Finances can be a real problem in marriage. A huge one. Many times it’s the cause of conflict and divorce. So funny to think that something as simple as a piece of paper, a dollar bill, can cause so much strife between two people that at one time fell head-over-heals for each other.
Why do finances get in the way? Or, why do WE let finances get in the way?
I believe it starts out with our upbringing and education. If our family wasn’t a good steward of their money, then unfortunately we may have learned the same habits. If we attended a school were they didn’t teach us about personal finances, then again, we go around clueless about money and how to use it.
Most of us enter into marriage with some kind of debt. Whether major school loans or silly credit cards we thought we needed to have a little extra fun.
I don’t recall during our engagement talking about what kind of debt each of us had. Did you? We actually were only talking about the wedding and all of those costs, our honeymoon, getting an apartment, dealing with insurance changes and all the other things that come along for a newly married couple.
Not once did we talk about what debt we were carrying into our marriage.
Often, the first arguments in a marriage is about money. Maybe it’s a conversation about, “How can we afford everything?” “How do we buy groceries?” “We can’t afford this place.” “I need new clothes.” “My car broke down.” Then the tension builds up. Disagreements happen. He wants to save and you want to spend, or vice versa.
After many years of marriage, things usually don’t get any better in the financial department. We may be bringing in a higher income, but the debt seems to be growing right along with it. Finances become such a problem, that all you can think about is money.
You no longer talk about you, your relationship, your love, your dreams and desires. All focus is on money now.
In our first years of marriage, I ran everything, I thought I was good at being in control of our marriage, finances and life. Well… I didn’t do so good.
It was really hard for me to let my husband take over and lead our family. I wasn’t taught to trust others, but instead, as a woman, you have to take care of yourself. If you’re in charge, then you’re in control. Our marriage didn’t fare so well during that time. I was not a good family leader. And I wasn’t meant to be.
Whether you like to hear this or not, you, wifey, are not meant to lead the family. I know, I know, this is the 21st century. Women can do all things better than anyone else, right?! But how’s that working out for you? How’s your stress? How is the health of our country, our men, our children? Not so good.
You were created for great things, you ARE special. But your husband was created for great things too, he has a purpose as a man, as a husband. He NEEDS to take care of you. He needs to be able to lead his family, including the finances.
If you currently take care of all the finances, it’s time to sit down and talk things out with your husband. Lay out everything. Figure out, how to shift some (eventually all) of the responsibility to him.
This means… you will have to trust him!
This also means, he will probably mess it up. But give him some grace, help him along. He is a perfectly capable man, able to provide, lead and manage the family. If you don’t agree, then it may be time to take a look at yourself to see what your marriage goals are. Why you married in the first place. Are you capable of being taken care of? Sorry for the tough love. But I was right there! We were on our way to divorce. I didn’t like what our marriage was.
Once I let him lead, fully lead, I actually became nice again!!! What a weight lifted off of my shoulders. A weight I was never meant to carry. I love that he leads our family. I trust that God knows what He’s doing with my husband. So therefore, I have chosen to trust fully in my husband (mistakes and all).
Below is a list of roles that is ideal for reduced stress and worry for most women. You may have to work a job too, I did. But, if you let him manage the money, it is one less thing you have to worry about.
Husband vs. Wife Roles[row] [column size=”col-6″]HUSBAND
- Provide the money
- Manage the money
- Concern, Worry
- Be mindful of spending
- Cooperate with his plans
- Provide a peaceful home
Tips for Family Finances:
Set a budget together. Include things like an allowance for the both of you. Be mindful of the budget and thankful for the extra money that you can spend from time-to-time.
For a great plan on getting your finances in order, check out Dave Ramsey. He has a fantastic system that has saved so many people from heartache and financial disaster.
2. Financial Hard times:
There will be times when jobs are lost. Money may be extra tight during those times.
Help reduce stress by :
Reducing expenses – Review your monthly expenses and budget. Cut anything that isn’t necessary for living. You may have to sell one car or move to a small house. Your children’s activities may have to be stopped for a time. Remember, although this time will be tough, it is temporary. Having a plan and sticking to it will help make this time more manageable and less worrisome.
Trim the Luxuries – You may be tempted to buy the latest fashion trends or a new purse you have been waiting for. You may love your cable TV or the latest online movie service. House cleaning and paid for yard work is wonderful. Some of these “luxuries” may need to be cut for a while, until you get back on your feet.
3. Let him make mistakes:
I know this is hard to do, especially if you’ve been running things for some time. I promise, he will make at least one mistake that will affect you. Just be prepared for it. And be ready to give him grace and forgive him. Most likely, he isn’t making that mistake on purpose, it was just an accident. He probably will even make a few mistakes. Let him. He’s not perfect (neither are we), so give him room to be human. Reassure him that it’s no big deal (even if it’s a big mistake), let him know that you are on his side and there to help him if he needs it. He needs to know that you trust him, that you believe in him. Treat him as you would want to be treated!
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