Some of the biggest challenges that couples face are money, sex and kids. These can be problems for many otherwise healthy relationships, and there’s no shame in struggling with one of these issues because so many of us grapple with them.
The reason that we struggle with them, especially handling money and raising children, comes back to values: We don’t all start with the same views on these issues, and these are differences we can’t just brush off. These differences matter!
“The big challenge that couples bump into is often their value systems,” psychotherapist Jeremi McManus told me during a recent episode of my show, Talking Love. This comes from learning different lessons in childhood and out in the world.
For money, the struggles often are around enjoyment vs. delayed gratification.
“What I tend to see the most is that you’ll have one person who is a little bit more of a spender, and likes to enjoy the money they are earning, the other person is more of a saver, and tends to be a little more conservative,” Jeremi told me. “So inevitably, they’ll butt heads there.”
Harmonizing these differences and moving toward a shared view on money is the ultimate goal, because that’s when we’ve truly moved from two people to one in our relationship. Getting there can take time, though, and arguments over money can be a big issue in the interim.
So when I spoke with Jeremi on this topic, I asked him to outline two of his favorite techniques for resolving money trouble in a relationship.
Both the techniques Jeremi mentioned not only help with money fights, they also help us come together with our partner. That’s the ultimate goal for our relationship, and these techniques both help us in the short-term and guide us toward this larger relationship goal.
So watch my video with Jeremi above, and give these techniques a try the next time you and your partner are arguing over money.
And if you’re still struggling with issues around money—or sex or kids, for that matter—drop me an email and I’ll be happy to help. Helping couples and singles with their relationships is what we’re all about.
Peter is founder of Kowalke Coaching. He also is founding director of the Philia Mission, a small charitable organization. Contact Peter.