In today’s fast paced society, it is impossible to avoid stress in our lives. For married couples, external sources of stress around work in and out of the home and income are overriding stresses that couples try to deal with. Communication and functional ways of handling conflict are also vital.
Based on results from the first 20,000 couples to complete PREPARE/ENRICH, the top 5 stressors for married couples were:
- Your spouse
- Your job
- Feeling emotionally upset
- Inadequate income
- Too much to do around the home
Often times finances are an area of concern and/or stress for couples. More often than not, one or both partners are reticent about sharing their financial resources. This can provide a catalyst for discussing the meaning of the ‘giving’ of one to the other (as usually expressed in the marriage vows) and a ‘shared married life’.
Discussion: Use these questions to explore your spending habits and values with regards to finances:
- What are your spending habits now?
- What were the spending habits of your family?
- How do both of you believe money should be spent? Do you agree or disagree?
- What factors influence how you spend money?
- What will happen 15 or 20 years down the road if there is no change in your spending habits?
Are you concerned that your partners is more of a spender than you? These can become serious issues in relationships and the earlier they are tackled, the better your relationship is likely to be.