If there’s one thing we know a lot about from personal experience, it’s the challenges of dealing with money issues in a relationship with someone you love or care about.
Over the 25 plus years we’ve been together, this has been the major source of tension between us until the last few years when we came to a new understanding about how life works.
Susie came from a family of savers and conservative spenders so she carried on with the practices that were taught to her about how smart, intelligent and financially-sound people are “supposed” to handle money.
Otto came from a family who often struggled financially and learned to spend when “you had it” or find creative ways to make it happen.
Not only have we been married partners but also became business partners which only amplified those differences–and threatened to drive us both crazy.
You can guess how that went…
When there was money above expenses in our business, Otto wanted to spend it on attending trainings (or on a vacation to somewhere like the caribbean) and Susie wanted to save it “for a rainy day.”
During these discussions, Susie would “freeze” and brace herself and Otto would get defensive.
Our normally connected, loving relationship seemed to fall apart when it came to this touchy subject and we certainly didn’t listen to one another.
Even though we knew better, we’d find ourselves in the same argument over and over with no resolution until we saw something new.
What we began to see with fresh, new eyes about dealing with money changed us and our relationship for the better.
Money was no longer a core issue that caused rocky times in an otherwise wonderful relationship.
Here are 3 things we learned about money issues and fights that could be useful in your relationships…
1. Remember the other person is your beloved (your friend/partner) and you have a choice
So often when we’re faced with a situation when someone close to us has a totally different way of looking at life, like Susie, we shut down or like Otto, we defend–or do both.
The two of us learned to head into these discussions by first connecting with each other and then reminding ourselves that we had a choice and we always had a choice.
When we were in a more loving space with each other, we were able to listen for something new that we might not have heard before.
2. Ask “What can I learn from you” with genuine curiosity
When we stay in a state of curiosity which happens when we don’t believe the stories we make up about what the other is saying, we can drop the defenses and ask ourselves this question from our Magic Relationship Words program…
“What can I learn from you?” instead of “How can I make you understand I’m right?”
The two of us learned a lot about looking at money issues differently when we asked the first question.
Susie learned that expansion can be good and being fearful of spending money actually causes restriction in her and in our business.
Otto learned discernment and agreed to do research to see if the training would really be beneficial for our business before bringing it up with Susie.
We also scheduled times we would talk about these ideas instead of spur of the moment discussions.
With different attitudes, we were able to listen without getting triggered when spending money was brought up.
3. Listen with your heart not your stories
Listening with your heart does not mean that you agree with everything that’s presented to you but it does mean that you listen–truly listen.
You listen to understand and not to formulate your arguments.
There’s a big difference between the two and it takes just making a small shift to bring ease to a previously triggering situation.
Conflicts resolving from differences about money don’t have to tear your relationship apart.
Believe us when we say that communication can be easier and more loving no matter what the situation.