Updated: Jul 23, 2021
Quick shout-out to all the Tina Turner fans! However, I am discussing money, not sex – in this post anyway.
So, what does love have to with money? Quite a bit, actually. In my previous post Financial Disagreements, I discussed what money represents, i.e., priorities. Our partner’s priorities should be important to us in our significant relationships, even if our priorities differ. Supporting one another’s goals and working toward shared dreams are vital components in healthy functioning relationships. Dismissing or belittling your partner’s priorities creates destructive ripple effects that eventually permeate your relationship.
So, what do you do when your priorities collide? For example, one partner wants to take the trip of a lifetime, and one wants to pay off student loans. It would be easy for the partner wanting to pay down debt to assert that taking a trip is irresponsible, frivolous, ridiculous when they have so much debt! It would be equally as easy for the partner wanting to take the trip to claim that they deserve this trip; they need an adventure/time together away from the daily demands of life; student loans are just part of life – get over it!
Neither partner has asked, “What does this mean to you?” Or, as the Gottmans (2017) would ask, “What are your primary needs here?” There are reasons each has taken their respective stance. Connie Elliott (2019) suggests asking the five Whys. In other words, for each answer given, ask “why?” By the fifth why you have discovered the heart of the issue. At this point, a compromise is a viable option, i.e., each partner’s priorities are honored, and a plan (a.k.a. a budget) can be developed to move forward.
Elliott, C. (2019). Solution-focused brief therapy: An evidence-based approach to create rapid, sustainable change with any client. PESI Inc.
Gottman, J. & Gottman, J. (2017). Treating affairs and trauma: A Gottman approach for therapists on the treatment of affairs and posttraumatic stress. The Gottman Institute.
Contact me for help facilitating the conversation or building a budget that honors both of your priorities.
Angela W. Startz, MAHSC, CCLC