(Daily360.com) – All couples argue from time to time. Money just happens to be a common bone of contention, which is why some people might avoid talking about the subject altogether. Unfortunately, that can in many cases be even more destructive. While having those important discussions isn’t always easy, it pays to know how to speak to a partner about finances. Here are some tips to help get the conversation out of the way with minimal conflict.
1. Initiating the Conversation
Starting the conversation is often the hardest part. Bringing up money can be a challenge, especially if you and your partner haven’t discussed it in the past.
The key is to introduce the subject casually. Mention that you’d like to discuss it before you go blindsiding them with any deep questions. But don’t wait until you’re arguing about money to talk about it, either. At that point, you’re both operating on emotions, which isn’t ideal.
Start off slow by talking about long-term financial goals. Then, move into the more personal questions, such as credit histories and debt.
Being understanding and supportive is an essential aspect of financial health discussions. Avoid judgmental comments. You’re here to fix the problem, not yell at one another over your mistakes. Wherever you stand, it’s time to move forward together.
2. Be Honest
Lying doesn’t do anyone any good, especially regarding relationships. While some may not see being untruthful about money as a relationship killer, dishonesty diminishes the trust between partners, which causes the bond to rot. People should always agree with their spouse to tell the truth when it comes down to money.
3. Be Respectful
A little respect can go a long way. The same is true when talking to a partner about finances. Be patient and give your spouse undivided attention.
And don’t interrupt, either! Doing so could make them feel their opinion doesn’t matter to you. Both parties need to listen and understand what each other is saying. Otherwise, the debate ends in an argument, which isn’t good for anyone.
4. It’s Not Going to Be Perfect
No one can expect a conversation about money to go perfectly with their spouse. Often, at least one of the involved parties will get upset for some reason, including the simple fact that they’re living, breathing humans with feelings!
You or your partner might inadvertently feel attacked. Or you could just disagree about the budget. That’s normal sometimes, so don’t panic — and don’t give up, either.
Instead of expecting perfection, anticipate progress of any kind. Leave room for error and plan out likely scenarios, so you can be prepared for them and know how to act when they arise. Remember to be respectful, honest, and engaging to show your partner you care about their feelings and input.
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