“My husband thinks I spend too much money and we fight over this all the time…”
From a psychologist’s point of view this question is about control and essential values.
In an ideal world men and women discuss the most important issues involving their life together BEFORE they tie the knot.
I assume the “who spends how much”-topic was crucial for this couple even before they got married. Perhaps they thought “it will get better” or that it isn’t “such a big deal”. Another scenario that I can imagine is that something changed in the balance of their financial scale.
This can happen for example, when the woman stays at home with the children.
Let me share how it was with us…
We were poor together. We worked hard and saved up together. We spent together. We spent a lot separately as well.
Our first argument about money only came up more than eight years of being together.
Arguing about money is always symbolic.
I remember we talked for a long time about all the fears my husband had. I did spend a lot on maternity clothes and I ordered nursing tops from Sweden. The price of make-up in itself can cause a smaller heart attack for men. But this was not about clothes and cosmetics. It was about anxiety. Some were rooted in deep.
The healing began by talking a lot. Sharing stories is vital. They tell you where the other person’s feeling of security or insecurity originates.
We also started a sort of home work together every night. We each had to write down 3 things that were good that day. We called it a Being Grateful-Diary. This is a great exercise when a couple is struggling with something emotionally. A Being Grateful-Diary collects the positive aspects of life. This is also a way of seeing what is important to the other person.
What do you think: how can arguments about money be handled?