The Impact of Money on Relationships
Relationships and Money…
Dr. Bonnie is devoted to teaching and enabling a feeling of “safety” about shared finances in order to create “money magic” and prevent financial infidelity. Numerous statistics indicate why her work is so important including:
- 47% of couples do not discuss money at all before they get married
- 51% of couples do talk but engage in a power struggle with money, what Dr. Bonnie calls “money madness”
- 37% of couples fight more about money than sex or domestic chore sharing
When couples can address these financial issues and concerns, they can be open with one another and avoid bigger and more fundamental problems later on.
By communicating on this topic, couples are better able to manage their emotions, expectations and unspoken fears about shared finances. Although having shared finances can be very intimidating for many people, Dr. Bonnie believes that being too independent can be just as bad as being co-dependent; merging money is a symbol of a loving connection. Creating a dialogue around this subject is incredibly important. By introducing financial conversation into relationships early on (Dr. Bonnie suggests the second or third date for older or divorced singles, especially with children,) trust and intimacy is established and partners can feel comforted that they are on the same page. This conversation is especially crucial because oftentimes, just as in personality, financial opposites attract! Dr. Bonnie has worked with many couples in which one person is a “saver” and the other a “spender.” This absolutely requires couples to be open with one another regarding their finances.
Although it probably seems as though these conversations are tedious and impossible to have, there are easy ways to make them more enjoyable and accessible. By planning weekly 10 minute “money talks,” you can directly address concerns and thoughts without overwhelming your partner or yourself! This organized time can be structured creatively so as to best suit you and your partner and should incorporate both the serious nature of finances as well as a bit of playfulness. Financial openness can also make its way into your relationship with your children. Dr. Bonnie suggests that playing games like Monopoly is often a beneficial way to introduce budgeting money to children; the very fact that it is “play money” makes it both fun and educational.
Many couples disagree about how money should be handled and lack the skills to reach real solutions. For this very reason, Dr. Bonnie has established 9 quick tips on how to ward off “money madness” and bring in “money magic”:
- Discuss expenditures of over $100 with partner
- Create a “guilt free” account for luxuries
- Exchange wish lists and IOUs with partner
- Don’t spend money as “revenge”
- Manage your expectations
- Don’t be judgmental, be open and truthful in “money talks”
- Be sensitive to your partner’s timing
- Compartmentalize financial concerns from other issues
- Use rewards as incentive for money talks
- Don’t use money as a deal breaker with a partner
- Be sure to revisit emotional and financial expectations weekly
Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil (www.DoctorBonnie.com) is a relationship and marriage counselor that specializes in couples and relationship therapy. She helps her clients bridge intimacy issues that are keeping relationships from thriving for over 20 years. She is the author of Financial Infidelity #1 Relationship Wrecker, Make Up Don’t Break Up (with the accompanying DVD Falling in Love Staying in Love), Adultery the Forgivable Sin and Can we Cure and Forgive Adultery? Dr. Bonnie was named by Psychology Today and NY Magazine as one of America’s Best Therapists and is presently featured and available on the Discovery Health/Oprah Winfrey Network documentary titled “Unfaithful.”
Dr. Bonnie was voted “Best Local New York Therapist” in 2011 and 2012 by the US Commerce Association, and received recognition for “The Best of Oprah” in May 2013. Her appearances also include The Today Show, Good Morning America, The View, CNN, USA Today, New York Times, Men’s Health Magazine and Oprah Online.
To learn more about the impact of money on relationships, you can watch Dr. Bonnie’s videos on her YouTube Channel.