Every Tuesday we engage in one big question, topic or idea. You are invited to write in with a suggestion you want to share. I surely do not have all the answers but know that together we can generate some great conversation and have fun in the process. (Feel free to post your topics, questions, and your great thoughts in the comments below!) Together, we will stay informed and equipped about topics that matter!
Today’s Blog Contributor:
My name is Suzanne Hillegas, but my friends and family call me Suzy. I enjoy living in the Pacific Northwest with my husband Tim. I spent many years single but have had the privilege of being married to the best guy in the world since July 2012. Friends and family are where I would choose to spend all of my time, but the groceries do have to be purchased, the laundry does have to get done, and being a contributing part of my household is important. In 2014 I was gifted the privilege of becoming a mother. My son has brought tremendous joy to our household and was absolutely worth the wait!
365 + 365 + 330 = how many days I have been married. Money in marriage has proved to be one of the most challenging aspects of marriage!
1050 days from saying I DO, I have learned a few things about the monogamous relationship of marriage.
Whatever crazy stuff my family did or felt about money I have carried it into my marriage. The crazy did not surface in my singleness, but as soon as my husband wanted to spend, pay, or use money all kinds of crazy started flying out of my mouth.
One of my crazies was any time money was brought up, I felt like the subordinate and my husband “appeared” to be the superior. My heart would start racing and I would clamp my mouth shut. Wrong perspective plus wrong action led to more hurt and more mistrust.
After yet another messy conversation about money, I said to my husband, “We have to figure out how to talk about money calmly. Because I hope to have 20 – 40 more years of conversations with you about money.” He agreed. We both wanted to do this better.
Our solution: a business meeting. We discussed how we both were professional at work and didn’t take things personally, but chose to act in a professional manner. How could we apply that same principle to this? We established the Hillegas Household Monthly Meeting.
By choosing to be professional with each other, my husband and I have made great strides in communicating and making agreeable plans for our financial future. “I need to think about that for a few days, I will give you an answer by Thursday.” This life saving statement is said when a request has been made by one and the other feels it is ridiculous or too expensive. More often than not, the one who made the initial suggestion has decided on their own it is not something we should purchase.
I trust you.
These three words can dramatically change your financial relationship. It is important for you to share your opinion. But follow up with, “You faithfully provide for us every day and if that is where our money should go than I trust you.” The key is you have to actually mean it.
Freak outs will continue to happen but hopefully only now and then as opposed to every day! Purpose to talk 2 or 3 days after the initial freak out. Men hear calm better than hysterical. But sometimes the hysterical version is necessary so that they want to hear the calm version.
Small steps lead to great victories!
One last recommendation, The Five Money Personalities by Scot and Bethany Palmer. This book helped me so much in understanding myself and understanding my husband. We took the personality test. We have a four way conflict going on in our home. A four way conflict is the highest level of conflict possible! But it was an excellent reminder that our differences make us stronger but only if we choose to use them. If we just let things happen our differences will become our greatest weakness, instead of our greatest strength.
My challenge to you, which of these steps do you need to apply to your marriage? Choose just one. Do you need to tell your husband you trust him? Do you need to let him dream without an automatic freak out? Or do you need to establish a professional way to discuss money in your household? Choose one today and begin making the change toward a marriage that can go the distance. I have confidence in you. You can do it! Your marriage is worth the investment.
We would love to hear your thoughts on “Your Marriage Is Worth the Investment”, please don’t hesitate to share your stories or comments below.
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