blaming, stop and think of a response more likely to lead to a discussion of the problem, rather than an argument.
2. Use positive manipulation.
We often think of manipulation as a bad thing, as dishonest. However, acting in a way that makes it more likely to get a good response is not always deceitful or insidious. When you present an idea or solution,
think about what your spouse would like about it, and lead with that. “Honey, you know that new car you‟ve been wanting? I think I have a way f
or us to get it.. We could take out some equity on the house to renovate the kitchen, we could get your new car, and the interest would be so much cheaper than a car
loan.” This is truthful, thoughtful, and clearly shows the husband how both of their wants
can be taken
care of, so it‟s more likely to get a positive response.
3. Have a Formal Meeting.
Just as you would in business, sit down for a real meeting about important financial issues. Don‟t expect
to be able to discuss finances successfully while y
ou‟re on the run, when it‟s late at night, or while
watching TV. Instead, make a date for discussing finances, and take the time to sit down together, with all the proper information, and discuss your needs, wants and means. Follow a meeting method like Ro
Rules of Order, to keep the discussion on track. If a difficult problem arises, use the problem solving skills at the end of this chapter.
4. Take Finances Seriously.
Healthy businesses keep a close eye on the bottom line. In marriage, this means being careful about your money, but also not using money as a weapon against each other, or being irresponsible about it. A
successful, happy marriage requires that both partners act like grownups. It‟s not surprising if you have
disagreements about how much to save, when and what to spend and who makes financial decisions, because such differences are normal between people. If you take them seriously, and sit down to solve them together with mutual good will, your different points of view will become assets, not problems.
5. Check in Regularly.
As you do in business, have a brief check-in as frequently as possible. In the morning, or the night before,
compare your daily schedules. Even if the things on your schedule don‟t really involve your spouse,
on them, so that each of you will know if you‟re facing anything important, or challenging in the day ahead. When you have an idea of what‟s involved in each others‟ daily lives while you‟re apart, you will be
much more able to respond in a helpful fashion to each other, especially when sudden changes or
problems arise. For example, you can say I have to pick up some clients at the airport today, and I don‟t know what the traffic will be like, so I could be late tonight.”
When you follow these guidelines
for handling money together, you‟ll understand each other better, and you‟ll both understand your goals and feel more motivated to follow the plans you make.