I fell in love the first time. I’m walking the next time. – A.W.
Heard the above quote on Monday and I was like “Yes”. That’s what I’ve been trying to say. So, here’s the background…
Mr. K and I were talking last week about what I call financial intimacy. I was stressing the importance of financial intimacy when he was discussing the issues in his first marriage. I explained that we had similar stories and that is why I believe in financial intimacy. I explained the concept to him.
Financial intimacy occurs when you and your partner have reached a point in your relationship where you decide to take it to the next level. Whatever that level may be for you. You sit down and provide your full financial picture: i.e. current credit reports, any loans you owe (mortgage, car, student), credit cards, etc. You produce a full financial picture with your partner to share before you take that next step. In my case, it would be engagement, because I’m not shacking up. (Thankfully, he doesn’t either)
What I’m saying is that before you get engaged you need to be intimate financially with each other. You should make sure that you and your partner are aware of the back story before getting engaged. Don’t waste time or money on an engagement ring if you don’t know everything about your partner. It could make for a costly situation.
Call it years of knowledge, or trial by fire, but many people who’ve gone through a marriage and a divorce that cost them financially will agree that you want to walk into any other situation with your eyes wide open. Not falling with your eyes wide shut.
Can you imagine marrying your soul mate only to find out that they are $250,000 in debt? Nope. But, it is real. It happens all the time. But, let me tell you one of the top reasons for divorce….money.
Yep, you know it. Why? Because before we get engaged, we don’t do pre-engagement counseling to determine whether or not we are compatible. It’s counseling before you get engaged. I heard this from a classmate who did it and started researching it. I was like…Yep! This is what everyone needs to do.
I wish I had known about it before I took the plunge. Heck, I’m sure he wished he knew about it too. Once we got engaged and the ring sat on my finger, it seemed that problems were not always handled effectively. One of us was compromising to the point we were dismissing potential landmines so that we could get married. It was about the wedding and getting through to that day so we could live blissfully ever after.
That didn’t work. I don’t remember the financial piece in our pre-marital counseling, but I’m telling you that it in no way prepared us for living, working and paying bills together. We had one philosophy…separate accounts. We tried the first year of marriage to have joint accounts but we had different philosophies on spending that contributed to the stress in our relationship. We loved each other so we didn’t want to argue over money. We thought by keeping separate accounts we could live in bliss. However, after year 10 he wanted to try joint accounts again. I was determined not too. Too many issues already. It became worse.
I’ve learned some things since I last said I do and that is the importance of financial intimacy. No secrets. No hesitation. No regrets. No entering into a situation where I wish I had been prepared. I don’t want a debt that WE didn’t create. You can love all you want with your heart, but you don’t want to pay in the end with your pockets. It can cause resentment.
Until next time!