by Charlotte Wood
(last updated February 21, 2009)
Money can always be an uncomfortable topic of discussion and one that should be approached with tact and skill. You don't have to or need to discuss your finances with everyone, but you should most definitely discuss your finances with your significant other. This doesn't have to be awkward or anything bad; you just need to know how to go about it.
I think the biggest thing to remember when discussing these matters of sometimes a delicate nature is to just be frank. Don't beat around the bush, use euphemisms, or avoid a topic because it won't get you anywhere except to a state of intense frustration. Especially with your partner, you need to be upfront about everything regarding the situation and you need to lay out everything as it is. Don't allow room for misinterpretation because that's where significant problems could brew and those problems could very well extend past the financial realm.
Regardless of who handles the bills and the like, both people in the partnership should be aware of what's going on with the account and other financial obligations. If one doesn't really know what's going on, there is a serious problem. Being honest is the one huge key to discussing finances with your partner.
Be understanding about your partner and their personality and needs; money can be a frustrating part of life and people deal with it differently. Both in the relationship need to be patient and empathic toward the other. You can be completely honest about a situation and still have tact. You don't want to hurt feelings or offend, but if you can both approach this conversation with an open mind and a realistic outlook, there shouldn't be any major problems.
Discussing finances with your partner need not be a dreaded conversation or one that is fruitless. For any relationship of this nature, you both need to be in touch with what's going on for the relationship to be truly successful. If you can remember to simply be upfront and honest yet tactful, then you can have success in the money conversation and make it so you're both in control of your money and assets.
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