You may think you have a healthy outlook on life and don’t have baggage. . .until you get married or move in with someone. When you’re single, you can manage your life in the way that works best for you. When you’re part of an established relationship, you must compromise and negotiate on different issues. This can be challenging, especially if your partner comes from a different background than you do. If you struggle with financial incompatibility, as many couples do, consider counseling.
5 Issues that Financial Therapies for Couples Can Help Fix
Some couples seek financial therapy after they’ve struggled to manage money together for years. Others take a more proactive approach and seek financial therapy when they are considering deepening their commitment, whether that is moving in together or getting married. These couples are smart because there are 5 issues that financial therapies for couples can help fix.
Communicate about Money
One reason couples have financial difficulties is that they don’t want to, or don’t know how to, talk about money. Financial therapy can help you learn these skills as well as learn to create a budget and set aside time regularly to talk about your finances as well as your financial struggles and achievements.
If you have debt, a financial therapist can help you determine how to work together to eradicate it. However, some people believe that debt is normal and that they’ll always have it. A trained financial therapist can help you agree on your comfort level for debt.
Saving vs. Spending
One of the biggest conflicts in a relationship is when one partner is a spender and the other is a saver. Through counseling, you can both compromise and agree on your money management habits.
A saver might have to loosen control a bit, so the spender has some monetary freedom, and a spender might have to limit what he buys. A therapist can help couples create boundaries, so each partner feels safe and secure even though they have different spending styles.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Do you want to own a house, or do you prefer to live in an apartment or condo because they’re low maintenance? Do you want to travel? A financial counselor can help you navigate all of the details of planning your future.
Financial infidelity may be one of the hardest issues to tackle in therapy because trust has been broken. A good therapist can help the couple learn why financial infidelity occurred, how to prevent it in the future, and how to rebuild trust.
Money issues are the second leading cause of divorce behind infidelity, but it doesn’t have to be. If you and your partner are struggling, remember, there are many issues that financial therapy for couples can help fix. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you can learn to come together and manage your finances successfully.