Monday, January 25, 2010

Not Sexual Infidelty, Financial Infidelity!

posted by Michele Olson
Interesting article in Feb. 8th issue of First Magazine on newsstands currently entitled, “She’s a Spender and He’s a Saver.” Whether that’s the way it is in your house…or vice versa…it does seem that opposites often attract when it comes to couples spending habits.

The article looked at a couple from Colorado Springs. She grew up in poverty; he grew up seeing savings as security. Married for eight years, the couple has argued about money since the beginning. The key to their marital money relationship was “secrets.” She would under gas up the car and take the extra money to get cash. He opened a secret savings account with auto deduction from his paycheck to save more.

Financial advisers Scott Palmer and his wife Bethany who have written a book called; First Comes Love, Then Comes Money: A Couple’s Guide to Financial Communication (HarperOne 2009) say that secret purchases and secret accounts is serious financial infidelity. They contend that this type of behavior can be as damaging to a relationship as sexual betrayal.

This couple was advised to modify both of their behaviors, and to look at what was really going on behind the choices they were making. They key was talking about why they felt the way they did and what it really meant to each of them. There was more to the story than what the other perceived. They came up with the idea of having a monthly “money huddle” to brainstorm and plan. She was learning to shop with lists and limits, he was learning to loosen up and realize the more control he was exerting, the less control and ultimately security he was achieving.

Once again, knowing how to talk to each other and getting to the bottom of what was really happening that made them act the way they did made all the difference. In the best case scenario, couples will explore all their attitudes and spending habits before marriage, one of the types of things talked about in premarital inventories. Visit and explore the engaged or couples check up, and online and on-the-ground opportunities for your healthy relationship.

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