Money is a difficult topic for most couples, especially early in their relationship. We’re talking with Russell Baxter, a professional counselor (LPC LCDC-I) who works with couples to help them with how money impacts their relationship. Russell runs a counseling practice in Grapevine, Texas. He teaches clinical continuing education classes as well as classes on finances and marriage and is currently writing a book on the topic.
Money and Marriage - An interview with Russell Baxter LPC LCDC-I
Sharing Your Heart, Sharing Your Treasure - book by Russell Baxter (coming soon)
When you talk and agree on finances with your spouse you improve your
intimacy and share your heart.
These are the things that we are trying to get our clients to share with each other.
Money Fights/Money Problems shows up in every major study as one of the most common reasons for divorce.
Common situations in marriages today
1. CPA Home
One partner manages all of the finances
Other partner knows little to nothing about finances
Very common in single income homes
One partner makes most decisions and even sometimes gives the other an
“Allowance” or lets them know that they can spend
“Don’t tell me, I don’t want to know.”
“You handle it.”
2. Joint Venture Home
Tend to not talk about a plan
Very common in remarried couples
Both partners manage their own accounts
3. Wild West Home
No plan / budget
Spend as long as we have money
Talk about desires but lack a plan or accountability
Not stewarding well
4. A Team Home
Two people working together
Talking about what we want and a way to get it
Money is complicated because it represents:
Safety Fulfillment Purpose Shame
Security Anxiety Self-Esteem Guilt
Future Possibilities Healing Inadequacy
Whether spoken or assumed we each associate with money in an emotional way.
Two main reasons money problem stick around:
How can managing money help heal or wound your spouse?
Impulsivity = Insecurity, Uncertainty, Fear, No Trust
No Communication = Decrease in self-esteem, Trust, and More Resentment
No Plan = Chaos, Anxiety, Feeling Trapped/Stuck
Having a Plan = Comfortable spending, Decrease in Anxiety
Accountability = More Impulse Control and Trust
Planning for the Future = Foster Safety and Security in Relationship
Communicate about Desires = More Vulnerability