Tag: Married

Money & Marriage: Things to Discuss Beforehand

Money-MarriageYou’ve probably heard it said that money is the number one issue couples argue about.  Did you know it can also significantly predict divorce?  According to a recent study out of Utah State University, couples who argued over money once a week were 30% more likely to get divorced than those who argued over finances a few times a month.*  In fact, disputing over money was a larger indicator than any other category examined; including sex, spending time together, in-laws, and chores.
With this in mind, it’s important to openly explore issues of money with your partner before even getting married.  Perhaps the best place to start is at the beginning.  Take a close look at your upbringing and how it compares to that of your partner’s with regards to money.  Were your parents major savers or spenders?  Was debt commonplace or something avoided at all costs?  Did they combine incomes or keep them separate?  Most money behaviors are learned so it’s important to explore your pasts together and determine how they have shaped your views.
Continue your exploration into the past by discussing credit.  It’s important to be honest with your partner about past financial mistakes.  If you decide to pool your money together then one person’s debt becomes that of both individuals.  It’s best not to have surprises in this area after saying “I do.”  Do you have a plan to manage the debt?  The sooner you discuss the better.
Next, take a look at the logistics of money management in a marriage.  Who will handle paying the bills?  Will you set financial goals together?  What are those financial goals?  How will you develop specific plans to save (for a home, children, vacations or other luxury items, retirement, etc)?  Will every purchase be made after consultation with your partner or will you develop a specific dollar amount that deems it a “big ticket item” which requires consultation with your partner?  What will that dollar amount be?
The truth is you won’t be able to predict every potential disagreement about money before you get married.  The important thing is knowing how to communicate with your partner when those disagreements come up.  So ten years from now when your step-daughter turns 16 and asks your spouse to buy her a car and he’s ready to sign on the dotted line while you’d prefer to make her work for it herself – you’ll want to know how to discuss your views in a way that won’t damage your marriage.  Or when you discover that your partner’s desire to eat lunch out everyday is making a significant dent in the savings towards a down payment on a house – you’ll need to find a way to come together on the issue.  Money will inevitably play a role in every marriage.  Premarital counseling can help you to identify problem areas and give you the tools to communicate about them throughout the course of your marriage.
Check back later this week for our next topic in our premarital series: In-laws.


Before I Got Married, I Wish I had Known…

Wedding bands, Premarital CounselingWe all have preconceived images of what marriage looks like.  The reality, however, is often very different.  From a very early age we’re presented with picture perfect romances through movies and television.  The truth is they can’t possibly show how much work marriage requires day in and day out.  Here are a few things that might be helpful to know before getting married:
1.  It’s hard.  REALLY hard.  Most people know this going into marriage, but can’t fully comprehend it until they are in the thick of it.  That’s because before actually getting married it’s easy to naively believe marriage is hard for other people, but won’t be for you and your partner.  Because you and your partner are very in love and love conquers all.  Love is powerful, but requires work.  From both parties.
2.  Sometimes marriage is boring.  The truth is you probably won’t go to bed every night and wake up every morning with stars in your eyes.  (Sometimes you may wake up next to bad breath and stolen covers – or you may never fall asleep because of loud snoring!)  It’s hard for most people to imagine how long “til death do us part” really is.  Furthermore, it’s hard to imagine just how much monotony is in there.  As the honeymoon phase begins to fade and the realities of day to day life come into play it can be hard to accept everyday isn’t full of sparks or adventure.
3.  No matter how much you love your partner, you’re not going to have sex everyday.  In fact, several days may go by and that can be normal.  One or both partners may be tired from work or managing small children.  Maybe one partner isn’t feeling well.  The important thing is that intimacy can be maintained in other ways.  Touch of any kind can provide reassurance and keep the flame alive.  Mutual sexual satisfaction, like every other part of a marriage, requires hard work.
4.  Resentment is ugly and often hides around the corner.  Perhaps you and your partner have different views on roles and responsibilities within the marriage.  Maybe you didn’t realize how your partner felt about the issue before you got married or maybe you didn’t realize how you would feel about an issue until it actually came up.  Whatever the case may be it can be difficult to fight off resentment.  Truth is it can build up and begin to eat away at the relationship.  Again, both parties have to actively work for the marriage which means keeping resentment out.
The list could go on and on.  That’s because marriage is a lifelong journey, not a destination.  The longer you are married the more lessons you learn.

hope & restorationWhen the dark clouds of life roll in and settle over you, it’s important to have someone who can help you tap into your inner strength so that you can survive the storm.  At The Empowerment Group, that’s exactly what we do. We welcome you to explore the possibilities that are available to you. Restore a sense of balance and direction to your life. Whether through therapy, through Family Mediation, or through relationship counseling, we can help you find a path toward resolution and relief. Empowering your life! The Empowerment Group wants to help you bring balance, peace and happiness to your life even when the storms roll in and you feel all hope is gone. We can help:
  • Mediation
  • Therapy
  • Relationships
  • Pre-Marital Counseling



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