead to harsh exchanges of words and end up going nowhere. It's important to talk about sensitive issues in a way that is comfortable for both of you.

    Try writing down your concerns or desires versus trying to explain them when you're feeling emotional. Be clear about what you need from the other person regarding spending, budgeting, help with balancing the check book and how to get out of financial holes. Don’t begin your conversations in a negative tone and expect something positive to come out of it.

    Be kind and compassionate to one another…—Eph. 4:32(KJV)

  2. Am I harboring unresolved hurt or resentment? Sometimes it's easier to argue about money than to admit when we have hurt feelings. If your spouse has hurt you and you're still harboring that hurt — or maybe even resentment — you're going to see everything through that filter of hurt. When your spouse tries to discuss financial issues, you'll be more likely to overreact.

    Instead of letting hurt and resentment hinder your relationship, gather the courage to deal with the hurt. Bring it out in the open in a healthy way. Do it before tackling financial issues. That way you'll be able to discuss your financial issues without the extra burden of emotional baggage.

    Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. — Eph. 4:26 (NIV)

  3. Am I afraid to face the truth? Are you afraid to talk about money for fear that your spouse will discover you made an unwise decision, spent money you shouldn't have, didn’t pay the bill when you were supposed to, or have kept other financial secrets?

    Dishonesty always reaps a negative outcome. If you make a significant financial decision without talking to your spouse, your actions will almost never be well received. If you've been hiding something you did or did not do, the real issue is not about finances, it's about being honest. Dishonesty destroys trust. When trust is destroyed, your spouse will not trust you to make future decisions, which can leave you open to feelings of resentment, and the cycle repeats itself. Trust has to be rebuilt in a marriage before sensitive and important issues like finances can be addressed properly.

    Speak the truth to each other. — Zec. 8:16 (NIV)

By communicating in a clear and loving manner, getting rid of emotional baggage and embracing honesty, you and your spouse can lay a smooth foundation on which to build your financial future.

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