I Support My Husband Financially: My Husband Makes No Money For The Family

My husband swore he was right. I just as adamantly swore he was wrong. "No, the fence needs to go right here!" I yelled as I stomped my foot firmly on the ground for added effect.

"I can't stand it when you don't to listen to my position! It's like you've already made up your mind and you refuse to hear any other perspective!" He shouted back.

I hated to admit it (and I certainly wasn't going to in the heat of the moment) but I knew he had a point.

"Here we go again," I thought to myself. We were trapped once again in our same, familiar pattern of arguing.

My husband and I have always been great at expressing ourselves and holding a space for uncomfortable feelings and emotions. And because of this we don't stay angry at each other for long and we don't carry deep-seated resentments. But our arguments leaned towards the explosive side of things, almost as if we were using each other to vent and purge our uncomfortable feelings, rather than working towards understanding and compromise.

My desire is to support you in having courageous, stress-free, connecting and productive money conversations with your partner. It is commonly known that finances are the number one source of conflict for couples. However, did you know that the cornerstone of financial success for couples lies in improving your communication with your partner?

The quality of your money relationship with your spouse is directly related to your communication skills. The first step to creating a wealthy relationship is to listen to your partner.

Listening is more important than talking.

Okay, repeat after me, "Listening is more important than talking." Did you get it? I mean did you really get it? It's counter intuitive to how we're wired. Most of us have a desire to talk first, listen last.

For now I want to invite you to absorb this simple, yet profound concept. Holding the intention to listening, instead of talking is guaranteed to improve your relationship with money in your marriage.

In the heat of the moment when you're upset it can feel virtually impossible to be receptive to listening, and you'll probably find yourself saying things that you'll only regret later. When you notice yourself doing this it's best to just stop and request a time out so that both of you can re-group and talk later.

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Please keep in mind that these are the listening basics. My intention is to keep this process simple so that you will actually use it when listening to others. Remember that in order to transform your financial relationship with your spouse you have to move from KNOWING this information at an intellectual level to actually practicing it.

* Don't interrupt. This is still a challenge concept for me to keep top of mind! I'm a really great listener when it comes to listening to my clients, but unfortunately not as great when it comes to listening to my husband. However, because of my commitment this is something I am working to constantly improve. Notice all the times you feel an impulse to interrupt when someone is talking - and choose not to. Wait to comment until they have fully completed their thought before commenting.

* Really listen. Focus on listening to what the other person is really saying. Be present with the actual words they are sharing instead of being preoccupied with what YOU want to say next. Don't be in a hurry to share your wisdom, instead focus your attention on being eager to hear what THEY have to say.

* Seek to understand the other person's feelings. As you're listening try to get a sense of what is going on for the other person at a deeper level. Seek to understand the essence of what they want to convey and what they're feeling. Remember you don't have to agree with what they're saying you're simply seeking to understand them.

These steps are fairly basic and straightforward. Practice your listening skills with fairly benign topics at first, so that you're able to listen when discussing more stressful and volatile issues (like money).

You can choose to make a game out of listening to others. Make it fun! Decide that you will really listen to every person that you interact with over the next week (including friends and family members). And notice how it changes and alters your connections. After one week has passed, commit to listening in this way for another week, and then another.

You'll find that when you set the intention to be fully present during each interaction - especially the benign ones, that you'll feel better equipped to hold the space and maintain your listening awareness during money conversations with your spouse.

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Jack and Jillian live with financial infidelity but keep their heads buried in the sand. Jack is an attorney for a hedge fund. Last year he earned more than $600,000. He gives his wife, Jillian, an allowance at the start of each year. He tells her if she spends more than her allowance she is in trouble, because he will not give her any more than that. So far Jillian has not needed more. She complains to her friends that Jack treats her like a puppet! She married him in spite of her parents' objections.

Jillian graduated from a well respected college and had a good job. She gave it up to please Jack. He wanted her to stay home and raise their two year old daughter as a full time mother. She is now pregnant with their second child. Since she doesn't work Jillian is totally dependent on Jack for money. His bank account is in his name only. Their apartment is in his name too. If something happened to him there is no way for Jillian to have access to his funds. There is no financial plan for her to follow.

Jack does not respect what Jillian does as a housewife. He calls it "useless." He insists, however, that she prepare him dinner when he gets home which can be as late as 9 p.m. some nights. He will not go to social events with her and dismisses them as "lame." Jack is a control freak. He needs absolute control of everything. His father and mother both made good money in the fashion business. His father abused his wife both physically and emotionally. He was a heroin addict who died of alcoholism at age 64. He emotionally abused Jack too. He probably abused him physically as well. Jillian is familiar with alcoholism too. Her brother is an alcoholic who has been hospitalized and attempted rehab ten times without success. He can't hold a job. Her sister is married and has three teenagers in a reasonably good marriage. Jillian discovered that Jack was having an affair and got him to agree to include her name on his bank account, but so far he has not carried through on their agreement. Jillian sees a psychiatrist who prescribes medication for her depression. She has discussed divorce with him, but she is afraid to end her marriage for fear Jack will "screw her over." They both threaten each other with divorce. Jack offers to buy Jillian a house near her family, but no one carries through on any plans. They verbally abuse each other and their friends find them painful to be with.

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Jack is guilty of financial infidelity as well as sexual infidelity. He does not share information about his income or their finances. He was secretive about his affair and its costs. Affairs are a common cause of cheating with money. Many couples claim that financial infidelity is even more difficult to recover from than sexual infidelity. You not only have the challenging problem of rebuilding trust, but your future is often compromised because you do not have the money you thought you had. It has been spent.

Cheating with money is a major problem in our society. Financial infidelity is known to occur in at least one in every three marriages. In addition to affairs, addictions are one of the main reasons that spouses hide their spending. Jack and Jillian are in need of help. Many couples know they need to talk about money but they just don't know how. They need a way to discuss their financial problems without criticizing or blaming each other, but instead appreciating the positive contribution their partner brings to their financial relationship. If they learn to reward each other for talking about money, they will be more inclined to continue financial conversations. One person using these steps can help benefit their financial relationship independent of what their spouse does or does not do.

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I often talk with couples who are about to marry or have been married less than a year. They come to me eager to avoid becoming yet another divorce statistic. One set or both sets of their parents may have divorced and remember William's famous parents were divorced too. This is a message to William and Kate and to all you lovers out there.

After the party, the wedding, the showers, and the honeymoon, real life sets in. Now these famous beloveds have known each other for years as is often the case today. They may be thinking, "We have sorted everything out." Somehow that seldom is true. Upon committing to the legal state of marriage, we all tend to resort to the roles that we saw growing up in our households, regal or not. So best intentions and insight can fly out the window and be replaced by habits and reactions absorbed from our youth.

We ask ourselves, "Why am I finding his behavior so irritating?" Or "What is going on here?" Habits that seemed so minor can now take on gargantuan proportions in our mind. He doesn't tell me how beautiful I am. She doesn't notice that I work out. If he leaves a glass on the counter one more time... She takes all the closet space. I think that we should buy... and he thinks we should spend our money on.... Every young couple will have disagreements because no two people are exactly alike. Conflict resolution is a tool that always will be needed.

So here a couple of quick ideas. If you have a difference of opinion, make sure both of you are in a place to calmly discuss options. If not, make a plan to discuss in an hour or so when both of you have quieted yourself and are capable of considering all the options. Second when you have a problem to solve, each of you can think up three solutions for resolution separately. When you come together and compare notes, you will find that one solution on your lists will be similar if not the same. I leave you and William and Kate with the fact that a difference of opinion is a normal part of a relationship. If you don't make it somehow wrong and use effective tools to resolve those issues, your relationship will become deeper and more rewarding than you ever thought possible. Here is to your wonderful life ahead.

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Keeping your marriage fresh can sometimes be challenging, but it is a definite must to maintain a healthy relationship. So, here are some tips that can be customized to fit your budget. And remember, to get the maximum benefit, be mindful to select options that you will both enjoy and keep the conversation light.

1. COUPLES PICNIC: Choose a ranch style park that offers horseback riding, long walking paths, and maybe a small lake to reflect and unwind. Take with you a basket of lunch favorites, something on which to play relaxing music, and 2-person board games or activities to allow you to re-bond. Take time to just hold each other to remind the other of the love you have to give and the love you need in return. Afterwards, can stroll the paths or cruise over to the stables for a nice horseback ride through the park.

2. SCENIC HIKE: Take a drive to a wilderness or canyon park and go for a nice hike. Its breathe-taking beauty along the trails will certainly create shared intimacy and memories that will last forever. A great time to visit is in the late afternoon when the sun is setting. Be sure to call ahead and inquire if the park has any type of waterfalls or any special mountain views that leave you in awe.

3. HOT AIR BALLOONING: This cozy take off will sure spark a little heat as you go "Up, Up, and Away" from all cares of life that make it difficult to maintain the spark in your relationship. This adventure is perfect for the couple who has no fear of heights and wouldn't mind floating in the peaceful quiet of the sky while viewing the incredible scenery below while thinking on the great things that connect you together. It allows for the two of you to focus on how precious and valuable your marriage truly is. You take off together and you land together. There is no other option.

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4. AMUSEMENT PARKS: Maybe a thrilling adventure is what you need, so a trip to a theme park such as Disneyland (where dreams do come true), a carnival, or a local fair would be a good choice. Its rides, variety of unique foods, award areas, and a sea of wild flavored candy can reignite the kid in you as you run around holding hands. Being young at heart you will begin to feel all warm and misty inside just like you did you in the very beginning. Love will hold on to the memories that help create it, so it won't be hard to find your way back.

5. GONDOLA RIDES: Take your spouse to a local Italy for a little touch of Italian love. Lot's of man made beaches and coves now offer Gondola rides for lovers. It's nice to go when the weather isn't too warm, which gives you reason to wrap up in a blanket while eating vendor-offered deli delectables, enjoying beverages, and being serenaded by the Gondolier.

6. SCENIC DRIVE: Take a leisurely drive up or down the coast to a town that you both would really appreciate; a place like Santa Barbara or Oceanside where you can explore the area and leave your love scent that will help you find your way back.

7. JAZZ LOUNGE: Music has always captured the heart and soul of love. Take your spouse to a nice jazz lounge where you can wine, dine, and dance. This is a platform for getting a little closer in the form of body language. And if dancing is not your talent then watching others can be just as enjoyable. As long as you and you spouse are talking, laughing, and relishing in the moment, you are creating intimacy.

These are a few ideas to kick off a little Saturday romance and to help put the fun back in your marriage. Rotate the ideas from time to time and you'll never to have another dull Saturday again.

Saying or doing the wrong thing can actually cause your spouse to feel even more distant from you. You can make your spouse fall back in love with you, all over again.

You don't have to worry about whether your spouse is on the brink of asking you for a divorce. You can control the situation and use specific techniques to naturally make them fall hopelessly in love with you.

Author's Bio: 

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