Question and Answer

Several couples we know have a strong his/her mentality when it comes to finances. We'd like to be more unified in our approach, but how do we successfully move from two financial approaches to one?

Learning to listen to and respect your mate's money perspective is one way to invest in a valuable commodity — your marriage. Here's how to get a head start in an area where most couples flounder:

Without self-criticism or self-justification, identify your own relationship with money. What does money mean to you? Does it make you feel powerful, anxious, guilty, loved, responsible or secure? What assumptions and values about money did you develop while you were growing up?

Avoid labeling your spouse's attitudes as right or wrong. Try to understand one another's money history. Listen for the hurts, fears, wishes and hopes that get funneled into money. Try to empathize rather than criticize. Honoring each other's needs can help you respectfully negotiate your financial decisions. Remember: Respect breeds trust.

Learn from each other. Temporarily suspend your own beliefs and see what your spouse has to teach you. A saver can learn a new kind of security when stretched by a spouse who exchanges money for present enjoyment, or who finds satisfaction in giving.

Together, list your priorities. What is valuable to you? Identify the top priorities you share and what this means to your budget. In my husband's family, the adventure of traveling around the United Stares was a high priority, and their budget was geared toward that. They did without some things, but family gatherings today are enlivened by stories of being "chased down a mountain by a snowstorm" and the potholes on the old Alaska Highway.

Get sound advice. Some conflicts over money come from simply not being aware of your options. Ask someone you trust to refer you to a qualified financial adviser who will respect your particular priorities.

Background Information

Journey of No Return
Sometimes as parents, we have a knee-jerk response to our kids as we're barraged by their numerous inquires and desires. Maybe it's time to stop being so negative.

When Not To Discipline
Parents should recognize when they should and shouldn't discipline their children.

When You Feel Like Calling in the SWAT Team
Are your children constantly testing you? This classic parenting advice will help you regain the upper hand.

Questions and Answers

After I spank my child, she usually wants to hug me and make up, but I continue to be cool to her for a few hours. Do you think that is right?

How long do you think a child should be allowed to cry after being punished? Is there a limit?

I have never spanked my 3-year-old because I am afraid it will teach her to hit others and be a violent person. Do you think I am wrong?

It just seems barbaric to cause pain to a defenseless child. Is it healthy to spank him or her?

Parents today can be too permissive or too harsh. Which is the most common error in Western cultures today?

Review Frequently Asked Questions


If you've been through a experience related to this topic, we invite you to share your story with others.
Share Your Story

Other Things to Consider

Ten Things Toddlers Wish They Could Tell You
It can do wonders for the frazzled parent to know what's going on in the mind of your little one.

TransitionsHaving a Baby, Preparing for Adolescence

Life PressuresWorking Moms, Stay-At-Home Moms, Time for Family

RelationshipsParents and Adult Children, Blended Families