We checked in with couples who are working on building a strong money team. Here is the story of one couple and their struggle to feel valued and heard.
My wife and I have struggled with Feeling valued and heard. It’s so easy to just shut each other down, to ignore the other’s input because it doesn’t seem as valuable as your own. I think we both thought we knew better than the other.
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I’m an engineer, so I love problem solving and think I have a good head for numbers. My wife is incredibly smart but remembering the numbers in our budget isn’t something that came as easy to her.
We have had a good number of (strong!) disagreements and fights over how to spend our money. I’m on the conservative side, and don’t like to spend money. I like to find ways to do something cheaper or best of all, for free. My wife likes to buy higher quality items, which tend to cost a little more but do last longer. She also likes to go out more and really values travel. I prefer to stay home and think that travel can often be more of a hassle than a joy.
Before, when she would try to talk to me about something she wanted to buy or an activity she wanted us to do, I instantly shut her down without listening because I wasn’t valuing her or her input. This would then lead to hurt feelings, and generally, a fight.
We began to work on it. While there are still some stumbles, we are working better together. When she talks to me about wanting to spend on something, she works out a plan for how much it costs and how it fits in our budget. In return, I really listen to what she’s saying and how she’s really feeling before coming to any form of a decision.
When we follow through with this, we both feel valued and heard, and our conversations flow much more smoothly, and with a lot more love. My wife appreciates being fully heard and I value being understood and feel respected.
When we work together at this basic level, the benefits to our relationship can easily be felt and seen. Now we don’t avoid discussing finances and the things that we really want. The fear of even having the conversation is gone.
Here are resources to help you get started to being a stronger money team:
- Relationship Health Assessment: Gut check where you are with your relationship as you navigate managing your finances together.
- Choose 2 Change email series: An email series helping you adopt healthy money habits and become a stronger money team.
- 7 Day Devotional email series: 7 days of encouragement with your love, money and faith.