Financial Peace Within Marriage
by Wyatt Fisher, Psy.D.
Becoming educated on women's needs is critical for every man. However, most men are not taught these important lessons and enter relationships with "guessing" at what will make their partner happy. There are always exceptions to the rule and individuals who do not match the norm; however, most women in marriage desire financial peace. Women tend to have a deep-rooted desire to feel safe and secure. The more their partner can contribute to their financial needs, the more safe and secure they tend to feel. To clarify, this does not mean that women cannot also be wildly successful with their own careers. Instead, it simply illustrates that women tend to appreciate and respect men who are able to earn enough income to contribute to their financial needs.
In my private practice, I have seen numerous wives who are resentful and frustrated towards their husband for not contributing adequately for their family. Typically, this occurs when a man is haphazardly searching for work or when his current position does not provide enough, yet he is unmotivated to change. Women want to feel like their husbands are doing all they can to to contribute financially to the needs of the family. Even if his efforts do not turn into positive results, the main thing most women want to see is that he is trying his best.
Now, this creates several important issues for men to consider. First, how much money would you need to earn to adequately contribute to the financial needs of your spouse? Second, what career options do you have based on your passions, credentials, and experiences? Third, which of those options would also provide work/life balance? Fourth, what additional training/education do you need to accomplish these goals? Men need to understand and respect this primary and foundational need for women. Next, they need to put this understanding into action by making appropriate career choices. Last, they may need other people involved in their quest, such as a counselor, career coach, or accountability partner, to encourage, support, and challenge them to meet these critical goals. For men who get there, know that you are being a champion for your woman by contributing to one of her top needs of safety and security.
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Dr. Wyatt Fisher is a licensed psychologist in Denver, CO and founder of ChristianCrush, the Colorado Marriage Refresh, and Fisher Christian Counseling Services
What points did you appreciate most from this article and why?
I enjoyed the insights in this article, because in today's society money speaks louder than spirituality thus making ship wreck of salvation and integrity due to the compromising nature financial hardship can push both the singles and married into. I totally agree with Terra 777 about the need for honesty and family of origin. I also want to add up to what Terra 777 says concerning honesty: to enjoy financial peace. Intending couples should be open when dating by cutting their coats according to their size, especially the man in question. Don't be a 'yes man 'during courtship and a No man 'after marriage. Some men try to impress the lady they are courting by incurring expenses and expensive gifts, for her. And having a lavishing wedding all these on either borrowed cash or savings of hard labour. As soon as the marriage takes place, harsh reality now sets in , to the point that such men can no longer cope with their spouses demand. Conflicts, resentment, disrespect, bitterness and a feeling of regret now began to set in as an air between them , thus resulting to debts and divorce, which could have being avoided if honesty of financial status was put in place. Let's be real in our financial status because is a major ingredient to peace, love , respect and contentment in any marriage. I believe true love can be established from the on set of relationship if the man is open about his financial status. If a lady leaves because you can not afford her taste, call her back and add to her taxi or gas fare to make her exist fast , then shake her hands and wave her goodbye because is a clear indication that she is not the right partner for you. Do not try to impress her else you will end up in depression. If money is what commands a woman's respect and love , then be sure that when all the cash is spent , scarcity will command her resentment and nagging. I believe that vision ( purpose) should play a major role in a relationship because inside every family with a vision lays all the financial provisions they will need to succeed. That is my opinion. Thank you.
I really like this article and would like to add my thoughts to it. Singles need to have an open honesty about their family of origin....the kind that brings understanding to some of the actions, thoughts, values, beliefs that they will bring into a marriage covenant. That is critical to discuss especially if there is a difference in living lifestyles. If a single is coming from a high society status lifestyle and this bears out in statistics, for women, they are immersed in it and it is a struggle to leave it. If desiring a relationship with say a single male from an average or below average income, there is going to be some real time financial conflicts. It should cause Christian singles to rethink relationships beforehand as to whether they are the right match to meet the financial needs of another , sometimes called a "high maintenance" person. Perhaps, it becomes one of many reasons there are prenups added to the relationship. It is a red flag, as it can but not always show that one person is self-centered concerned when it comes to personal income and is not an individual who "shares" On the other side of the coin, the person who is striving to meet financial expectations may experience events, situations or other issues if those expectations are not met 100% of the time. It becomes a stressed struggle that might have no end in sight. One needs to know how the "family" accounts will be set up beforehand, like one or both parties wanting to keep their own personal financial accounts and those unwilling to share other financial issues such as short/long term investments, stocks, bonds, 401Ks, CDs, all of that. The ideal would be both parties wanting a joint account to work from, but it would need very open and honest discussions about spending from that account - wants vs. needs. Also, credit background history, was there problems in the family of origin? bankruptcy? tax evasion/cheating? high credit card usage with no intention of paying back what is owed (yes people do that), consistent borrowing of monies from family or friends that is not paid back, all of that because it does affect a person's mindset. There may also be a "secret" account established by one family member who has no intention of sharing any information about it but contributes regularly to it - almost like a "failsafe" plan if conflicts become too unbearable. Unfortunately, the spending, saving, and lt investment habits are learned early on in one's family of origin......they are seldom taught in public schools. Also, seeing how a person lives on a daily basis may offer keys to know beforehand what consistent type of person they are - and if that is something one can "live" with. Things like hoarding, uber techno geek gadgets, having so much clothes one could wear an entirely different outfit each day of the year, too many mailings from lifestyle living catalogues, an overabundance of "stuff" just because, no personal sacrifice giving such as to missionary outreaches, helping children in need, food ministry contributions, homeless outreaches, etc. and a limited giving to the church and/or one's fellowships' outreaches. An attitude of "only the first quality and best for me but whatever for others in need" and so many more issues of the heart such as greed, consistent online or area gambling, sports betting, investments into "get rich quick schemes" and on and on it goes.
So it becomes a single Christian's responsibility and accountability to get the straight real truth about finances and the truth about their personal financial habits before getting married. Certain habits with money can be hard to break but not impossible and need to be dealt with while being single. Two courseworks I highly suggest are Crown Financial or Dave Ramsey's Financial Freedom. Then it is to make the commitment to put into practice what was learned on a daily basis and that will include saying "no" to oneself at times because it is the right thing to do financially in both the short and long term, learning how to barter for services, learning how to negotiate for certain purchases, why provisioning for the future is so important, having term insurances, setting up an account for adequate and above down payments on housing, medical care accounts or insurances for potential late life health issues. It's not living a spartan life, but it is living below one's means on one's own and learning how to like it, have contentment and joy with it.
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