Mundane Monday. That is what today feels like. Yet with all the anguish and discord between people this past week or so I feel compelled to write something that could be of some help to people. It is upsetting to see all this violence and hate explode back in the states. I for one am thankful that I am overseas right now so I don’t have to witness what the events happening.
Before I go on, I want to give a big disclaimer that I am in no way a relationship expert or a counselor. I am just an average Joe trying to put a few words together for encouragement. As my previous article has mentioned, I want this to be a helpful reference for people to go to or just fun articles for people to read! So I will do my best with this one.
So there I am, sitting at my humble desk taking a break from researching the ever exciting landscape of international trade agreements. Most notably NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) because the research paper I was writing on needed to be shredded. The paper I was working on was on Trans-Pacific Partnership. Which I really don’t imagine most Americans know anything about, but hats off to you if you did! However, thanks to President-Elect Trump and his desire to kill TPP I needed to rethink things. So anyways, there I am sitting at my rather bland desk reading an article on Money Magazine. And it hits me. Hits me right in my gut.
I was reading this article titled The Ultimate Guide to Retirement: Couples Edition by Penelope Wang, Elizabeth O’Brien, and Kerri Anne Renzulli. An article I initially didn’t want to read for obvious reasons. But alas I read the article anyways because personal financial planning is of huge interest to me. So I was sitting there reading it, and realizing how fortunate I am right now being single and in complete control of my finances. Yet others aren’t in the same situation I am. There was a small indent in one of the pages with the sentence in big bold font. “Money is the No. 1 source of conflict in relationships.” The therapist and researcher Terri Orbuch stated. I remember I took a picture of it and sent it to a friend of mine, and his reply was simple yet profound. “It doesn’t have to be!”
It is safe to say this article lit a fire in me so I wanted to keep digging for more information. According to an article on DaveRamsey.com title The Truth About Money and Relationships, he lays out some very valid points. His points are that image is a real problem in our society and the men in the relationship are under a lot of stress to “keep up with the Joneses.” This I feel is very real, and an issue a lot of us struggle with which ultimately causes financial burdens on ourselves and our families. He goes on to explain that men and women differ in how they view money, simply they have different vantage points. A good example he gives is that men will take more risks while the women will save more. Ultimately he concludes with the simple fact that marriage is a partnership. And the key to a great partnership is communication. However, this wasn’t enough I wanted to get more references for everyone.
I went back to the person who gave the quote I referenced earlier, Terri Orbuch. In her article titled Don’t Let Money Ruin Your Relationship she gives an interesting statistic that “7 out of 10 couples report that money causes tension in their relationship.” That is 70% folks. It is way too high for me to ignore. I could go on, but I need to remind myself this is supposed to be leisurely reading for everyone so I will stop with the research there. I may include some other references at the end if anyone wants to look into it in more depth than what I covered.
Well Don, what hit you in your gut you might ask? You made mention of some kind of gut instinct then simply failed to mention anything of it! Well my apologies, I need to find some way to tie together my enjoyment of everything financial to serving a God-centered life. And what is one thing that is held so sacred throughout the Bible? Marriage. I would love to find some way to be a Christian Financial counselor or just someone that people can come to for advice. I think that would be just swell. I may be no expert on relationships, (I am the last person to ever ask for relationship advice), but I want to do everything I can to help keep relationships and marriages stable.
So in conclusion, if you are in a relationship right now or married and you face financial issues please reach out to me or a certified financial planner. The most important thing is to be honest and open with your significant other about this issue. Hiding or avoiding the elephant in the room won’t make it go away.
Anyways, have a happy mundane Monday everyone!