You are dating that special person. You know that he/she is the right person for you. You go through the process of thinking through every aspect of your present and potential future relationship to make sure that you are going down the right path.
Those conversations range between parenting to passions to Christianity. However, there is one conversation that most do not bring up: money. Why aren’t you talking about money? It might be the most important subject of all.
Why is it important?
Money is one of the leading causes (or the leading cause—depends on who you ask) of divorce. Isn’t it a little important to talk about money?
It mystifies me as to why this subject is not discussed. If you were potentially dating your spouse, wouldn’t you want to know values/strengths/weaknesses when it comes to money?
So why don’t we talk about money? I think people operate in money avoidance strategies for 3 major reasons:
1. We are not proud of our experiences with money.
I was in ninth grade when I opened up my first revolving credit account and bought an entire stereo system complete with the new “CD” player. Back in 1980, I spent $800 on this system. I didn’t know or even have a concept of interest rates. I just knew I could make the payment, I wanted it, and credit should be okay. After all, my parents were letting me do it.
Then I went to college and opened up all types of credit card accounts because I could. I left college with a lot of debt, none of which was student loans.
Maybe it is not the deep dark secret of debt that you don’t want to disclose. Maybe you cannot manage your bank account and you continue to overdraft? Maybe you like to spend money … a lot. Maybe you depend upon it for happiness.
There are aspects of how we have all dealt with money that do not make us proud. Who would openly want to share their secrets and weaknesses? There are many that we share in the dating process. It just seems like financial issues are taboo and not talked about. After all, why would we want to scare off that potential spouse?
2. When it comes to money, more “assuming” than knowing takes place.
Our issues, vulnerabilities and insecurities with money are not things we just want to sit down and discuss. We would like to assume they will not be an issue and everything will work itself out. Preferably, it never has to be disclosed or issues may never be discovered. When it comes to money and relationships, the assumption game is a dangerous practice.
What if we have that financial talk and it ruins everything?
You don’t want to rely on assumptions about this one. It is important to talk about money and KNOW your potential spouse’s set of money values before saying those important words—I DO.
3. Money can be about control. Talking about it can create vulnerability.
Money is written about more than any other topic in the Bible, which is a powerful statistic when you consider all of the topics that are covered in the Bible.
Jesus said in Matthew 6:24 that there can only be one priority in your life—money or God. Christ could have stated a category “catch all” to include many issues. He simply pointed out money was going to be the issue.
Money is the creator of all types of illusions from confidence to power to control. Just like our relationship with Christ, it is a tough area to surrender. The same thing goes with all relationships. I think that most people don’t want to talk about money because of these control issues. Talking about it creates a vulnerability. Wouldn’t you want to know that the person with whom you contemplate spending your future can talk about something this important and be vulnerable? If not, this could be a huge red flag.
Not talking about money doesn’t make sense. If you are dating the person who could be your potential spouse, be honest with yourself. If there are financial issues you don’t want to disclose, trust the relationship you have and disclose them. After all, you need to have confidence they can accept everything about you. Find out what you don’t know about your potential spouse. You need to know up-front what you are potentially going to be dealing with.
Money can be a great definer of people. Wouldn’t you want to be with someone where love defined everything about your relationship?
What are some ways you’ve discussed money with a potential spouse?