When you say the word “intimacy” most people think you’re referring to “sex.” In the dictionary, “intimacy” has a much broader meaning. It’s defined as, “close awareness or friendship.”
Financial intimacy means knowledge of your partner’s history, thoughts, feelings, beliefs and values around money. Couples don’t usually sit down and talk about money issues until a problem arises. We often hear:
- We’re not making ends meet.
- She spends too much.
- He is too tight.
- You control all the money.
- I don’t want to deal with the money.
- He thinks it’s his money since I’m staying home to raise our three kids.
- She had a separate bank account I didn’t know about.
- I am worried about our debt.
- He forgets, credit cards must be paid at the end of the month.
We recommend couples talk about money before problems arise. It will prevent financial conflicts down the road, ensure you are working as a team, increase your awareness of problems that may be brewing, and deepen your financial intimacy.
Below are five questions you can use to start talking about money and find out how much you know about your partner. You and your partner should each answer the questions separately and then compare answers.
|1) How would you describe the economic status of your family of origin? What was the impact upon you?|
|SELF:||Poverty||Lower Class||Middle Class||Upper Class|
|How would you describe the economic status of your partner’s family of origin? What was the impact upon your partner?|
|PARTNER:||Poverty||Lower Class||Middle Class||Upper Class||2) SELF: When did you become responsible for supporting yourself? How did that make you feel?|
|PARTNER: When did your partner become responsible for supporting him/herself? How did that make your partner feel?|
|3) Where would you put yourself on the Saver-Spender continuum? Why?|
|Where would you put your partner on the Saver-Spender continuum? Why?|
|PARTNER:||1-Saver…..||……………..||……………..||…..10-Spender||4) SELF: What financial problems or struggles did your family of origin have? How did it affect you?|
|PARTNER: What financial problems or struggles did your partner’s family of origin have? How did it affect your partner?|
|5) On the scale from 1 to 10 how much do you worry about finances today?|
|SELF:||1-Not at all 2-Somewhat||3-Moderately||4-Often||5-Very Often|
|On the scale from 1 to 10 how much does your partner worry about finances today?|
|PARTNER:||1-Not at all 2-Somewhat||3-Moderately||4-Often||5-Very Often|
Set aside time to review your responses with each other. You might learn something about yourself and your partner. In addition, it will start a conversation about finances that you may not have had otherwise. Best to do that now and make sure you’re on the same page than discover your differences in a crisis.
Let us know on Facebook how your conversation about financial intimacy goes.
Your relationship deserves the highest level of support. Relationship Experts, Bob and Lori Hollander are committed to helping individuals and couples build connection and deepen bonds in a world that often makes it difficult.
Call them at 410-363-2825 or email them today, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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