Chances are, you've been stressed about money before. You might have noticed how much that stress can affect your own happiness as well as that of a partner if you were in a relationship at the time. If so, you might have also tried to avoid talking about these money issues because you were afraid it would ruin your relationship.
Instead of trying to avoid talking about such an important part of life, however, maybe you can try following this advice on how to talk about the money from Dr. Craig Israelsen.
Follow the HALT principle. If you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired, you might find it more difficult to communicate what you really need or mean. So before discussing anything of importance, such as money and finances, consider how you are feeling.
One way to help you feel at ease when you talk about money, you might try preparing ahead of time. Figure out with your partner a good time to talk about some the concerns you have and then do some preparation beforehand. You might feel less stressed if you review your budget before your discussion so you can bring up some specific points.
When you begin your communication, focus on kindness in communication. A great way to do this is to keep your partner's interests in mind. Don't focus too much on what you might want–consider what your partner may need.
4. Look at the glass half full
During your conversation, focus on what you can do with the resources available to you instead of what you cannot do. If you think only about what you don't have you will only feel discouraged. Instead, if you think about what you can do, you will be able to set realistic goals for yourself and your partner and have something to look forward to.
5. Keep track
Finally, at the end of your discussion, set new goals andput together a budget, if you don't already have one, to keep track of your goals and have something to remind you of what you can have. It might surprise you how rewarding the feeling of accomplishment can be when you reach your goal, even if it is something small.
If you follow this advice you may soon find that talking about money does not have to hurt your relationship, but is a great way to draw closer together as you set goals together and work as a team to accomplish them.
This article was originally published on Relate Institute. It has been republished here with permission.
The Relate Institute is a not-for-profit organization that revolves around the aim of distributing the Relate Assessment - the most comprehensive premarital/marital assessment available - to as many couples and individuals as we can reach. We believe that all may benefit from assessing personal strengths and weaknesses as relationship partners, and work to help make relationship success a reality.