The money talk is a conversation that many couples in those early romance stages dread having because they know that it’s “the talk” that can bring sobering reality into their idyllic lives. But avoiding this conversation is one of the most potent ways to end a marriage before it begins.
As certified divorce financial analyst Gabrielle M. Clemens states, “Money is emotional. When a couple gets married, they bring their personal attitude and approach to finances into the union. If an understanding and agreement about how money will be earned, used, saved, and spent isn’t clear and agreed upon early on, you may be headed for trouble later on. The most contemptuous divorces I see are around the abuse and misuse of money.”
By buckling down and having the talk now, you can learn the following things about your partner:
1. How trustworthy they are. Are they saying one thing and doing another when it comes to spending and saving? Are they secretive about their activities or do they get defensive easily? The talk can clue you in on these potentially destructive relationship behaviors.
2. How good they are at planning for the long term. Most people get married with the idea that it will last “till death do us part.” They don’t entertain the possibility that this person they feel such a connection for might one day change into a Mr. or Mrs. Hyde. But if more couples had the money talk early on and then observed whether their partners were practicing what they preached, it would become clear how serious their partners are about the long term.
3. Maturity. This is crucial to any successful relationship. If every paycheck is burning a hole in his pocket — if she can’t pass a favorite store without ducking in and buying unnecessary items — then there should be some maturity concerns straightaway.
By cluing you in on the three factors listed above, the money talk can effectively save your marriage by helping you diagnose and work on workable issues, or it can prevent you from entering a bad marriage by revealing behaviors that could be damaging down the road. Don’t avoid the talk. No matter where you are in your relationship — if you’ve yet to have it, have it.[Image via Flickr Creative Commons]