Posts Tagged ‘communication’

postheadericon Marital Relationships Differ From Dating

Dating is a lot like watching previews of a new romantic movie that’s about to come out. The scenes switch swiftly from one intriguing part to another while seductive music fills the theater and makes the emotions soar.

You watch extreme close-ups of beautiful people while they pledge their undying love for each other. In one scene they’re on a sun drenched beach frolicking in the surf, while in the next they’re holding hands across the table at a candle lit dinner. Finally, his lips meet hers as they fall into a pillow laden bed while the director fades to black.

When you pay to see the entire movie you discover the relationship is not all love, passion and kisses. The love struck couple wakes up the next morning or soon thereafter to a life of reality that’s not all bronzed bodies, expensive dinners and deep breathless kisses. They usually find they’re not right for each other at all and regret the blind love that led them into this mess.

Be aware that dating is a preview of coming attractions but you have to keep your eyes open to learn what’s to come as the relationship progresses and eventually leads to marriage.

When you’re dating, you put your best foot (and all the rest of you too) forward. You’re both on your best behavior and constantly trying to please the other. If only marriage could continue to be like this. The good news is, sometimes it is.

One of the main differences between marital and dating relationships is marital relationships are supposed to be forever. With a date you can simply say get lost but with a spouse it’s a little more difficult and complicated. So, do your dating homework and enjoy selecting a lifetime partner.

Ask yourself if both share common lifetime goals. Marry someone who wants the same thing in life as you. Marriage is hard enough pulling together, much less going in different directions.

Notice how your date treats other people. Are they nice to their parents as well as waiters and sales clerks? Is your date considerate of your feelings and concerned with giving you pleasure? Hopefully, these things will remain the same whether married or single.

Is your date appreciative of the things he or she has or do they think the world owes them a living? If your date is comfortable with the status quo and you’re a more aggressive goal oriented person, this may cause a conflict when you enter into the marital relationship. Are they seeking growth or are they content to be comfortable and let the world pass them by?

If you can’t trust them and communicate with them while dating, it likely won’t change after marriage. Communicate by sharing your thoughts and dreams and learn if you’re on the same wavelength for the future. Be objective and ask questions. While you’re dating you seek the perfect mate who gives you respect, love and truth. When you’re married you expect it.

postheadericon 2010 Year in Review Money and Marriage Headlines

The end of 2010 is just around the corner as is a bride and groom’s wedding day; therefore, let’s take a look at what made the headlines for money and marriage.

#10: At the beginning of 2010, leading article was Marriage: A Good Investment for Guys (Time Magazine). Article cited a study in 1970 that showed an unmarried man was better off financially than a married guy at that time and NOW 22% of the women make more money than their husbands. Question: Will this news bring on a mad rush of men chomping at the bit to pop the question? Observation: I wouldn’t necessarily say that marriage makes a man more successful than if he remained single. When it comes to a man or woman’s success it depends on their character, work ethic, dreams and goals as individuals.

#9: In February 2010, we were given a glimpse of what was happening in marriage via Money Matters in Marriage (Washington Post) which discussed “The State of Our Unions”. Article states according to “The State of Our Unions” annual survey by the Univ of Virginia’s National Marriage Project and the Center for Marriage and Families at the New York based Institute for American Values, W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project wrote the Great Recession that began in 2007 exposed an economic factor. Wilcox stated “the economic downturn reminds us that marriage is more than emotional relationship it is also an economic partnership and social safety net. Lesson: Money has always been a part of marriage. There are husbands and wives that have weathered the financial storms for years. Couples should enter marriage with a clear picture of what marriage and money can be instead of expecting the fairy tale.

#8: February continued to be a busy month when discussing marriage and money, which shouldn’t be a surprise considering there’s Valentines Day and National Marriage Week. Next in line was a news story titled Money and Marriage: Avoid Problems through Full Disclosure (ABC News GMA). Bottom line – ways to alleviate most money problems is to communicate, get help from a financial counselor if necessary, designate one person to manage the money and devise a strategy to pay bills on time. Lesson: Communicating about money is an ongoing conversation not a one time chat or text message.

#7: Our journey continued in February and we were met with Five Ways to save your Marriage (CNBC.com). Of course my immediate thought was COMMUNICATION. Communication was second and first was working together as a team. Lesson: Husbands and wives must realize and accept they are on the same team and not opponents.

#6: Reflecting on the top 10 news stories about money and marriage, month after month we kept hearing about the impact of the economy on people, engaged couples and businesses. One reoccurring theme I noticed was brides wedding dress deposits and bridal stores going out of business. Brides made deposits on the wedding dress of their dreams only to discover weeks and even days to prior to their wedding the bridal shops had closed down without notice. Resulted in no dress and no return of deposit.

#5: It’s never too late to talk about Finance and Romance, especially in the heat of the summer. One story that was sure to get the “home fires burning” was titled Finance and Romance: A Perfect Marriage (Forbes Woman). Short and sweet of this: Managing your finances can lead to increased romance in marriage. Lesson: Very easy to be romantic when there is no financial pressure!

#4: For those who didn’t learn the lesson about Finance and Romance could be living more of the theme from our next candidate, Your Money, What Love Joins Together, Debt can put Asunder (NY Times). Nothing like a bride’s fiancé finding about her student loan debt (amount very close to the wedding day) and calling off the engagement. Lesson: Communicate honestly about the debt and financial obligations being brought into the marriage early on in the relationship so everyone knows the truth.

#3: Debt is a four letter word when ignored can affect marriages severely resulting in divorce. Up next making the headlines was titled The Biggest Money Mistakes Couples Make (US News and World Reports). Top mistakes were not talking, combining accounts too early, sharing credit cards, real estate and other type of debt, ignoring the risk of a break-up and ignoring the marriage penalty. Lesson: Most important is to start talking (not arguing) about money issues and establishing a mutually agreed upon financial foundation that the marriage can operate. This should lead to specific and well-defined roles for husbands and wives and mutual financial goals for the marriage.

#2: I must say I had no idea this next one would even end up in the list; however upon reading the news I felt it deserved to be included. Prince William’s engagement spurs tips on mixed money marriages (USA Today). Different financial backgrounds and experiences and the one with lesser financials can get swept up in their future spouse’s lifestyle thereby creating and increasing stress. Lesson: Even though you may not be Prince William nor his fiancé, do not lose yourself or identity once you are married and give up on your dreams.

#1: This list started out taking a look at the affect of marriage on men and who would have known at the end of November, gracing the headlines would be a Study focusing on women, money and divorce (Today Show). States that 1/3 of women are better educated, in 22% of the couples, she is the primary bread winner and 38% are at risk of divorce. Lesson: For the wives that are the primary bread winner – goal should be working together for the greater good of the marriage. Treat your husband the way you want to be treated regardless of income.

Based on the stories I’ve read over 2010, I’d say we are in for more precedent setting money and marriage stories like never before. Stay tuned…..

Copyright ©2010 – Dr. Taffy Wagner, CEPF – Permission granted to use and reproduce with proper citation.

postheadericon The Ten Commandments for Black Marriage and Money Success

Close to 42% of African American adults have never been married, and by their early 40s, 31 percent of black women have never been wives, compared with 9 percent of white women, 11 percent of Asian women and 12 percent of Hispanic women. Statistics may show those numbers, however, there is a community of African Americans all across the country encouraging others in committed relationship to celebrate the joy of marriage.

Money is one of the top reasons for divorce. Whether it is a lack of money, money mismanagement or a communication breakdown about the finances, it is time to establish marriages for financial success. In honor of Black Marriage Day, Dr. Taffy Wagner, releases The Ten Commandments for Black Marriage and Money Success video.

The Ten Commandments for Black Marriage and Money Success is a compilation of couples, husband, wives sharing over 70 years of marriage experience regarding marriage and money.  Stop and watch the video below:

The Ten Commandments for Black Marriage and Money Success from Taffy Wagner on Vimeo.

Celebrate Black Marriage and Money today!

postheadericon First Family Barack and Michelle Obama in the Marriage Fishbowl

I was watching CNN a few days ago when they were discussing the NY Times Reporter’s interview with The First Family regarding their marriage and it is very evident they are in what I like to call “The Marriage Fishbowl”.

The Marriage Fishbowl is clearly where everyone is watching your every move that the husband and wife make. Did he do this? Did she do that? What was the response? How do they handle this or that? Being in the marriage fishbowl will cause your marriage to be critiqued by some, praised by others, some will remain silent in wonder, there are couples that will try to live up to your representation of marriage and much more.

With Barack and Michelle Obama, clearly based on the interview facts are facts:

1) He had not lived in the home full-time since 1996. So being in the position they are in now is a good thing. Togetherness.

2) Date night is important to them. Yet it was criticized because of how he did it a year ago.

3) Family is important to them and he makes time for his wife and daughters despite being The President.

4) It was shared that there was a very stressful time in their marriage.

Life Lessons to Accept:

1) We all have a role in our marriage. When the other spouse is not there full-time, we take care of business and do what needs to be done especially when there are children involved. You do not let things fall apart.

2) Marriage takes teamwork. Communication is very important. Not arguing but talking with cool heads.

3) Wives and husbands are to support each other in their individual and mutual goals. VISION is important and know where you are going.

4) Date night is important because it gives you time to enjoy your relationship and each other.

Money was not a topic but I want to interject. Discussing money is very important and would alleviate financial mistakes. Because that too is something that is watched when you are in “The Marriage Fishbowl”.

What do you think it takes to make a marriage work? Leave your comments.

We will discuss “The Marriage Fishbowl” again.

postheadericon Who is saving marriages? Is it secularism?

Yes, I am a researcher to my heart. As I was researching marriage articles this morning, I discovered this article that was in a column of USA Today titled Is secularism saving marriages? I continued to read because that title had me interested. It discusses how men and women are perceiving themselves as mutual partners which transforms marriages.

I wholeheartedly agree with that. The article seems to think that the religious community does not get that. At the end of the day, whether you are spiritual or not, your beliefs about marriage and what you would like to see happen in your marriage will guide you in your relationship.

I am proud to see more people taking premarital counseling and learning to work together. When married couples have situations, they have always had the ability to choose I thought who they sought guidance from. For some they will turn to their Pastor, others will see experts in that field and that is okay too. What matters is that the couples take action and get the guidance that they need in order to sustain their relationship.

Marriage does take work from the husband and wife. Both parties must be willing to do what it takes to make their marriage work. It is not always about being right but being able to forgive, not holding on to the past, accepting responsibility for choices made and moving forward for the benefit of the marriage. Nobody is perfect.

postheadericon Does a new marriage equal new money woes?

Well, I was reading this story this morning about many couples planning to wed in November and December. New Year, New Marriage equals New Money Woes article shares that financial issues derail many marriages. Well, well, well. Well, well, well. Yes we have all seen the statistics that money is one of the top reasons for divorce, as well as knowing that three out of four married couples are arguing about money.

Let me present this to you – money in itself is not the cause of divorce. What is the cause of divorce is how money is mishandled, people not communicating about money and bills that need to be paid. I would even step out and say that it is about controlling the household finances or lack of controlling the finances. Money in itself cannot do anything without a person’s actions.

Therefore, it is imperative that couples learn how to manage money individually and throughout marriage. Let’s face it, most of us probably did not manage money well on our own prior to getting married. We brought those same limited skills into our marriages and what did we expect to happen.

Sit down and begin talking about money for the benefit of your marriage today. Talk WITH each other and not at each other. If you do not know how to start this, you can get your copy of Money Talk Before The Commitment Walk and The Debt Stops At The Altar. For this one it does not matter that you are already married, these same principles will work right where you are and can be used throughout the lifetime of your marriage.

Talking about money is not a one time decision – remember life happens. It is a discussion that should happen on a regular basis and often so that everyone is on the same page. There are not financial secrets and one person does not feel as if they are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. Yes it happens and it is time to stop that trend.

I am going to speak from personal experience – if couples can learn how to discuss money matters, solve financial problems together thereby keeping their marriage in tact, they can handle anything that comes there way. Money should not change husbands and wives. It is all about the couple controlling the money in stead of being controlled and changed by money.

You do not have to be like everyone else arguing about money. Set a different tone for your household and discuss money issues and SOLVE them. Complaining about them is not the answer. You have to do something different if you want a different result.

postheadericon Parents: Protect Your Wedding Investment Before You Throw Your Money Down the Drain

Your daughter is engaged and the wedding plans are in full force. For some of you the wedding is happening relatively soon and you continue to charge this and pay cash for that so your daughter can have the wedding of her dreams. Regardless of what the economy is doing, wedding are happening throughout the United States and worldwide.

 You want this to be a day she remembers for the rest of her life. Are you prepared to protect your wedding investment or throw your money down the drain? Think about this, we have all heard money is one of the top reasons for divorce. Do you realize that the BIGGEST marital expense of them all is divorce?

 Now that I have your attention parents, do something that is not the norm when it comes to paying for weddings. I’m talking about protecting your wedding investment and include life skills for your daughter’s marriage. When young women are getting married, their main focus is on their wedding day because they have dreamed about it for years, yet they do not think about what happens after the honeymoon.

 I have talked with different parents over the last few months in various settings and they ask me what do I do? When I share with them that I am a money and marriage advocate, I teach couples how to communicate about money throughout the lifetime of their marriage. Their immediate response is, “I wish you had talked to my daughter before she got married.”

 Have you felt like this as you have watched your daughter plan the wedding and spend your money? So how do you protect your wedding investment? Give your daughter financial skills that she can utilize throughout the life of her marriage. It does not have to be intrusive nor judgmental but in essence a tool that says this is an area where most couples struggle and have limited financial knowledge. Therefore, as your parent that wants to see your marriage succeed, I am giving you this gift of financial education that will keep on giving.  Once you learn how to talk WITH your soon-to-be groom about money throughout your marriage and financial challenges you may face, you can handle anything.  

 Of course you could say, she is an adult and knows how to manage money. Are you thinking that or do you know 100% that she is a good money manager? If there is any doubt, get her Money Talk Before The Commitment Walk and The Debt Stops At The Altar today which was created by Dr. Taffy Wagner, of Money Talk Matters, LLC. This financial education program can be purchased through  this site, www.MoneyTalkMatters.com .

postheadericon Tightwads and Spendthrifts result in Fighting

I tell you I am not a big proponent of titles because it tends to cause people’s behavior to change based on the title. When I saw this title this morning as I was doing some research, I could not resist writing. Title of this story is Tightwads, Spendthrifts – Attract, Marry and Fight.

The gentleman and his colleagues that took the survey said whether a tightwad or spendthrift, participants indicated they were unhappy about their emotional reactions toward spending money. I have always said you cannot get your emotions met by spending. It actually causes more problems and more debt.

Husbands and wives need to put their emotions aside when making financial decisions. Decisions based on happiness, sadness, madness or frustration can lead to more wrong decisions and cause division in the relationship. I encourage them all to thing big picture and not just the few minutes that they are in heat of the moment.

Engaged couples should talk about their views on finances prior to getting married as well as observing financial patterns. Those that are already married should re-evaluate financial habits that have been exhibited throughout their marriage and make adjustments where necessary.

Does not matter whether you are a tightwad or spendthrift, establish healthy financial boundaries for your marriage, communicate openly about finances and establish mutual financial goals for your marriage. This way everyone is aware of financial obligations.

Oh and before I leave this post, there is no golden rule that tightwads and spendthrifts have to fight in marriage.

postheadericon The Price of Infidelity on Money Talk Matters Radio Show

At the beginning of this week, I talked about “The Price of Infidelity” on Money Talk Matters on GLORI radio because I felt it should be addressed. I frankly got tired of reading about this or that politician who was caught being unfaithful to their spouses.

The “Price of Infidelity” does not just affect the man and woman involved, it affects the spouse(s), children – regardless of age, extended family members, residence, employment, community and more.

The “Price of Infidelity” is not a price people can actually afford. From all the different stories I have read, in my opinion it seems people are being very short-sighted when it comes to “choosing to be unfaithful”. The ramifications of infidelity are huge, can be long-term and sometimes disastrous.

I encouraged engaged couples and those soon to be married, if you are talking about money and I strongly encourage you to do so and if you find out something that you just cannot handle to walk away now. As a groom or bride-to-be, it is important that you remain true to yourself especially in knowing what you can and cannot handle.

It is better to walk down the aisle knowing you have discussed the financial background on both sides instead of being surprised by bills when you return from the honeymoon.

postheadericon 5 Costly Money Mistakes Newlyweds Make

I love it when I find stories like this that reaffirm what I have been saying. Naturally when I found this one, I had to share this. This article talks about the 5 Costly Money Mistakes Newlyweds Make

One of the five mistakes is a lack of communication. That does not surprise me because we both know that money is still a “Taboo” subject when getting married. Even in 2009 with everything that is going on with the economy, sometimes money is not being discussed in the manner it should be.

I must admit when I read about this couple who are newly married but lived together for seven years, purchased a home after they got married stated that they realized financial decisions can be some of the toughest.

Makes me wonder what were they doing when they lived together! Were they keeping things separate and not even talking about joint finances for seven years or what do we do if this… since we are under one roof. Now, I am not advocating living together prior to marriage -what I am pulling from this article is it appears couples have not thought about married life.

A second one is a failure to plan. To me this goes without saying because when you are unprepared, financial challenges can tear down a relationship really fast, cause husbands and wives to point the finger at each other and lead to all sorts of stress in the marriage. This can happen whether you are a newlywed or married for a longer period of time.

A third one is handing over control. When it comes to managing finances for the marriage, I am a huge believer in including the person that is not the money manager. They need to be aware of all the details – how the bills are paid, when, the account numbers, the automatic deductions and more. Do not set your spouse up for financial disarray by not including them in the financial picture.

What do you think are the costly money mistakes?

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