Many people get married with the moment in mind. The choice to give up an independent lifestyle might not fully set in until months or years later. While most won’t want to admit it, it’s not uncommon to subconsciously think that our spouse will adopt our lifestyle. But for lasting success in marriage, it’s important to work together to create a new lifestyle that works for both of you, including a money management system you can both get behind.
In A Tug Of War, Nobody Wins
Many would say that compromise is key in marriage. While that may be true to a certain extent, the idea of compromise alone misses the bigger picture.
Compromise can be like a tug of war that nobody wins; that’s because the idea is built on give and take, instead of give and give. But give and give doesn’t work either unless we understand “why” we give. I believe a crucial element that most marriages are missing is a unified vision. A bigger reason for its existing beyond itself. In other words, what purpose does marriage serve beyond the two people involved in it? When we understand our “why”, then we can unify – especially in the area of finances.
Find Your Why
Let’s say two people with two different views of money management are having issues. Bob feels like he should be able to buy what he wants, as long as the bills are paid and necessities are taken care of. Sally feels that buying random things compulsively is a waste of money, and that saving money is the best way to go. They both feel very strongly about their views, and choose to compromise by having their own bank accounts. They agree to share half of all major expenses and necessities. But anything left over is managed individually. Issues arise when things break and Bob needs Sally’s money to pay for them. But Sally never feels like she gets to enjoy life, because she never indulges. She almost resents Bob at times for getting to indulge too often.
They agree to disagree time and time again, to only conclude that the best way to handle the issue is to have their own accounts. But marriage is about unity and oneness. If you are divided in your financial outlooks, you are divided in your marriage.
A Greater Purpose
When two people understand the greater “why” behind their marriage, their marriage will thrive because it’s no longer about “me” or “you”. It is about “we” and “them”. Marriage is a blessing to the two people in it. But it was also intended to bless beyond the two involved. When you get clear on what your marriage contributes to beyond yourselves, you unlock the freedom to allow your finances to follow your vision.
Most people would say that they want fulfillment in their marriage and lives. In Bob and Sally’s case, if they came together on the greater reason for their marriage, they could agree on a unified plan for achieving their fulfillment. One where both reap the benefits of the other’s unique finance style. When Bob and Sally commit to marriage fulfillment as the goal, and not management of the resource itself, they will both win. And when Bob and Sally are fulfilled in their marriage, they are positioned to give more of themselves outside of their marriage.
This principle applies to any area of marriage really. Differences are supposed to become complements in marriage. We never realize this when we stay in an independent mindset, and when we don’t understand the greater “why” behind our being together. There are infinite possibilities to what two unique people can do, beyond themselves, acting as one entity led by God.
You may also be interested in Tips From The Bible For Holy Compromise In Marriage