There are emotions and stigma often attached to money-making conversations. Finances are the most often cited reason for divorce. It is important to have healthy, productive conversations with your significant other, and below are some tips to help have a healthy conversation.
Everyone has red flags and it is important to learn how to identify and tread carefully when discussing potential triggers with your partner. This does not mean avoiding the topic as often these triggers are the most critical items to discuss like debt and spending habits. Remember, these habits impact you, so have an open conversation and don’t wait or bottle up the emotions.
5 ways to have effective communication about money:
1. Avoid scary words – No one likes to hear the dreaded “We need to talk” or specific trigger words right out the gate. This will only make the other person defensive and put their guard up.
2. Start with the positive – Discuss what is working and bring up goals you want to achieve together and then how to reach those goals.
3. Do not be overly critical – We all have our faults and attacking another does not improve the situation. Be honest and address the concerns but ask for help in finding a solution. This approach encourages working together and not against each other
4. Understand your partner’s goals and values – It is important to make this a conversation and not a monologue. Ask open-ended questions to better understand your partners, goals, habits, and hang-ups.
5. Listen with intent – We all want to be heard. Not just heard but understood. Asking questions and showing empathy goes a long way to build bridges. Encourage your partner to ask questions as well.