Financial Intimacy 101
Couples are instructed to be open and transparent when it comes to finances. But what do you do when neither of you are comfortable doing so?
In a recent episode of Bringing Intimacy Back, Dr. April Brown sat down with Michele Edwards-Collie – Owner of The King’s Daughter to discuss Financial Intimacy. They discussed how in order for couples to be intimate financially requires “nakedness” with one another. The nakedness is symbolic of the openness and transparency couples must have in order to be truly financially intimate. When couples experience financial intimacy at its highest level, they experience an overall enhancement of the quality of life.
But let’s be honest, most couples are uncomfortable being transparent with their finances—sometimes even with themselves individually, let alone with other people. That awkward feeling becomes intensified when couples start the discussion about finances.
According to brightonjones.com, the first challenge of financial intimacy is the underlying “social taboo” about discussing money. Most of us are taught from a young age that talking about money with other people is “not polite.” To complicate matters, modern America far too often equates success with money. As such, one—or both—people in a relationship may feel judged if they share their finances, as if there is something wrong, broken, or deficient about them if their financial situation is not what they hoped it would be at their current stage in life. Start with the assumption that virtually every couple finds this conversation awkward, especially in the early years of a relationship.
To start down the path of financial intimacy, we recommend discussing any past issues or bad experiences with money. Also discuss what you each make, how much you are saving per year (and where), and how much debt you have. These topics are sensitive, but the more couples communicate about finances and “get naked” (transparent) with one another the road will only get easier from there.