Money and Marriage 101 would be a great name for a course that should be
required of nearly all couples contemplating sharing finances. That’s
because money is a far more emotional topic than many couples would like
to acknowledge. Money, for many, represents a form of life security; and, something we want to feel that is under our control (even if we're not the person "controlling and managing financial resources" in the relationship.
Steven Cohn is honored to be a relationship advisor to CNBC.com:
Steven M Cohn, PhD, LMFT
The Portland Couples Counseling Center
1940 NE Broadway
Portland, Oregon 97232
One of the challenges for many couples is that a husband or wife or intimate life partner might not manage money in way that makes the other spouse or partner feel secure. This is often complicated by how money was handled in each person's family of origin (the family in which they grew up). What we often see is couples arm wrestling over whose family of origin's management philosophy is going to govern. Or, in the case where a person didn't feel financially secure in their family, fights ensue if a husband or wife or intimate partner's style matches the other partner's family of origin style. It's all quite complicated.
Money behaviors and attitudes come primarily from our families. Therefore, unwise spending and saving habits, without intervention, can be passed on from generation to generation. Often couples are polarized around money with one member of the couple in the role of the hoarder/saver and the other member of the couple in the role of the spender. When these two polar opposites clash, sparks can fly.
A partner interested in saving for retirement, for example, can easily have their desire for security undermined by a partner who is running up debt on a credit card in an effort to “buy” self-esteem.
Of course not everyone is completely polarized. Many couples fall on a continuum somewhere between these two extremes. Knowing your partner and being able to discuss spending and savings differences is important to untangling this challenging issue. Now if they only taught
Money and Marriage 101 in schools.
Steven M. Cohn, PhD is honored to have been featured on CNBC.com.
Steven Cohn is pleased to have been featured on Koin 6 Television: "Boost In The Bedroom."
Steven Cohn is pleased to have been featured on both KATU.com and KATU Channel 2 Television.