How To Manage Finances As A Couple: How To Manage Money In Marriage

Are you debating the endless question of merging finances after getting married? After all you've decided to spend your life together for better and for worse. Should you merge or not?

The answer to the question of marriage and finances is not so simple. Because the best answer is: 'Do what works for you as an individual and a couple'. Some people find it best to keep their accounts separate and make agreements on cost sharing. Others pool everything into one pot and share everything equally. Sit down, talk about it (ideally before you get married) and figure out where each of you stands. It's important to reach an agreement though, if you have differing views of marriage finances.

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To help you figure out what's best for you, here are some pros and cons of merging finances. The rest is up to you to decide what will work for your individual circumstances.

Pros

- Simple to manage.

- Creates a sense of team work because it equalizes both parties - especially if one is bringing in significantly more than the other.

- Promotes a sense of unity and family.

- Builds trust - after all you wouldn't merge finances with someone you don't trust.

Cons

- Complications in case of divorce.

- Could create resentment if one is earning a lot more than other and is carrying more of the expenses in the budget.

- Loss of independence since you now have to account for every inflow and outflow from the joint account to the other person.

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Have you ever wondered what a man looks for when it comes to intimacy? Contrary to popular belief, intimacy to a man is much more than sex.

One way to view the word intimacy is to look at it as "into-me-see". This is where someone gets so close to you that you can see inside of them. You get to see the real person and not the one that is displayed to the world.

It is very hard for men to develop intimate relationships. Women tend to be much more relational and can enter into intimate relationships as long as there are emotional connections. But men have learned how to disconnect their feelings from what they want. A man may walk away from a good woman if he feels like she is not being intimate with him.

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Let me share some keys to intimacy when it comes to a man;

1) Men want to connect on a physical level (not sexual) - yes, men want to meet with women and find something physical they can connect with. I remember when I was dating my wife that I was in love with basketball and watched many games on TV. She didn't understand the game but sat down and watched it with me. Then over time she would come and sit and ask questions. Over time she learned the game and watching basketball became one of our pastime pleasures. When the playoffs came she could sit in a room with me and my friends and hold her on in a sports conversation. My friends said their significant others refused to do that. I ended up in a 30 year relationship.

2) Men want to connect on a sexual level - sex is very important to a man. They are looking for a partner who understands his needs and is responsive to meeting them. The only thing worse than no sex is bad sex (sexual relations with a woman who is non responsive and non participatory). When a man feels like a woman is giving her whole self to him he finds it to be a most intimate experience.

3) Men cannot connect to every woman intimately - there must be connection for a man to find intimacy with a woman. Just because she is a female doesn't mean he can connect with her. He must find someone who he can come close to and be comfortable while doing it.

Men are strange beings indeed.

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Have you noticed how freeing it is to look at things from a new perspective? That is especially true when we have strong feelings about something. These strong feelings zap a lot of precious energy.

It reminds me of the time a woman told me that every morning for the last 20 plus years she was annoyed with her husband. He moved a little stool when he put on his shoes on from where she thought it looked best. Every day she put it back "where it belonged". The anger at her husband's unwillingness to do what she requested lasted a good part of the morning. I complimented her on her persistence and asked what she would do instead if she did not have this to be upset about. She was taken a back. Then she began to laugh at the realization that by being angry at him she did not have to think about how to invest her energy in herself.

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We have all at some time or other found ourselves in situations where we get stuck in our thinking. We are so sure we are right and if only the other person cooperated we would be fine. Reality is we would find something else that was the problem.

The woman in the above example had used "the stool" as the lightning rod for her struggle within herself. By placing her energy on what her husband was not doing she was able to avoid looking at what she needed to do for herself. She had to accept the fact that she had no control over him and instead needed to put her energy into things that were in her control. As she let go of her 20+ year annoyance she felt freer and began focusing on her own needs. A few months later she told me with amusement that many a morning he was placing the stool where she had always wanted it to be and surprisingly she no longer cared where it was. In the meantime the steps she had taken to focus on her needs were also helping her be more tolerant and supportive of her husband.

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Laura and Frank were beyond excited to be going away together. They'd spent years dreaming of this trip and months planning it. They'd pored over maps and reviews of destinations and resorts and finally put together their dream trip. They couldn't wait to be on their way.

Laura started packing a full week before their departure date and kept poking at Frank to do the same. Frank assured her that he had a complete list in his head and would be fine.

Meanwhile Frank started planning their route to the airport. He highlighted road maps and studied traffic reports. No way was he going to be late getting there.

Finally it was the morning of their departure. They were both so excited that when the alarm went off they fairly catapulted out of bed. As soon as she'd brushed her teeth, Laura started quizzing Frank on his packing. His easygoing responses soon gave way to a cranky, "Stop it already, Laura. I've got what I need."

Frank on the other hand started pushing Laura to get ready faster. "We need to be on the road by 7, Laura. Hurry up. Can't you move any faster?!"

Laura couldn't seem to stop herself from asking him one more time whether he'd packed enough socks. After he growled that he had plenty, he then snapped at her for sipping her coffee too slowly.

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After Frank had finished packing their luggage into the trunk, Laura went back into the house "just one more time" to get extra tissues for her carry-on, "just in case".

As she got into the car and before she could buckle her seat belt, Frank tore out of the driveway.

The drive to the airport was uneventful, which didn't keep Frank from yelling at every red light. "Come on! Come on! We'll be late!" After every light he'd speed up to make up for lost time, causing Laura to have a serious case of white knuckles.

Laura for her part kept thinking of things she was worried he hadn't packed and kept asking him about them.

By the time they got to the gate they were barely speaking to each other. Laura was stressed and resentful about his relentless rushing of her and about his intense driving. Frank was irritated beyond measure by her persistent anxious nagging at him about whether they had every little thing that any traveler might ever need.

The young man sitting across from them at the gate, who'd been sitting there alone for an hour already and was eager for some conversation, asked them where they were headed and whether it was for business or pleasure.

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Frank, whose jaw was still clenched, allowed Laura to answer.

"Definitely pleasure; this is our dream trip. We've been planning it for months. We've been dreaming of it even longer." At that point she looked over at Frank and burst into tears. This was not at all the way she'd dreamed it.

The friendly guy took this as his signal to go get himself a cup of coffee.

Frank handed Laura a tissue.

"Why'd you have to be such a nag about my packing, Babe?'

Laura sniffled and said, "I wanted to make sure you'd have everything you'd need so you'd have a good time. Why'd you have to be so pushy about getting here so fast?"

Frank said, "I wanted to be sure that we got here in time so that nothing would interfere with our having a good time."

Laura and Frank looked at each other and burst out laughing.

Frank caught his breath first and said, "So, here we are, barely speaking to each other because we wanted to make sure we had a good time?"

That set them both off again into paroxysms of laughter.

Laura said, when she could stop laughing, "Okay, let's see if we can do the rest of our trip less insanely. Let's remember that the point is to enjoy ourselves and each other. Anything that gets in the way of that is counter to our objective, no matter how 'important' it might seem at that moment. Agreed?"

Frank hugged her and said, "Agreed."

They were back on track to have their dream trip.

Now Listen Carefully-

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