We begin the #AskGottman series today on The Gottman Relationship Blog with the topic of money, which Dr. Gottman names in The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work as one of the six most typical areas of marital conflict. Is it a problem area in your relationship? If not, chances are it’s a problem area in the relationship of someone you know.
Whether their bank account is booming or they’re just scraping by, many couples confront significant money conflicts. Often such disputes are evidence of a perpetual issue, since money is symbolic of many emotional needs – such as for security or power – and goes to the core of our individual value system. As Zach Brittle explained in M is for Money, “As a therapist, the money conversation is one of my favorites to have with couples. It’s the perfect playground for a discussion about solvable versus perpetual problems.”
While money buys pleasure, it also buys security. Balancing these two economic realities can be work for any couple, since our feelings about money and value are so personal.
Do you have a general question related to handling finances in a relationship? Please submit it using the form below for the opportunity to have it answered in a posting on Friday, January 23rd. You can also ask us on social media using the hashtag #AskGottman. If you have a specific inquiry about money and your own relationship, we encourage you to contact a financial planner.
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