Moving beyond simply “dealing” and into more proactive ways of being have far reaching effects.
By increasing our awareness, we allow necessary room for reflection and insight from our significant other. Ideally, and let’s assume that this is the case, our life partner is willing to share his awareness of not only his ways of dealing with financial issues but the ways that we have created that both keep us stuck and move us forward.
Perhaps you have luckily stumbled upon a man who is not confused or easily distracted by the power of money.
Maybe you have come across the rare individual who understands that he and not money is the one with the power (look for a man who worships and listens to Suze Orman). Congratulations! You have found a man who has a particular type of experience with money.
If our partner is great with money, it is wise to seek his counsel and share solutions that allow the best of all worlds. There is no need to argue, defend or manipulate regarding our money intelligence if where it has lead us is not the place we wish to be.
When we move from awareness, we can take an honest look and make an informed decision about what we need and what is and is not working in our current financial situation.
When combined with experience, we now have exactly what we need to make incredible changes. Before moving into what works, I would like to point out things that trip us up, confuse us and just plain keep us stuck and pissed off.
For one thing, we are expected to know and understand work, money and how to make incredible life enhancing financial decisions.
Since very few of us are taught money management skills, it is a setup for disaster to then expect everyone to know and match our financial intelligence or lack thereof.
As gay men, we are taught to be isolated is to be safe.
In terms of financial well being, this is the worst decision any couple can make. If you are struggling with financial matters, it would be wise to seek out couples who have created loving and compassionate financial solutions.
Statistically, it has been proven that couples fight and break up because of money matters in greater numbers than those affected by infidelity.
To put this in perspective, people can forgive and offer acceptance regarding sexual infidelity but a refusal to go for that promotion or use the undiscussed bonus to buy new stereo equipment and all hell breaks loose.
So how do we prevent money from causing us grief and or using it as a weapon to dominate and belittle ? We have discussions to determine our partner's view of money and its power. We determine to not isolate about our money “issues”. We seek out therapy before we need it and prior to combining finances.
We discuss our saving and spending habits.
We ask direct questions. How much do you make ? What did you do with the money you made last year ? Most importantly, we don’t assume because someone is spending money that they have an unlimited supply and we should just enjoy the ride or in some instances the gravy train.
If you have had little experience with dating men with money, it can be confusing and thrilling to meet someone who has no spending limits and indulges each and every consumer - oriented whim. When I went from dating men with less than two nickels to rub together and began to date men who gave gifts and constantly shopped, it was difficult to ask the aforementioned questions.
As an artist who was consistently sacrificing and doing without, it went unquestioned as to where the money was coming from if it would ever deplete or if it should be spent in this manner.
This proved to be our undoing.
To afraid to speak up and ask direct questions, I wrongly assumed all of these men were well off and had unlimited access and why shouldn’t I enjoy it ?
What I confront head on currently is the following series of questions :Where is this money coming from ? How often ? What about credit card debt ?
These are also the same statements and inquiries I share regarding my financial state past and present.
When the guess work and childlike wonder of financial matters is removed, the work of combining hearts and wallets can begin.