Money | Couples Therapy

Money | Couples Therapy

Economic cycles can quickly shake feelings of safety and confidence.  Whether you have unlimited amounts of money or are wondering how you will pay the rent next month, money can bring up fears and insecurities.  How you share expenses, resources, and plan for the future is a critical skill for any couple.

You may be one of the lucky few who grew up with a healthy and open dialogue about the role of money in your life, and learned how to adjust spending and saving, as earnings and other circumstances in your life change.  For most people money was rarely spoken about in this balanced way when growing up, and values and attitudes were shaped by observations of our family’s behavior and from the media.  Financial communication is about honesty, compromise and setting common goals so both partners feel their concerns are heard, and that they each feel that they are part of the solution.

Money alone does not make you happy, but neither does poverty.  Money truly makes the world go around as we need it to survive and thrive.  However, the same amount of money can make one person feel abundant and the other inadequate.  It is all a matter of perspective.

The thoughts and feelings you have around money can reach to the core of who you believe yourself to be, and is often tied to self-esteem, power, and self-worth.  Do you believe that there will never be enough money?  Do you spend money you haven’t earned?  Do you feel the expectations to provide or being provided for is making you feel isolated?  Is your self-worth tied to your bank account?

The problems that couples run into around the topic of money usually have to do with the fact that a rational discussion about finances becomes infused with emotion, especially if there is a sense of unfairness, hiding of spending and debt, and different and unspoken priorities.  We need to emotionally come to peace with what has been, be honest about our current financial situation, and align both partner’s values and goals with a plan for the future.

We live in a consumer driven world where material goods are advertised as the cure to emptiness and unhappiness.  However, research show that spending money on experiences, such as family vacations, educational courses, or psychotherapy provides more happiness “return on investment” than spending money on possessions.

We help couples learn to separate their personal value from their dollars and cents.  Our approach to the discussion of money is conducted with honest communication and research based guidance and expertise.  Our main goal is that your relationship and your emotional and financial future is enriched.  That’s the bottom line.

Questions for Thought

Below are a few questions that are intended to help you consider your personal situation more closely.  If your responses cause concern and you want to make changes, we encourage you to contact us to discuss how we can best help.

  • Do you trust your partner to make wise financial decision?
  • Have you ever been afraid to discuss money matters with your partner?
  • Have you ever hidden a purchase from your partner?
  • How often do you and your partner fight about money matters?
  • How often do you discuss large purchase decisions with your partner?
  • Who has the final say on issues concerning money?
  • Do you have a will or a durable power of attorney in case of death or disability?
  • Do you set a budget for your expenses?