Preventative Care for Financial Stress in RelationshipsMay 17, 2022
As a pandemic has rocked the nation, healthcare has been a hot topic on every news channel, and preventative care has become a major conversation. Taking care of our bodies and building good health habits are excellent ways to prevent illness and ease stress on our systems. But can the same principles apply to our financial lives? And what about our relationships?
Preventative Care is About Communication
You’ve likely built certain habits and ways of dealing with stress that create an overall rhythm to your relationship. One of the most important factors of this rhythm as a couple is your communication. How you talk to each other sets the foundation for how well you and your partner can work through stress and prevent problems together, especially with money. Communication is key to changing the rhythm of your relationship and preventing financial stress or issues from occurring in the first place.
How you communicate with your partner about money and how you talk about money together will impact your relationship’s financial health, no matter how much money you make or what financial burdens you face. Many couples struggle with fights about money or consistent feelings of financial stress. You can begin changing the rhythm in your relationship by purposefully setting new habits and rhythms to your communication and your relationship with money itself.
Your Relationship With Money
How is your relationship with money? Is it stressful? Do you avoid it? Do you fight with it or feel uncomfortable about it? Do you talk about it positively, or do you curse your luck with money? The way we look at money drastically impacts how we handle money and cope with stress. You and your partner’s relationship with money and each other will build the rhythm for how you deal with money together and how you look at your finances.
The best preventative measure for financial stress is working on your relationship with money as an individual and as a couple. The better you feel about money and the healthier your rhythm with finances, the easier it is to cope with stress. The better your relationship with money, the more you can prevent problems from happening altogether.
You can begin working on your money rhythm by mindfully building your daily habits and practices with money. Set up regular money check-ins, clarify your money values, and spend with intention. Spending should come from a mindful rhythm. There is likely awareness, thought, and intention associated with your spending. If emotional or anxious, we often want to spend without thinking. Unfortunately, this causes more stress and leaves us feeling remorse. You can begin building a better spending rhythm by pausing before you purchase or setting an intention for how much you want to spend before you shop.
Understanding Your Unique Rhythm is Key
Your partner may have a very different relationship with money than you, and our individual money stories significantly impact how we look at our finances as a whole. Beyond different cultures or money beliefs, we are all mentally wired differently. These diverse rhythms of the mind come into play when we want to talk about money with our partners or change the rhythm of financial stress in our relationships. Some people thrive when facing financial challenges head-on, some tend to avoid it altogether, and others obsess over the smallest details.
How does your brain work with money, and how does your partner’s? We each have our own diverse rhythms. While it can be challenging to find a rhythm together, remember your unique mind is also your superpower. If you’re fantastic with numbers and details, play to those strengths. If your partner is great with big ideas and loves taking on challenges, you can use those strengths to discuss future goals and planning.
Starting the Conversation about Money
To start the conversation with your partner, first consider your individual rhythms and focus on the best way to communicate openly together. The idea is to build a dialogue that helps you explore each other’s money stories, habits, goals, and dreams together over time. Good communication requires transparency, honesty, and a willingness to look past our own stories to understand our partner’s perspective too. And remember, you don’t need to have a perfect financial life to start building a better relationship with money. You can create a healthy rhythm to prevent financial stress in your relationship exactly where you’re at, right now.
If you’d like to explore the power of rhythm to prevent financial stress in your relationship, I’d love to hear from you. Or check out my Premarital Checklist for more ways to build a financially healthy relationship.
Here is a link to my video blog going over the checklist in more depth
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto
Questions: email [email protected]
Mariah Hudler, MSW, MBA is a health and wellBEing social worker who provides premarital financial counseling, financial therapy, and financial wellbeing services. She works with individuals, couples, and entrepreneurs to build their balance and create a healthy relationship with money.
Disclaimer: This blog is for education only. Please consult with a qualified professional when you have any questions about your personal financial, tax, or legal situation. Information contained in this post is for informational purposes only and not intended to replace professional advice.
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