How to Have a Great Talk About Money
One Couple's Story
A couple who I've been working with for a while shared with me an experience that was such a perfect example of partnership, love, communication and connection, I felt moved to write a post about it.
"Jane" and "Javier" have really different points of view on how they see and spend money. Javier tends to want to spend money to maximize his enjoyment out of life. Jane has a much more conservative view of money and believes in saving and not having any debt. In the past the couple has had much tension, frustration and hurt over this topic. But something happened yesterday that made their money conversation go quite differently.
Javier called Jane up excitedly to tell her that he found this great deal on tickets to a pro football game. Jane, taking a deep breath, said, "That's really great. It sounds like a lot of fun and I would love to do that.... However, we've got some bills coming up this week that if we spend that kind of money on these tickets, it's going to to make things pretty difficult for us. But, the game sounds like a lot of fun. How about instead, I put on some brats and make my guacamole and we have fun watching the game at home? And, let's commit to saving for a game later in the season."
Javier shared that he felt validated and that it was easy to accept her influence. And even beyond that, he got really excited about spending an evening at home with her instead and saving for a much more desirable match-up later in the season. It was a win-win for both of them.
As the couple shared, I could feel their excitement, pride and deep love for each other. Something clicked and they were on cloud nine! They talked about how this kind of conversation would have normally gone. Jane would have gotten irritated and criticized Javier for daring to ask to do this when "he should just know that they couldn't afford this!!" Javier would have felt shamed and irritated that Jane didn't get him and wanted to take his fun away. This story happened out of their commitment to really try to understand one another and learn to accept the other's influence about money.
I was deeply moved and inspired by Javier and Jane as I know where they've been and how far they've come. It serves as a reminder that when there's commitment to loving partnership and a willingness to see the other's perspective, magic can happen.