One of the biggest challenges my clients face is getting their spouse onboard to help fix household money problems. Sometimes that challenge includes getting their spouse to admit that they need help. Or getting them to cooperate. Or getting them to get their mindset on track and stop sabotaging behaviors. The problem goes from getting started to overcoming resistance.
Men and women operate very differently when it comes to money.
Men, on their most primal levels, want to be good providers. They want to protect their family and please their ladies. So, let’s say you’ve been watching my videos and you’ve decided that your money problems could use some assistance. You go to your spouse and say, “Hey, babe. I talked to this lady and she’s going to meet with us. It’s going to cost us money and here’s what we’re going to do.”
He’s not going to receive this information with the conscious part of his brain. Right now, you’re talking to his most primal, caveman self. You’re basically saying to him that he’s a bad provider. His subconscious is going to tell him that you think he doesn’t make enough money. He also thinks you’re saying, “We have a problem and you’re not addressing it, so we’re going to have to hire somebody to do that for us.” It’s a total insult to his man card.
He’s going to say that he can solve the problem himself, which is obviously not true because, if you’ve had money problems for an extended period of time, chances are you’re going to need help to solve them. If you want the results that come from having your money stuff together, somebody has to start the process. If you want to be the kind of mom that saves money for her kids college or goes on family vacations or isn’t in debt and doesn’t have to worry about money… if you want those results, somebody has to take action.
Momentum is contagious.
If your spouse isn’t ready to get onboard, it’s up to you to start that momentum. When you can get super clear on your goals and develop a plan, you can start making changes. When you’re executing on those things, getting your spending under control and talking to your family differently, you’re changing your household’s financial mindset.
All of that rubs off. It’s all contagious. When I had my first kid, I gained so much weight. My husband is a very fit, slender man all on his own with no effort. When I went on Weight Watchers, he lost 10 pounds. Why? Because I was doing things differently. I was cooking meals differently. I was packing his leftovers differently. I was changing for me, but he lost 10 pounds. The same thing happens with the money.
Families are systems.
Once you start making the changes that you can make, your kids are going to start seeing things differently and your husband’s going to start seeing things differently. That’s the benefit of making those changes. That momentum is contagious. Having your spouse onboard is great, but it’s not absolutely necessary. When you know what you’re doing, you have confidence around it, it makes sense, and it’s getting you towards where you want to go, you can execute on that plan. As long as your spouse isn’t actively sabotaging you, you’re going to start seeing results.
As those results start to happen, your spouse is going to notice. I don’t want you going around with a messy money situation while waiting for somebody else to decide what’s worth doing. You already know the answer. Sometimes, we have a stubborn man that needs to be dragged a little bit kicking and screaming. He can hop on board whenever he’s ready, but in the meantime, you get the momentum going.
This is Part Two of a two part series on Household Money Problems. You can read Part One Here.