A Therapist's Guide to Encouraging Your Spouse to Meet with a Financial PlannerFeb 02, 2024
As a therapist, I understand the importance of addressing financial matters with sensitivity and openness. In the tapestry of a committed relationship, financial conversations weave a delicate pattern that can either strengthen bonds or introduce strains.
In this blog post, we will explore five therapeutic ways to gently guide your spouse toward meeting with a financial planner, fostering a harmonious approach to your combined financial well-being.
1. Creating a Safe Space for Financial Conversations
When you are so angry, upset, and disappointed with your partner, it can be hard to imagine creating a safe space where both of you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts and concerns. Talking about money experiences is far more vulnerable than many of us realize.
You can start by offering an invitation to talk about money with something that sounds like:
“I know we have had trouble talking about money in the past. I would like to create a way to talk about money with you that supports both of us. This is going to take some practice, but I trust we can figure it out together.”
Acknowledging that money discussions have been challenging in the past and encouraging open communication establishes trust, paving the way for discussions about financial planning that are rooted in understanding and mutual respect.
2. Exploring Financial Intimacy Together
Financial intimacy is about understanding each partner’s relationship with money on a deep emotional level. It involves sharing money stories, unveiling spending habits, and creating a shared vision for your financial future.
An invitation for this step might sound like:
"Let's get to know each other’s money stories a little more so we can better understand how we perceive money. I think this will help us work toward our future financial goals. Maybe meeting with a certified financial planner could help us navigate this exploration together."
Discussing financial intimacy opens the door to vulnerability and strengthens the emotional connection, framing the prospect of meeting with a financial planner as a collaborative and enriching experience.
3. Initiating Regular Financial Check-Ins
Just as regular check-ins are integral to maintaining a healthy relationship, they are equally crucial in the realm of financial management. That’s why working with a Therapy-Informed Financial Planner that offers regular meetings can provide both of you a chance to assess your progress, address concerns, and celebrate achievements.
You might suggest the following to your partner:
"How about we incorporate regular financial check-ins into our routine? These sessions provide us with dedicated time to discuss our financial health, track our goals, and ensure we're on the right path. It's a therapeutic practice that aligns with our commitment to each other and our financial success."
I understand how busy life can get and how easy it is to not talk about money with your partner. Navigating difficult emotions around finances is not most people’s idea of a good time. So instead of having the needed money conversations, they avoid discussing major areas of their financial life. Regular check-ins create a structured process for ongoing financial discussions.
4. Framing Financial Planning as Creating a Shared Vision
Couples that approach financial planning as part of developing their shared vision tend to be happier in their relationships. This may be a new experience for both of you. Many of the couples I work with have never taken the time to create a shared vision for their life together, so they are just operating on old stories they saw in their families about how life plays out with money and relationships.
If your partner is skeptical about the role of financial planning, you could explain it this way:
"Meeting with a financial planner is not just about numbers and charts; it's about creating a shared vision for our financial future. It's an opportunity for us to align our joint and individual aspirations, dreams, and goals into a harmonious plan that reflects the essence of our relationship."
Framing financial planning as a goal-setting process fosters a sense of unity and purpose, making the prospect of meeting with a financial planner more appealing to both partners.
5. Encouraging Open-Ended Questions and Honest Conversations
Meaningful money conversations thrive on open-ended questions and honest dialogue. Encourage your spouse to express their thoughts, concerns, and aspirations freely, and respond without judgment. This fosters an environment where financial decisions can be made collaboratively. You can also expect and ensure that your partner is open to listening to you.
You may broach the topic this way:
"Let's approach our money talk with open-ended questions and honesty. What are your thoughts on our financial situation, and how can we work together to achieve our goals? Creating a space for genuine, transparent conversations is the key to successful financial planning and decision-making."
Encouraging open-ended questions ensures that both partners actively participate in the financial planning process, making it a joint effort based on shared values and priorities.
Meeting with a financial planner is not just about managing money; it's a therapeutic journey towards understanding each other, aligning your financial goals, and nurturing a healthy relationship with money.
By opening your own mind to how and what financial planning can provide, you will be empowered to have this potentially difficult conversation with your spouse.
Remember, this journey is not just about the numbers; it's about building a solid foundation for a harmonious and financially secure future together.
Therapy Informed Financial Planning
MBA, MA, MS, CFP®, CFT-I™, LMFT
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