It happens all the time – we marry our money opposite. That can be a wonderful thing! We get to look at money in new ways and learn to respect and understand different points of view, but that doesn’t happen right away.
From what we’ve found, first opposites attract, and then opposites attack!
It doesn’t have to be that way! Sure, you might not always have the same views on money, but that doesn’t mean that every discussion has to turn into a fight. So, how can you and your spouse avoid money arguments when you’re money opposites? We have 3 tips to get you on the right track.
1. Identify and Acknowledge
The best way to handle money arguments is to stop them before they start. If you’re married to your money opposite, you know that certain topics are bound to cause tension. In our house, it’s vacations. Scott’s Secondary Security Seeker side needs a plan. The last thing he wants is to find himself hopelessly lost in the middle of a big city where he doesn’t speak the language! That’s not my idea of dream vacation either, but my Secondary Risk Taker Money Personality does demand an adventure. When summer rolls around and we start discussing vacation ideas, we know that it’s a potential source of tension and an argument waiting to happen.
Our solution is to head it off at the pass! We’ve identified that this topic might cause tension, and we’ve acknowledged that we are likely to have different opinions on how we should spend our vacation. Identifying and acknowledging it allows us to avoid an argument, and instead, have a calm discussion to plan a trip that fits both of our wants and needs.
2. Predict and Discuss
Our second tip builds off the first. The longer you’ve been married, the better you get at predicting the situations that might lead to arguments. You know your spouse better than anyone, and you know what’s likely to upset their apple cart! When you can predict it, you can get ahead of it and avoid that potential disagreement.
One of Scott’s triggers is summer break. (With the last day of school just around the corner, we’ve obviously got summer on the brain!) Scott always expects summer to be less expensive than it actually is. The kids are out of school and aren’t as busy, so we shouldn’t have to spend as much, right? But it never seems to happen that way! When those expenses start mounting up, it can be frustrating.
Since we can predict that these unexpected expenses are likely to cause tension, we can discuss them and plan for them before they become a problem. We can decide if we’re joining the pool and how often we’ll let the kids grab lunch at Taco Bell. Then Scott’s Secondary Security Seeker Money Personality will be happy, because we’ve created a cash flow worksheet for our summer spending, rather than tossing out money left and right!
One couple we’ve worked with sits down before every quarter, and each spouse writes down 3 sources of tension they predict they’ll face over the upcoming quarter. Then they discuss a plan for each one over a glass of wine. What a great idea! Predict it, discuss it, and get ahead of it – preferably with your beverage of choice!
3. Be Patient
This might be the most important tip to remember during those money discussions. We have to be patient with our spouse when we’re discussing tense topics. Patience doesn’t come easily to everyone (looking at you, Scott!), but having patience, understanding, and the ability to talk things through without getting frustrated is one of the greatest gifts you can give your spouse. Remember that this is the person you love most in the world, and they don’t want to fight about money any more than you do, so patience is truly a virtue.
We told you we had 3 tips, but it must be your lucky day, because we have one more awesome, super-important bonus tip!
*Bonus Tip!!!* Make Sure You Know How You’re Wired When It Comes To Money
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, knowing you and your spouse’s Money Personalities is SO IMPORTANT! You can take our free Money Personality Assessment and learn all about your two Money Personalities. That’s right, everybody has two – a Primary and Secondary, and those determine your thoughts and feelings about money, your spending habits, everything. The more you know about your Money Personalities, the better you’ll be at identifying and acknowledging your differences, predicting your sources of tension, and discussing them before they turn into arguments.
Just recently, we had 3 different couples who had attended our Magnificent Marriage conference approach us at a restaurant. They all told us their different Money Personalities and told us how much having that label helped them identify and understand their differences. Finally understanding their Money Personalities made their money discussions so much easier.
What are you waiting for? You can even make a fun date night out of it! You and your spouse can start by taking our free Money Personality Assessment. Then, for a small charge, you can dive deeper into understanding what that means with our Money Personality Report. It can truly be life changing, so don’t wait. Get on the path to building a happier, healthier marriage today!