Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Just Ask Joyce: “We’re fighting over finances. Help!”

Q: “My husband and I have been married for almost five years. Our marriage is stable in every way except in the area of finances. It’s not that we can’t make ends meet; we do. But we do live from paycheck to paycheck. My husband is determined we are going to get debt-free, and I would like to see that happen for us, but I find some of his demands unreasonable. For example, he doesn’t want me to purchase makeup or get my hair cut, and he wants me to clean everything with water and vinegar rather than buying my standard cleaning supplies. It’s the first time in our marriage we have had arguments, and now it seems we argue almost daily. Is there some way to compromise and save our marriage?”

Joyce: Is there a compromise? The answer is emphatically yes! The more pressing question is: Are there two willing spirits eager to make concessions in order to achieve a common goal for the sake of this marriage?

I would encourage the two of you to save your marriage at all costs. Money is security, but love is a sanctuary. Stop the arguing and start the negotiating. Here are some ways to effect a reasonable scenario with which you both could learn to be content:

  • Decide you will attack the problem and not each other. Too often we make enemies of the very people we love instead of fighting the problem at hand. When you make the issue the problem, the two of you will find the solution.
  • Set aside only one night a week for the topic of finances to be discussed. A time limit might be in order, as well. This leaves six nights to focus on the love you cherish. You will find that love will minimize the issue at hand.
  • Decide what you can live without. Each of you should be willing to make concessions of things you could live without. Makeup and haircuts could perhaps be scaled back without losing the necessity for those items altogether. Concessions need to be reasonable and peaceable. That should be the rule of thumb.
  • Set reasonable expectations to reach your goal. People can get frustrated because they have set the bar too high and expect to reach it too soon. As with every dream, there is a process by which to achieve it. The overnight successes are random at best.
  • There should be contentment for all concerned. In marriage, we don’t lose our individuality. We do, however, sign up for teamwork. Goals for a couple should always be decided in harmony and always in the best interest of the marriage. Each of us should continue to strive for our individual goals, but they are much more meaningful when we have the support of the one we love.
  • Practice patience and peace. Being patient in presenting ideas and in responding to them encourages a winning spirit. Remaining calm and tender when things get off track promotes a willingness to refocus.

There is a way to make it work. The best place to start is where you began … LOVE!

Change your life … NOW! Write Joyce Oglesby, Family-Life Fix-It Pro™, at I’m here to help! Check out my books and other resources today at Like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and get connected to great family nourishing ideas!

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