We are approaching “the season.” The season of spending money on gifts, decorations, and food. It is in these times of extra spending where your money and marriage can get really stressed out. I’ve found an excellent resource for marriages from the Gottman Marriage Institute. (www.Gottman.com).

I’m repeating their wisdom in this guest writing from The Gottman Relationship Blog.

If you and your partner have regular disagreements about money, you are not alone. It is nearly impossible to go through life without them.

Dr. John Gottman explains that arguments about money aren’t about money. The key to successfully managing financial conflict in marriage is to focus on the hidden meaning money has to each of you.

For one person, buying an organic apple is too expensive, yet buying a new high-end luxury car every two years is not. How is it something that costs $1.99 feels more unreasonable than a $52,000 car that only decreases in value over time?

It’s because one person values material possessions more than healthy eating. There isn’t a right or wrong way of spending money unless you spend more than you make, but it is important to understand you and your partner’s personal history of money and what it means to both of you.

Use this exercise to stop fighting about money and marriage and start understanding each other.  Download the exercise here

By the way… if you and your spouse find yourselves in a stressful money-management situation, click here to learn more about how Anesis Retreats can help