THE IMPORTANCE OF FINANCIAL INTIMACY IN YOUR MARRIAGE
Financial intimacy is vital for a healthy marriage. However, figuring out how to mix marriage and money is challenging for many couples.
We get it because we’ve been there. From living paycheck to paycheck, fighting about money, and dodging calls from creditors, we know the toll finances can have on a marriage.
That’s why establishing financial intimacy is crucial to ensure your marriage lasts the test of time.
To help get you started, here are three common challenges many couples face and the five steps you can take this week to deepen your financial intimacy.
What is Financial Intimacy?
The 6 Pillars of Intimacy: The Secret to an Extraordinary Marriage lays out six key pillars that add strength and beauty to any marriage. These pillars include emotional, physical, financial, spiritual, recreational, and sexual intimacy.
While most couples are familiar with a few of these pillars, financial intimacy is often forgotten or avoided altogether.
At its core, financial intimacy is about being close and connected in every financial aspect of your marriage. It’s more than just talking about the budget or checking your accounts every once in a while.
Financial intimacy includes anything that has to do with money. For example, it’s knowing how to handle day-to-day expenses and manage your accounts. Financially intimate couples also have plans for their insurance, retirement, and estate.
Ultimately, anything related to money falls into the Financial Intimacy Pillar.
The 6 Pillars of Intimacy® are interconnected, so when you strengthen one, you can strengthen them all.
For instance, adding a line item to your budget for regular date nights can increase your recreational intimacy. Similarly, tithing to a church blends financial and spiritual intimacy.
Your finances undeniably affect your marriage, so you have to know how to manage money well as a team.
3 Challenges to Your Financial Intimacy
Unfortunately, money is consistently one of the leading causes of divorce.
Several behaviors can cause cracks in your financial intimacy, including overspending, not saving for big purchases, and avoiding estate planning.
Below are three common pitfalls that weaken your financial intimacy and how to overcome them.
What You Believe About Money
Your childhood and upbringing influence the way you view money. Before you can work on financial intimacy with your spouse, you need to understand what you believe about money.
For example, who handled the finances when you were growing up? Did your parents save up for big purchases or make impulse buys? What level of stress did money contribute to your family?
Questions like these can help you discover why you operate the way you do around money.
You and your spouse most likely have at least some difference of opinion when it comes to money. But this doesn’t have to lead to conflict. In fact, your differences can be strengths if you approach them the right way.
Secret spending or hiding purchases is a form of financial infidelity.
Trust is part of the foundation of your marriage. When you hide purchases, spread out payments on different credit cards, or take on debt without your spouse’s knowledge, you are breaking that trust.
Not only does this create cracks in your financial intimacy, but it also robs you of emotional intimacy. And when these pillars have cracks, the rest of the pillars will suffer.
One way to avoid financial infidelity is for you both to take an active role in your finances.
Be transparent in your purchases and communicate your spending limits. Additionally, make sure each of you knows where all the accounts and passwords are located.
When you approach finances as a team, you can hold each other accountable.
Credit cards, student loans, car notes, business loans… There are plenty of ways to carry debt as a married couple. But debt can add unnecessary stress to your life and marriage.
Having a plan for paying off debt, saving for big purchases, and living on less than you make is vital for long-term success.
As a couple, working together to get out of debt can deepen your intimacy. Maybe you each take on a side job to increase your income. Alternatively, you could comb through your budget to find things to sacrifice for a while as you pay off debt.
Conversations about debt can be difficult. But when you said “I do,” you became one in all aspects of life, including your finances. And extraordinary couples push through the challenges to strengthen their financial intimacy.
5 Steps to Building a Strong Pillar of Financial Intimacy
Intimacy requires vulnerability, and this is especially true in the Financial Intimacy Pillar.
Money can be an uncomfortable topic, even between spouses. So to get started, here are five steps you can take this week to build a stronger pillar of financial intimacy in your marriage.
1. Schedule Regular Conversations About Money
As with all of The 6 Pillars of Intimacy®, financial intimacy is strongest when you have regular conversations around this area.
Financial conversations can cover your budget, bills, insurance, credit score, mortgage, investments, estate plan, college funds, vacations, retirement, and more.
You will discuss some topics daily, especially if something is time sensitive or you are working on rebuilding trust. Other topics can be discussed weekly or monthly.
Beyond that, there may be topics you discuss quarterly, yearly, or every five years.
For example, you may want to reassess insurance annually, whereas your estate plan can be revisited every five years or when you’ve experienced a major life transition.
Finances will always be a part of your marriage, so don’t try to cover all of these topics in one conversation.
Learn about your spouse’s financial upbringing. Ask questions about how you want to approach finances in your marriage. Determine how you can share the financial responsibilities and approach money as a team.
And schedule regular times to connect about money so that you can deepen your financial intimacy and strengthen your marriage.
2. Create a Shared Budget
One of the best first steps to building financial intimacy is to create a budget or cash flow plan. You can put things on paper, use a spreadsheet, or try an online budgeting tool.
Whatever method works best for you, commit to it.
During your regular conversations, review the budget. Track your income, expenses, debt repayment, investments, and financial goals. Additionally, prioritize saving for emergencies, and determine an amount for discretionary spending.
Budgeting doesn’t have to make you feel limited. Instead, it gives you freedom to spend the money in the way you have decided as a couple to spend it.
3. Get a Password Manager
Both of you have a role in knowing about the finances in your marriage, but this can be challenging with so many different accounts and passwords.
To ensure you can both access your financial accounts, look into setting up a password manager.
A password manager can be especially helpful if you and your spouse log into accounts on various devices.
When you each have access to your financial accounts, you can become more transparent, honest, and accountable to each other, and this boosts intimacy.
4. Become Financially Literate Together
In today’s day and age, you’re consuming so much media. So why not use it to help you deepen your financial intimacy with your spouse?
There are many resources in the form of books, podcasts, and shows that can educate you about finances. These resources can also help jumpstart important conversations between the two of you.
Try reading a financial book together. For example, The Storehouse Principle provides a framework that dispels money fears and teaches you how to create extraordinary financial peace and stability. It’s one of our favorites!
Want to watch or listen to something instead? Ramit Sethi has a book, podcast, and Netflix series all titled I Will Teach You to Be Rich. His approach is to help people live their “rich life” by earning and saving more.
If there’s something specific you and your spouse want to learn about, check out your library, favorite podcast app, or YouTube for helpful resources.
There is a wealth of information available to you. Use it to strengthen your marriage and set yourselves up for success.
5. Create or Update Your Estate Plan
Death isn’t something anyone enjoys thinking about. But if you don’t have an estate plan, including a will, you’re leaving the decision of what happens to your assets up to someone else.
This can create a complicated—or worse, devastating—scenario for your spouse and family.
So this week, schedule an appointment to create or update your will and estate plan.
Although you might feel uncomfortable taking this step, it will leave you with a sense of peace and security because you know your finances are taken care of.
The Power of Financial Intimacy
Strong financial intimacy can be the difference between an ordinary marriage and an extraordinary one.
In fact, 94% of couples who define their marriage as “great” regularly discuss their finances and money dreams.
Finances shouldn’t be a taboo topic in your marriage.
By following the steps above and guarding against common pitfalls, you can become closer and more connected (in other words, intimate!) with your spouse and create a stronger marriage.
Watch the video below to rekindle the spark and restore the connection in your marriage today!
In the 6 Pillars of Intimacy®, you will discover secrets that have transformed countless marriages. Its ideas are simple, practical, and powerful. You’ll be inspired to look at your marriage through a new lens and be encouraged by its commonsense approach.
Alisa and Tony DiLorenzo's proven approach to building intimacy in marriage will help you experience deeper and richer levels of intimacy with your spouse – starting today. Click HERE to get your copy today!
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