Can I just be real with y'all for a minute? Talking to your spouse about money is hard. But not talking about it is worse.
I have been thinking about this for a few days ever since reading a post on The Budget Mama called The Notorious Money Fight: Overcoming Money Issues in Your Marriage. Jessi writes one of the most real and honest blogs out there. That's why people love her.
In this post she talked about a fight she and her husband had over a purchase. In the end she realized she was wrong.
"I broke the cardinal rule to living a real life on a budget with someone else. My hubs had a right to be angry with me because I didn’t tell him about the extra expense, which was totally wrong."
It's a great post and I urge you to read it. I've thought a lot about it for the past few days. You see, Jason and I never fought about money. Even when we were deeply in debt. Even when we were facing foreclosure. We never fought about money.
It wasn't because we were perfect. It wasn't because we don't have strong opinions. So why didn't we fight about money? Because we were stupid. You read that right. We. Were. Stupid.
Now, before we go any further, I am not advocating that couples fight. I am not telling you to scream at your husband or yell at your wife.
Let me explain. Not only did we not fight about money. We didn't even talk about it. We pretended the problem did not exist. Like I said, we were stupid.
Not talking about it meant not fighting about it. But it also meant that we didn't acknowledge the problem. Now that we are on the other side of that I realize just how damaging that was to both our marriage and our financial situation.
By not talking about it we were basically telling each other, "I don't trust you enough to have an honest discussion about this." Or "I don't trust you enough to thoughtfully respect my feelings."
Not talking about it was so much worse than the biggest fight we could have. It would be like Jason walking around with an ax sticking out of his head and me pretending not to see it. If something has the potential to destroy your marriage why wouldn't you acknowledge it head on and fix it?
I wish we had those fights. I wish we had seen some intense discussions, then maybe we wouldn't have spent the first seven years of our marriage in debt.
We do talk openly about it now, in fact just Wednesday night Jason very kindly (and no that is NOT sarcasm) pointed out that I had overspent in a few areas and I needed to be more careful. When the discussion was over I told Jason I was proud of him. He was right, I apologized and that was the end of it.
It's not that we're perfect and passive people. Far from it. In fact we had had some humdingers on other areas of our life. But I think we both understand the gravity of it. We know that money can rip your marriage apart quickly and we're not going to gamble with that.
So I urge you, if you have found yourself in the situation where you don't talk about money try to have an open and honest discussion.
Schedule a time to talk to your spouse. Tell them honestly how you feel and ask for their input.
It might not be the most fun thing you do this weekend but it will be worth it in the long run.
What about you? Do you struggle to talk to your spouse about money?