Letter to Ask the Coach
My wife of seven years is spending us into the poorhouse. She's never had good money habits and has always been reckless with her spending. We both work hard, we earn a fair amount of money together, yet we have very little saved. We have children to support, a sizable mortgage, and the typical expenses of any average family. If either of us were to lose our job, we would be in serious trouble in a couple of months.My wife is always shopping and buying things we don't need and don't use. She spends her whole paycheck every month. Often, I find out about her purchases months afterwards. Money issues are destroying our relationship and causing stress for both of us. I've had countless talks with her about this, but nothing seems to work - not even explaining to her that her habits are jeopardizing our marriage and the future for our children. Do you have any suggestions for helping a spouse to be more responsible with money?
Tim from Tallahassee............
Money issues are one of the top concerns that create tension in relationships and even cause divorce. Your frustration comes across in your letter. While you may be at the end of your rope, it is important to create a positive dialogue with your partner that is not shaped by this attitude if there is any possibility for creating a positive solution.I was struck by your experience - two sides of one coin - of portraying the situation as being out of control and as a judgmental parent. This experience is important to step away from. One way is to explore your spouse's view of the situation. Does she see this as a problem as well? Does she have a disagreement with your financial and personal goals and aspirations? What is key is to talk together -- to establish your mutual baselines about what is important to you both.Here are some questions to consider: Do you sit down together during intimate times to talk about your personal and shared long-term interests? Do the conversations tend to occur when there is a problem, a conflict, fighting or critical dialogue? The latter is an atmosphere rarely conducive to learning and listening. If you have trouble in creating a positive spirit for dialogue, perhaps what is needed is getting help from a coach with deep listening skills to help define your mutual concerns and goals.
The Atlanta Center
For social therapy