Having recently gotten married and never before sharing my financial resources with anyone, it's been challenging, to say the least, to share resources with my husband — but it's something I am willing to explore. There have been lots of ups and downs in this department, and we still get into heated arguments about money and who needs to contribute to what. Here's the thing: The real challenge is not the money itself. It's actually our individual relationship insecurities and misunderstanding around money.
My husband and I come from very different backgrounds. For me, money was not scarce but I had a father who believed it was. And for my husband? He came from humble beginnings and is very driven by this factor — and just as he is driven, he will spend. On the other hand, I tend to save and put away. You can start to see where the differences lie and how this could cause issues, right?
While my husband and I are working on how best to move through our reactive moments around money, I thought I would share the top five money myths I have seen in both myself and clients. These myths are guaranteed to add stress to your relationship. Do you see yourself reflected in any of them?
Myth #1: Believing that your partner and money are the reasons you are feeling stressed
I need to keep reminding myself that it is not the money or my partner that's stressing me out; it's my superstitious thinking in the moment. Recently, I have realized that I have a recurring thought that says, "I don't trust anyone with my money." By remembering that our thoughts are illusory and that our "stressed feelings" are not saying anything about the situation but rather, more about our state of mind, you can jolt yourself out of the harmful thought patterns you're perpetuating.
Myth #2 Believing that you will be happy when ____________
I find that a lot of my clients are running this thought pattern: They think that if just one or two things changed, they'd be so much happier. For example, they'd be happier when ....
- They have the money they want
- Their money woes are over
- When they have made peace with their beliefs around money
I could carry on, but what I wanted to demonstrate is that this particular thought pattern can lead you to feel that your thirst is in fact unquenchable. What if there is nowhere to go, nowhere to be? What if it's about being happy now, with what you have? This thought pattern implies you cannot be happy now ... and the future doesn't exist; so it goes on, bringing stress to both parties and yourself.
Myth #3: That changing your partner's money habits will make it all better
I don't know about you, but wanting to change yourself can be challenging. It might be easier to want to change someone else, but it is definitely not recommended! That's like saying "Once you change, then I can be happy. I will be able to feel what I want to feel." Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. What I have realized is that when I've wanted to change my husband's behavior, what I am really saying is "If you change, then I won't have to feel frustration or stress anymore!" Living like this will just have you be completely dependent on living a misunderstanding of how life truly works.
Myth #4: Believing that having conversations about your money situation will create more stress
It's never the conversations about money that create the tension and stress. It's how two people come together to deliver the message that makes the difference. If you set the intention that each time you decide to talk about money, you will create a beautiful and sacred space to really listen to one another's concerns, then you are more likely to get the outcome you are looking for.
Truly listening to your partner invites insight and compassion, and will allow for a new understanding of what is true and present in the moment. One thing is guaranteed: If you react without having a conversation, you're just setting yourselves up for a communication breakdown.
Myth #5: Believing that money can give you happiness or security or...
Have you ever stopped to think about whether it's the money or lack of it that makes you feel security or insecurity? Feelings of security or insecurity are just generated from your own thinking in the moment, so it's not actually the presence or lack of money that makes you feel uneasy. Money is only a tool, like a toothbrush. It may add value to your life by what it does, but it definitely cannot generate any feelings! Isn't that great to know?
This story was provided by our content partner, YourTango, a digital media company dedicated to love and relationships. No matter what love stage our users are in — single, taken, engaged, married, starting over, or complicated — we help them live their best love lives. Written by Marina Pearson.