Money doesn’t have to be an emotional wedge between the Ministry Leader and his/her spouse. Conflict may occur in any marital relationship, especially about finances. There are ways to take action together that can help couples reach their long-term financial goals, enhance their quality of life and improve their relationship. Our attitudes about money tend to be influenced by our upbringing and our experiences. Money can even represent a sense of security or power in some relationships. Having a conflict over money is not a predictor of an unhealthy or unsatisfactory relationship. Many times, conflict can help couples resolve differences and learn more about each other. A lasting relationship depends upon a couple’s ability to resolve the conflicts inevitable in any relationship.
Still Waters Restoration & Resource Ministries offers the following information to Ministry Leaders:
Discuss Finances Early. Openly discussing financial differences and resolving them can prevent them from becoming recurring issues in a relationship over the long term. Financial planning should be discussed early and often as life transitions (becoming parents, changing careers, going back to school, relocating, retiring, sending a child to college or experiencing a medical crisis) that create financial stress emerge. If you are anticipating any life transition, start discussing the realities of your finances now.
Manage Economic Hardship. Economic hardship, and especially unemployment, can harm even the best relationship and result in stress and frustration. In many cases, a couple’s relationship strengthens through a financial challenge. The ministry couple can protect their relationship if they understand how the financial crisis is affecting their relationship and is aware of their feelings and reactions to stress.
Tips for Managing Finances in a relationship:
- Don’t think you can avoid conflict completely. Schedule regular meetings to review your expenses, catch up on bills and discuss debts. Talk about long-term financial goals.
- Pick an appropriate time and place to have a financial discussion, not when one of you is tired, upset or pressed for time.
- Stay focused on the financial issues; don’t dredge up old hurts regarding money but identify what the conflict is really about.
- Accept each other’s differences and values. Work together to find possible solutions, and be willing to compromise.
- Express appreciation for what you like about your spouse’s financial values and what works. Practice good listening and be willing to apologize when wrong.
- Make a plan. How much do we want to save? How many accounts should we have? Who will balance the checkbook and pay the bills? Then, hold each other accountable.
- Reach out for additional support – Coping with the stress of financial issues and your relationship isn’t always easy- consider talking to a Still Waters support staff.
Still Waters Restoration & Resource Ministries is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting health and wellness among Christian Ministers and their families.
This information is provided for educational purposes only and is not meant to be used in place of professional consultation/treatment for individual health needs.