Money and Relationships: Talking About True Desires

Money and Relationships: Talking About True Desires

Have you ever folded on a financial issue because it was easier? Maybe you wanted a different outcome but were too tired of having the conversation to continue, or perhaps you didn't want to make waves in some financial decision that was "kinda sorta ok with you." If this has happened to you, don't worry: it happens to everyone and is not the end of the world...or the end of the discussion.

So if you have folded on an issue, how can you talk to your partner about your true desires? I mean, if you've already agreed to a financial path, can you really take it back? Thankfully, yes. If you are not happy with anything in your finances, you should voice your concern to your partner. Let's look at some ways to broach this to your spouse.

Talking About Individual Issues

One way to broach the subject is to talk about the troubles you may be having with the new financial path. For example, if you agreed to cut out your daily latte cold turkey but can't quite kick the habit, letting your partner know you've been splurging occasionally on your favorite coffee can reopen the doors to discussion.

Anything from "Hey, Sweetie, this coffee thing isn't working for me" to "Hon, let's revisit the latte solution" could help you reintroduce the subject. From there, voicing your concern about never drinking your favorite treat again (or about your already continued splurges) is as simple as saying, "I need my cup o' joe once in a while."

Talking About the Broad Finances

If your problem is with larger financial issues, however, broaching the subject may seem more difficult. Bringing up the big issues (like deciding that you want to go back to school or that you want to stay home with the kids) after agreeing to a different path may seem like a daunting task, but being open and honest can help you each re-compromise on a path that works for both of you.

In these larger financial desires, sitting down to re-open the discussion is best. As discussed in "How to Talk About Finances Rationally," allowing your spouse to relax before you re-introduce the subject may help ease the stress of re-analyzing the finances for your true desires.

Talking About a Desire That Will Affect Your Spouse Individually

Maybe you would like to revisit a discussion in which you caved on an expensive individual purchase or any other financial decision that will much more personally affect your spouse.

For example, maybe you gave your approval for a big screen TV that truly did not fit your budget. Your spouse may be researching the best models for this expensive purchase, but you know the money would be better saved. If you already agreed to the purchase, how do you take it back?

In this case, a little finesse may be necessary. Voice your concern, but present it in the best terms possible. Let your spouse know the reasons for your concern. Maybe Judy needs braces next year or you need to replace the tires on your car. Letting your spouse in on the reasons for your concern can help you both brainstorm solutions that will make you both feel secure in your financial decisions.

No matter what your true desire may be, letting your spouse in on your concerns can help you both agree on a path that will take you as a couple in the direction you both want to go. So bring up your true desires: two heads are nearly always better than one in solving any dilemmas or concerns.

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B Kelly's picture

B Kelly wrote:

Sun, 05/22/2011 - 14:39 Comment #: 1

i know i definitely need to work on my finesse... am horrible at being subtle and that's why i either avoid the entire money issue or come down hard and not budge at all! either way, i don't think it's the best way to go.. but i'm definitely taking baby steps to broach these topics in a more beneficial way for both of us.... ;p

Christa Palm's picture

Christa Palm wrote:

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 16:23 Comment #: 2

B Kelly, I think finesse takes time! It took my husband and me a while to find a money groove ~ now we can finally talk money with a little more finesse (I was one who avoided the issues until they built up and boiled over...). Congrats on your own baby steps!

Finances and Relationships - Taking on Tough Topics | MomVes's picture

Finances and Relationships - Taking on Tough Topics | MomVes wrote:

Sat, 01/21/2012 - 18:00 Comment #: 3

[...] about your true desires can be a tough topic sometimes, but it is necessary for creating a workable financial plan for your [...]