I recently attended a small group seminar at a women’s retreat that was all about marriage. The marriages represented in our group were 1.5 years new marriages all the way to 51 years!
The topics ranged from sex, household chores, man caves, and more. It was the most candid and funny I’ve ever heard women who’ve never met—the room filled with talking and laughter as serious questions were answered and discussed.
Let’s Talk Taboo
What stood out to me so much in this seminar was the fact that topics that were “taboo” were discussed openly. No matter who we were, how long we were married, or what struggles we had, we all got the truth from these wise women.
I didn’t even realize until the conversation was over that every topic was covered—except one. Finances.
It’s the worst topic to discuss in a relationship. It’s one of the leading causes of divorce in this country and the world. It’s the reason for cyclical fights in marriages no matter where you work, how much you make, or how big your house is. Finances are so taboo and financial trouble in marriage is so taboo that no one talks about it.
What I realized during the course of our workshop, however, is that financial problems in marriage have the same cause as every other problem in marriage.
Let’s Talk Incommunicado
One of the most stressful times financially for my marriage was ironically when we were making the most money. While my husband was deployed he made good money. He got everything he needed over there, I got whatever I needed over here, and we almost never talked about it. That may be why we still laugh about how much we fought about it. Perhaps if we had talked at all about…saving, or budgeting, etc., we would have actually had savings. We may have had a home sooner. We might not have had to finance cars, sell nearly all our stuff to pay for to travel across the country and cover tuition for Bible school. We might have had it a lot different.
Some of the roughest fights for us over the eleven years we’ve been together have been caused by finances. Either because I spent too much, he spent too much, or there wasn’t any to spend. Sometimes it didn’t matter how much we spent, but we didn’t simply let each other know something we wanted or that something had bothered us about finances.
Our financial problems seem to be a thing of the past and what I’ve realized is that it is only possible because we figured out how to communicate.
Let’s Talk Reasoning Together
God is all about communication. At creation, He spoke everything into existence, and then He said it was good. In the Old Testament, God spoke to His people through His own thunderous voice (2 Samuel 22:14), through a burning bush (Exodus 3:2), through prophets (throughout the Old Testament), and through a still small voice (1 Kings 19:12).
In the New Testament, Jesus, the Son of God, God in the flesh actually prays aloud. Despite being God Himself, Jesus prays aloud to His Father and models that prayer for others (Matthew 6:5-13).
Not only did Christ model healthy communication through relationships with others, prayer to His Father, and gentle teaching, but scripture encourages it. The leaders who carried on the Gospel after Christ’s death even maintained correspondence for several years after they met church members in one location.
Isn’t it interesting that most of our issues stem from communication problems? When it’s fighting time, instead of arming yourself with your best defense, prepare yourself to meet in the middle.
- Why is this fight so important to you?
- Why is it so important to your significant other?
- What do you immediately need in order to make the situation better?
- Have you prayed both individually and together over this matter?
- Are you making communication a priority in your relationship no matter the topic?
- Are you praying individually and together as a couple for understanding and cooperation in your marriage?
There are some great resources to consider when finances are running the show in your house.