Tag Archives: marriage monday

Marriage Monday: MONEY

I would guess that one of the biggest issues in marriages today is money.

And I would be right in saying that.

In a survey done by Money Magazine, 84% of couples said that money was their source of marital tension.

In another survey done, of couples that considered themselves unhappy, 63% said that financial issues were the primary source of their unhappiness.

Another survey done said that 40% of American’s believed that honesty about finances was more important than honesty about fidelity.

91% of all American’d in committed relationships agree that it is important to discuss their partner’s financial history before marriage.

26% of people admitted they avoid talking about finances.

12% of the general population said they’ve never talked money with their spouse.

If you are in the 12%, please – PLEASE, talk to your spouse about money. Especially if you are having issues. That is probably the root cause. Know how to talk to your spouse though – go back and look at what I’ve said about communication. Google ‘good communication in marriage’ or ‘how to communicate in marriage effectively’ stuff like that. The internet is a wealth of knowledge.

Finally, a survey done in 2005 found that newly-wed couples with the highest amounts of debt (20-50K) had the lowest marital satisfaction rates.

Debt is bad. Being in debt, having a payment, isn’t the goal. Keeping up with the Jones’ isn’t what life is all about. Sure, its okay to have nice things. We all want nice things. But when that gets in the way of your relationship – you’ve screwed up. Debt is a looming thing that hangs over your head and your spirit even when it’s not in the front of your mind.

It causes stress like nothing else. The things that you don’t own, the things that the bank still owns technically, can be gone in one or two missed payments. And that’s stressful. And if your job happens to end, making payments gets a whole lot trickier.

Avoiding debt, sky high bills, and putting things on credit is the best way to go. If you have to take loans out for anything – you should definitely 100% discuss it with your spouse.

Not trusting your spouse with your money is scary because if you don’t trust someone with your money – you don’t trust them. And if you don’t trust your spouse with your money – then you probably shouldn’t be married to them. It’s one thing not letting them keep the credit card in their pocket – but not having a combined checking account creates division. Instead of ours, you have yours and mine and that’s not the mentality of a Godly marriage.

This is also one of those topics I don’t like to get into. It’s not my business how you do your money. It really isn’t. But you do need to be honest with your spouse about money and finances. You need to set goals as a couple, as a team, and try and meet those goals.

It’s not always easy to let the barrier down and discuss something like money with your spouse – tensions can run high quickly! It is important to do it though.

Marriage Mon: Tell it Like it is

If I want Wes to take the trash out – I used to say things like, “I wish you could help me some today,” or even a more direct approach of “I am almost out of trash bags.”

And shockingly, the trash didn’t get taken out and I got mad at my husband for not doing that simple task.

Now? I ask with words what I actually want. I say what it is that I need from him. “I need you to take out the trash for me.”

And guess what. It works. He helps me. Not always when I want, but that doesn’t matter. He understands my requests much better when I actually say what I’m feeling. This is a simple example, but it can apply to the much harder things that you may have to say. If you can’t ask a simple request like this, saying what you really feel, then you’ll have a lot harder of a time asking about the bigger things.

Just because you have felt a certain way for a long time, doesn’t mean that they know that you do. Especially if you don’t say anything about it. If you’ve felt neglected for a couple of months, and haven’t mentioned it to your spouse, and then all of a sudden one more thing stacks on top – and you bust. That’s your fault. Not theirs. Just because you didn’t say anything. You gotta let those feelings come out. You gotta share that stuff with your ‘other’. You work as a team once you are married. Its a joint operation.

And when you try and communicate how you feel, say how you feel. Don’t beat around the bush about it or you’ll regret it. If you have to… write it down. Sometimes its easier than actually saying the words but you still gotta let the other person read it.

And if you are the person being talked to, you are receiving the note…

Take a breath and realize how important this must be to your spouse. If they have deliberated about it, then you should take it seriously. Be aware that your actions have effects, especially to someone you are on the same team with, and be aware sometimes that your non-actions have effects too.

Being upfront and honest isn’t always the easy path, but it is the best path because you avoid a lot of pitfalls further down the road.

Marriage Mon: Moving Passed the Past

There are a lot of times we do stupid things as individuals. It’s just human nature to be sinful and make mistakes. And while it’s not good that we make these mistakes ever, it’s definitely going to happen. The biggest difference is, when you are single, it mostly affects you. If you are married, it has an affect on someone else as well.

If you are in a position where you have messed up… You were the mistake maker… You need to apologize to your spouse, and ask forgiveness to your Creator and your spouse. Your creator will forgive you – on the spot – no questions asked. Your spouse may not. And that’s ok – for a little while. Ultimately, we should always forgive others when they ask. It depends on the level of mistrust you created. If you forgot to pick up milk from the store when they texted you on your way home will be different than if you cheated on them.

If you are in a position where you were hurt… Your spouse was the mistake maker… You need to accept their apology and offer forgiveness. That is what would ultimately most please God. If it is an instance of infidelity or something in that realm, your job will be much harder than theirs. It’s hard to let go of things like that. It’s hard to move passed things like that.

It’s not impossible.

It’s only impossible if you don’t want to. And in that place – you need to be honest with your spouse about it. Seek out Godly council and see if you can move past it. God doesn’t like divorce. He’s definitely a proponent of happy healthy marriages. But – he does out line some reasons for divorce, and adultery is one. Should you just say, “I quit! Because the bible says I can!”

Absolutely Not.

See if you can work through it. Pray and ask God to help you work through it. God can heal us physically and he can heal broken hearts just as easily.

Now – once forgiveness has been requested and approved ;)… Now it’s time to do the moving passed part.

Don’t bring up this slip up. Don’t throw it into the casserole of yells while you’re in an argument in a month. If it’s been forgiven – it needs to be dropped. Not forgotten.. but dropped. Choose NOT to use it as a weapon.

The only person you can control is you, and the only person you will have to give an account for in Heaven… is you. Be aware of how you respond to things that you’ve already forgiven.

Marriage Mon: Sensitivity

Today I’m going to redirect you to a different blog. Someone else’s perspective on Marriage. I know that I don’t have it all together in my marriage – I still fail a considerable amount. I feel like now (at 10 years!) Wes and I are starting to have more good days than bad, though. It’s taken us a while.

We used to not be very sensitive to each other. We used to just do what we wanted to do with no regard for the other person. It was a “They can just deal with it” mentality.

But we have grown up quite a bit now.

Being sensitive to your spouse only means that you stop before you do or say something and you think about what affect your actions will have on them.

For example… I hate giving you all examples. I guess it shows where I have grown.

A long time ago we rented a movie. This was probably the dumbest argument Wes and I ever had. It was a good movie. I really liked it. Wes enjoyed it but he wasn’t quite so crazy about it. I found it at Walmart for a steal of $22. (Not a steal.) I called Wes, “They have this movie! I’m gonna get it!” His response was much better than mine. “Let’s wait on that, its too much money for a movie that isn’t really that good.” So, I said ok…

And then bought it anyway.

Yeah. I did that.

And it caused us to almost sleep in different beds. We started the night in separate rooms, but ended up talking it out and sleeping in bed together. I was given advice once.. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger. (That’s actually a verse… find it and you get 10 points.)

So I bugged him and we talked and yelled and I apologized and I realized that my actions hurt him, and not because I spent $22. It was because I didn’t respect his answer. I wasn’t being sensitive to him.

And if anyone has ever been married – you’ve come across a time when you weren’t sensitive to your spouse either.

This blog is from a man who is a husband and also a marriage couselor. He’ll give you some examples of how he was insensitive.

http://drcoombsmarriageandfamily.blogspot.com/2013/01/sensitivity-in-marriage-david-and-marva.html

Go there and read another couple of ways of how NOT to act in your marriage.

Remember- you are a unit once you get married. It’s not just you, its US. And it’s important to remember the other person’s feelings and be aware of your actions.

Marriage Mon: What do you want from ME?

Let me tell you a little story about a married couple.

John works long hours at work. When he comes home, after being on the phone all day, just wants to sit and relax for a few minutes, without saying a word, then he wants to eat. That’s what his plan is each day after work.

Peggy is a stay at home mom to two little children – 3 and 5. She keeps follows the kids around and cleans up after them all day. She tries to have her house spotless when her husband gets home from work so he doesn’t have to deal with all the toy clutter. She loves to hear how his day was and fill him in on all the details of what the kids did that day. She knows he’s an involved father and wants to hear all about their day.

John and Peggy are married.

John gets grumpier and grumpier as the days go on.. because he comes home to a clean house, an empty plate and an earful.

Peggy gets upset because she never hears a thank you for the clean house and doesn’t feel like John cares to hear what she has to say when he comes home.

John and Peggy haven’t communicated about what they want from each other.

She’s hurt and he’s grumpy.

Peggy assumes that John wants a clean house and a recap of the day – because that’s what Peggy thinks.

John assumes that Peggy should know he doesn’t want to talk and does want to eat.

Take time to talk with your spouse to ask them what’s important to them that you do… Don’t just assume that you know what they want. Doesn’t matter if you’ve been married 6 years or 16. Talk about what you want from the other person.

Once John clarifies that he doesn’t care if toys are on the floor – he’s more interested in dinner, then Peggy can rearrange her efforts to help him out. If Peggy can clarify that she really needs to talk to a grown up after a long day of talking to kids, then John can help her with that instead of turning her off.

See how that would help their situation?

Talk with your spouse about your expectations and theirs. You’ll gain a lot of knowledge and ground that way instead of us all trying to be spouse mind readers.