Dear Dr. Norquist:
I need your advice. I am deeply involved in a committed relationship that I was hopeful could go further, onto marriage. We have major disagreements over our money style. My partner’s style is drastically different than mine. What if one person does not agree to the other person being “in charge” of how the money is spent? How do other people handle money? What kind of compromises do they make?
Dr. Norquist responds:
As you probably know, one of the main stressors behind divorces is the issue of finances. This is certainly an area to be clear about with each other before progressing to marriage. As in all situations, it is most important that you acknowledge and respect each other’s differences in this area. Any agreement you come to has to feel right to both of you. This is a partnership. If one person doesn’t agree to the other being in charge of how the money is spent, then this is not a workable solution for either of you. There is no one right way to handle finances in a marriage. Some people put everything into one pot, and decide together how it should be spent. Others contribute an agreed amount of their income to a joint pot of money that is used for mutual financial obligations. Either way it can be arranged for each partner to have a certain amount of their own spending money for the month. Be creative. You can use these differences to strengthen your relationship; to build communication skills, problem solving, trust, and ultimately the depth of your intimacy.
Check out Dr. Norquist’s new blog GrowingThroughParenting.com
(Dr. Sallie Norquist is a licensed psychologist (NJ #2371) in private practice and is director of Chaitanya Counseling Services, a center for upliftment and enlivenment, in Hoboken.) Dr. Norquist and the staff of Chaitanya invite you to write them at Chaitanya Counseling Services, 51 Newark St., Suite 202, Hoboken, NJ 07030 or www.chaitanyacounseling.com or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions can address various topics, including relationships, life’s stresses, difficulties, mysteries and dilemmas, as well as questions related to managing stress or alternative ways of understanding health-related concerns. Ó 2020 Chaitanya Counseling Services