On Valentine’s Day, most men think their wives want flowers, chocolate and romance. Well, of course they do – especially the chocolate! But women also desire intimacy with their partners…and not just in the physical kind of way.
Marriage is not only a sexual and emotional commitment, but also a financial one. Conflicts over money can make couples feel resentful, angry or ashamed, which pushes them apart. Discussing and resolving money issues can increase the level of trust and intimacy in a relationship. When you and your partner can have open, honest, and un-judged discussions about your financial beliefs, fears, behaviors, and goals, you have achieved financial intimacy.
Here are three signs that indicate a lack of financial intimacy in your marriage:
- Keeping secrets. Do you buy clothes or electronics and hide them from your partner or lie about the cost because you want to avoid an argument?
- Controlling finances. Do you openly discuss and share equally in the responsibility and accountability for most decisions on how money is earned, saved and spent?
- Planning for the unexpected. Have you discussed with your spouse what would happen if one of you lost a job? How would you adapt spending habits to address loss of income?
If you or your spouse feels left in the dark answering these questions, then it will ultimately lead to financial anxiety and conflict in the marriage. In a 2015 survey of married couples, Fidelity Investments found that 43 percent didn’t know how much their partner makes annually. When asked how much they will need to save to maintain their current lifestyle in retirement, nearly half of the couples said they have “no idea”, and 47 percent were in disagreement about the amount needed. If this sounds like you, it might be time to engage a financial expert to help facilitate a discussion about your current financial situation and the lifestyle you want to have in the future.
Laurie Itkin is a financial advisor, certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA), and author of the Amazon best-seller, Every Woman Should Know Her Options: Invest Your Way to Financial Empowerment. You can request a complimentary consultation at TheOptionsLady.com