Husband, Your Wife Needs Financial Stability.

Gentlemen, please permit me to explore a touchy subject. It has to do with your wife and her job. In terms of providing for the family, I put that responsibility solely on the man in the relationship. Why? Because as MEN, that’s what we do. We ACCOMPLISH things and we BUILD things and we stay on top of things. At least we SHOULD be doing that right?

Your wife looks to you to provide the basic necessities of food, clothing, shelter, utilities, transportation, and a little excitement and fun. If you can do that, then your wife will be able to make the house into a home, raise happy kids, entertain friends and guests, and enrich the lives of everyone around her including you. However, if your wife has to help provide the basic necessities of life as well, then she cannot do these things.  At best, she may not be able to devote any energy into the home or to your marriage, and at worst, she may resent you BIG TIME.

Consider these scenarios:

1) A husband got laid off from his job and is on unemployment.  Meanwhile his wife is working two part time jobs.  She comes home from her 2nd job, then cooks, cleans, and gives the kids a bath.  Over the weekend she’s got the kids with her as she shops for groceries and runs errands.  On her way home she’s thinking, “Is this all there is??”

2) Another man works 40 hours a week and when he gets home each day, he see his wife for 20 minutes, then she’s off to work.  He puts a TV dinner in the microwave and starts heating it up.  Then he sits down at the home projector screen and watches some TV.  When his wife gets home from her job, he’s fast asleep in the Lazy Boy recliner.

3) Yet another man works 60+ hours a week.  His wife doesn’t work, but she spends her week chauffeuring the kids around to various soccer games and dance recitals.  On the weekends his kids say to him, “Can I have some money?” and his wife is spending time at the salon.  He thinks to himself, “What am I, an ATM?”

All three of the above scenarios have one thing in common: A lack of balance and no focus on what’s important in life.

The first guy is SURE to have some major resentment against him from his wife.  Because he doesn’t do ANYTHING.  If he can’t find a job, the LEAST he could do is help around the house or watch the kids or do the grocery shopping.  He has forgotten that financial stability is something he needs to provide FOR his wife.

The second couple is also in trouble, they both work to pay for their nice house and their awesome furniture and entertainment systems, but they don’t have time for each other.  Stuff does not bring happiness, so having both spouses working to pay for STUFF will not lead to a happy marriage.

The third man is flat out being USED.  He’s done too much of the PROVIDING that there is no QUALITY TIME with anyone.

So where is this balance found?

The balance is found in living below your means.  It is the MAN working to provide the basic necessities of life, plus a little extra to have some family fun.  It is the WOMAN nurturing the relationships and making the home a comfortable place for everyone.  When these things are not in balance, we see the following symptoms:

1) The man loses self esteem because he’s not providing at a level he should be.

2) The woman feels fear because the house and home are vulnerable to financial ups and downs.

3) The woman resents and does not respect a man who cannot provide for her.

4) The man and the woman are chasing happiness by going after material things.

5) The man and the woman have no time for each other.

Please don’t get me wrong.  I am not against your wife working.  I DO believe, however, that it should be her choice to work because she WANTS to and not because she HAS to.  All the money the man makes should pay for bills, food, and a little fun.  The money a wife makes, if she makes any at all, should be gravy.  The thing to remember is that a wife who works should always have the opportunity to QUIT working and raise children if life calls her to do that.

Did I ruffle any feathers?  Please let me know if you agree or disagree.  I appreciate your comments!

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Financial Infidelity in Marriage

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been guilty of FINANCIAL INFIDELITY… do you see mine up? YEP. In some form or fashion, we’ve ALL done it.

Here’s the deal.. Financial Infidelity shows up in BIG ways.. and in some small, subtle ways. See if any of these resonate with you.

- A husband JUST finds out that his wife of 5 years has debts from BEFORE they were married, and he NEVER knew about it.
- A wife tells hers kids, “don’t tell daddy about ____”, as she buys them yet ANOTHER toy after her and her husband agreed that the kids have WAAAY too many.
- A husband eats out with his coworkers daily… but his wife thinks he eats out once a week.
- A wife brings home a free puppy or kitten without talking it over with her husband.. It’s cute, but you gotta FEED it!
- A husband tears up the bathroom on a whim with a sledgehammer and starts a big remodeling project, but it wasn’t a planned expense.
- A wife has a closet full of clothes and shoes she purchased without her husbands knowledge.
- A husband, knowing that money is tight, says yes to a trip across the state because he can’t say NO to his wife. He puts on a facade that “Everythings ok” when he knows that they are behind in the bills.

These were just a few examples.. but all are very REAL circumstances that I’ve either witnessed or been a part of. I’ve also used the terms Husbands and Wives a lot in these examples.. because married partners should be 100% accountable to each other. Each time one spouse tells a little white lie, makes a hidden purchase, or buys something without speaking to the other, it UNDERMINES the relationship. If you’re single.. the only person you’re really accountable to is yourself, however once you tie the knot, your finances and your credit will be co-mingled with your spouse. I don’t mean to scare the engaged couple.. after all, two heads are better than one and when you make decisions together, you do it to benefit the both of you.

If you’re currently committing Financial Infidelity.. you may be closing off the person who can help you the most… your SPOUSE!

The wife, who had debt before she got married, it all blew up when she couldn’t pay those “Hidden” bills. When her husband found out.. was he mad? Absolutely.. but then he asked…”Why didn’t you let me know you were in over your head?”. Now he is working to help her pay down the debt.

Who are you hurting the most? Why… it’s YOU!

If you’re married…sit down with your spouse regularly and go over all your finances. Adopt a policy of FULL DISCLOSURE will all your purchases. Then set some goals and work on them together. Accomplishing goals as a partnership will bond you closer together and it is a beautiful thing.

If you’re engaged…make plans to mingle your finances together after you get married and make sure you are BOTH involved in the decision making process. When one spouse controls all the money… it becomes way to tempting to make a hidden purchase here or there while the other has to ASK for money.. this is not wise. All accounts, passwords, bills, and expenses should be shared.

Should each of you have SOME money that you can spend without being accountable? A small amount is fine.. but be careful.. if it causes resentment in your spouse.. you may want to rethink that. I know someone who always spent HIS money on games… and she was spending HER money on HIM.. does that seem fair?

Best thing to do, right now.. it to start being HONEST with your partner. Don’t make big decisions by yourself. Don’t start new projects that cost money without your confidante’s support. Don’t keep your partner in the dark either… if you know something bad is coming (like a potential layoff), don’t let your partner get blindsided by the news or be told by someone else.

Finally, be honest with yourself.

Your comments are welcome!

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How to Give “Bad Financial News” to Your Spouse

Last year, one Friday afternoon, I received a notice in the mail from my mortgage company. It basically said that my payment was about to go from $770 to $1600 effective immediately. After the shock wore off I called the mortgage company, but they were closed until Monday. So I had to keep this information to myself all weekend long. I didn’t want to alarm my wife about it without knowing some reason why.

On Monday. I called the mortgage company as soon as they opened and I learned some shocking news. It seems when they set up the escrow on the mortgage, they figured in the home owners insurance but they did NOT figure in the property taxes. In fact… they didn’t pay the property taxes for THREE YEARS! They “just” realized it and paid what was owed… but now they want to COLLECT it back from us in 12 months. This means a payment hike MORE THAN DOUBLE what we were paying before. Only problem was.. We couldn’t afford the new payment.

Now… I don’t like to cause my wife any undue stress, but this was BIG DEAL, and I don’t like keeping things from her. But before I could show her the letter and tell her what was going on, I had to find a solution. I asked the mortgage company if they would collect the deficiency over 24 months instead of 12. They agreed that the circumstances were unusual so they granted the request. Now the mortgage payment was set at $1107. It would still be hard… but doable.

The mortgage company sent us a new “Escrow Analysis” letter showing the $1107 payment, and I sat down with my wife to talk about it. Understandably she was upset at the situation. How could the mortgage company DO that? I explained everything I learned, and let her know where the money was going to come from to make the difference. She appreciated me doing my research and felt much better that we had plan was in place.

If you have “bad news” to give… follow these tips:

When you have “Bad News”

1. Don’t hide it – Many times it’s tempting to pretend you never got the bill, or the letter, or the eviction notice… but things like this ALWAYS come out at some point. When it does, you spouse will not appreciate the blind side.

2. Have a solution if possible – You don’t want to simply dump the problem on your spouse. If you have any control over the situation, present to spouse both the PROBLEM and the SOLUTION.

3. Ask for help – If you don’t have a solution, or you can’t implement the solution alone, ask your spouse for help. You will need their support no matter what.

4. Thank them – Thank your spouse for listening, for offering suggestions, and for being brave under the circumstances.

Have you had to give bad news to your spouse? Do you have more tips on how to make it easier?

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