a life in perfect balance

rebecca chapman  - relationship whisperer

First I Tell You I Cheat – Then I Tell You This!

I recently moved from a big city to a really small country town in Queensland Australia and my house is about 5 minutes from a beach. Chances are, when I've written this  that that's where I am. Feet in the sand, staring at the ocean and working out whether or not I want to go in. Strange thing here is that the water is really warm - like a bath. To be honest - it can feel a bit creepy on your skin. So - I don't always go in.
I'll have food on my clothes for absolute sure and my care factor about that is a big ZERO.



marriage money problems
I must be feeling really comfy around you – because I’m going to follow up yesterday’s email on my habit of cheating with another really anti-social habit I have.

I don’t share well with others.

My sister got so pissed about it when we were kids ( about 6 and 3 so it’s obviously been a “thing” for a while).  Anyway, she was so pissed that she took my doll and threw it away in the ocean.  I guess she thought that if she couldn’t share my doll that she’d show me once and for all.  And she did – she only fessed up recently.  We had a good giggle.

Even sharing a house has always been a bit of an issue for this introverted puppy.  I don’t share clothes.  I mean, please – if you’re cold you will get a jumper.  I’m not a heartless bi$$h. 🙂

I really, really don’t like sharing my food – but strangely – don’t have any issue with others sharing their food with me.  

In fact, last week while we were out at the Local, my man went to the bathroom and I might have grabbed a few hot chips.

When I first moved in with my man we had a bit of a struggle about “my things”/”your things” and “my space”/”your space”.  He is a very touchy-feely kind of guy and that was something I had to learn in life.  Perhaps – more on that later.

Anywho – one huge thing in a lot of my relationships that progressed to the “we’re living together’ stage was…tada…money.  

Sharing actual cash.

Sharing bank account details.

Sharing income information.

Sharing info about expenses.

Online banking passwords.

Credit cards – should they be joint.

Sharing accurate information about personal debt BEFORE moving in.

If there’s college debt (HECS here in Aus) – should it be paid by both or just you?

Child support from previous relationships – both or one?

Should there be some “play money” you don’t have to account for?  How much?

Money management – both or just one of you?

Will you be expected to just hand over your paycheck?

Should purchases be okayed by both people?

Will you split bills?

Is one of you frugal and the other less so?

Or – another way to put it from a different perspective  – one of you is “cheap” and the other one likes a splurge on the finer things.

My solution – in my marriages – was different each time.  And different again in my 12-year relationship now. 

It also evolves. 

You need to constantly check in on this one or the sneaky sucker gets away from you.  Pay rises.  Debt.  Kids.  Age.  Health.  It just keeps changing and you can have quick conversations to recalibrate.

My solution of choice –  right through to my late 30s- would probably have been to just not share ANYTHING.

Mostly because in my family talking about money was a big no-no. And – we’ve already established that I am not a sharer.

Not a very practical solution – but in the first marriage – I was only 21 and had just gotten my first job.  I was pretty pissed that I was pregnant and had to support my partner through University and had nothing left for me. 

Major – MAJOR – resentment. 

I pretty much kept him in the dark.  And as soon as I could go back to work – I did.  At this point, we just halved the bills.  No questions.  No answers.  Lucky for me – we had similar spending habits.  Even down to using our last penny to buy a kick-ass stereo system when we barely scraped through each month.  Like I said – not ideal.

Did I mention that the stereo was kickass?

I should also mention that my solution came horribly apart when one of our kids was in hospital for over a year.  It wasn’t pretty financially.

Money issues are responsible for 22% of all divorces, making it the third leading cause, according to the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysis.

Sticking your head in the sand is never a solution.  Trust me. 

Did you know that hiding money or debt from each other is actually now called Financial Infidelity?  It has a name!  Wah Wah Wee Wah. 

What I see all the time is this equation:

Money = Ego.

Earning = Ego.

Not in a bad way but it seems to be hardwired into a whole heap of us.

And because of this money can be used to control.

Especially in these situations:

  • One partner has a paid job and the other doesn’t.
  • Both partners would like to be working but one is unemployed.
  • One spouse earns considerably more than the other.
  • One partner comes from a family that has money and the other doesn’t.
We also all come to the party with preconceived ideas about what is good money management and what our financial goals are.

The bad news – you’re gonna have to share accurate facts and information.  

Because of the whole ego thing – this can lead to all sorts of emotions like fear, resentment, feeling like you aren’t trusted, feeling like you are dumb or stupid about money, feeling like things are unfair, feeling like you’re being told what to do, feeling like you’re not pulling your weight, or pulling most of the weight….you hearin’ me?

Then – BOOM – you have yourself a cauldron of the vilest witch’s potion imaginable – and two people trying to swim their way out of its muddy depths.

The good bit – it’s never too late.  Talking about money is a skill.

And sometimes the main thing that gets in the way is tone and language.  You might just need a little tweak of the language you are using to completely diffuse the tension.

Having someone helping you to find a different way to express your needs, wants and expectations = a completely new way to communicate about money = less stress  (Loving an equation today).

Tone and language – that’s my vibe.  And something I willingly share (I know shock horror) with the people I work with.

So – having said that:

f you’ve been struggling with your marriage.

If money is a big thing.

If money conversations always go downhill fast because it’s easier to fight than sort things out…

If you’ve tried many things to help your relationships that simply haven’t worked…I can help.

But most importantly, if you’ve been feeling the pull to have me by your side as your mentor, and you’re ready for deep support as you find your answer to “should I stay or should I go”…click below to book your first session.

We’ll use an intuitive and solution-based method to get you sorted.

I can’t wait to be your wingman.

Chat tomorrow

Rebecca Chapman - A Life in Perfect Balance
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