Financial intimacy is not just for Valentine's day. It's a 365 days a year experience. Financial intimacy is a way of understanding your love and money life. It fosters a deepening connection between you, your intimate partner, and money's role in your life. I probably don’t have to convince you that money plays a vital role in your life. At the same time, knowing how to navigate money and your intimate relationship is an ongoing learning and self-reflective process.
Asking New Questions and Self-Reflection
We often need a mix of new and familiar questions to help us grow and mature into the people we want to be.
I was recently asked to reflect on these four questions.
What are you grateful for?
Who do you love?
Who loves you?
What is your intention for today?
Slow down and take 10 minutes to reflect on these questions before you go any further. Take the time to write out your responses. I invite you to let go of your inner critic and sensor and see what comes up for you around these questions.
Notice different thoughts that you have.
Notice different emotions you have and those that don’t show up.
Notice both pleasurable and uncomfortable body sensations you have.
Sitting With Your Self, Sitting With Your Intimate Partner
I invite you to share these questions with your intimate partner. Ask them with the spirit of non-judgment and curiosity. Notice how they respond. How comfortable are they with these questions? How comfortable are you with these questions?
Did you know that your attachment history will likely have a significant role to play in how you answer these seemingly straightforward questions? Your attachment history leads to one of four different attachment styles that impacts your interpretation of relationships.
As I continue to move from anxious attachment to secure attachment, I know that the question of who loves me was the hardest to sit with when I first heard it. I have this story that runs through my head that sounds like I need to love others so that they will love me in return, and yet I have never given enough, so that is why I haven’t gotten the love I want.
Part of the healing journey has been to slow down and observe when I am being loved and to allow the entire feeling of that to wash over and through my body—remembering that there is both an intellectual knowing that I am loved and a felt sense of being loved. With a greater focus on the felt sense of being loved, my relational anxiety reduces, and my comfort with different levels of relational availability opens.
What Loving and Being Loved Have To Do With Financial Intimacy
The experience of love is a highly relational process that impacts us from the cellular level to the global stage and every level of lived experience in between. The felt sense of love is like oxygen to our sense of self and well-being. Without feeling and giving love, a wide range of mental and relational maladies will befall us. The ability to share and receive love is a hallmark of secure attachment.
Did you know that we have specialized cells that help us to mirror each other? Our brains and bodies have what are referred to as mirror neurons that help us interpret what is happening between the two of us.
As a couple, when you talk with each other about your financial life. Mirror neurons play a role in helping the two of you to navigate your interactions with each other. The truth is multiple human systems are all working together to determine how the flow of information is exchanged between the two of you.
Our ability to recover from relational misunderstandings around our finances is essential to developing financial intimacy. When we have insecure attachment patterns, it makes the interpretation of love more likely to be misinterpreted or unmet, which can send us deeper into states of disconnection around our finances.
On the journey of financial intimacy, it is not a matter of if the two of you will not see eye to eye about what to do with your shared resources. Instead, how you navigate that together matters to the long-term health of your relationship and financial well-being.
Sometimes It Helps to Have Help
Working with couples to navigate their shared financial life is a process that can unfold over time. Therapy Informed Financial Planning is the process that can help couples move from their current ability to talk about their shared financial life together to a more profound, more compassionate, and intimate approach to their shared financial life. Therapy Informed Financial Planning clarifies your current financial status and what changes you can make to help move you closer to your individual and shared goals. It does not have to be one or the other. Ultimately, achieving your shared and individual purposes in life comes through in part by having a secure attachment and the financial resources to support that journey.
If you would like to learn more about how Therapy Informed Financial Planning can help the two of you, I invite you to schedule a 30-minute discovery call.
Wishing You Financial Intimacy,
MBA, MA, MS, CFP®, CFT-I™, LMFT
P.S. Pop in your earbuds and enjoy the most recent Healthy Love and Money Podcast.
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