money & marriage

when opposites attract


Since tomorrow is Valentine’s Day I want to talk about my Husband; about how great he is and how much he has helped me grow.

My husband and I are opposites in a lot of ways. He is the life of a party, people are naturally drawn to him because he makes them feel at ease and comfortable, lots of people want to be his friend, he is really compassionate and generous, he can be boisterous and gregarious, he solves problems in his head without reassurance from others, he is naturally fun-loving and free-spirited. I am pretty much exactly the opposite of everything I just wrote about him. I am never at ease in a crowd, I mostly repel people with my awkwardness induced by undiagnosed but clearly genetic social anxiety disorder, I am anything but gregarious and I tend to be less forgiving and compassionate towards those in trouble. I have to talk about a problem with no less than 3 people before I can come to a solution. I’ve never heard anyone call me fun-loving or free-spirited in my entire life. But I’m not all bad; I am organized and detail oriented. When we closed on our second home the loan officer said to our realtor, “Isn’t she amazing, she is so organized and on top of things”. I get compliments from loan officers, my husband gets compliments at parties and social functions – we each have our strengths. Luckily my strengths are usually his weaknesses and vice-verse which leaves us pretty capable of dealing with most situations.

Financially we initially viewed the purpose of money very differently, and we still do for the most part but we have found a common goal that serves both of our views. I have always thought the purpose of money is security and safety. Money protects me from bad things like homelessness and starvation, it provides medicine and comforts like heat and hot water. My husband’s thoughts tend more towards money as a vehicle to enjoy life in all its glory. See – polar opposite views.

When you are single and making all your decisions alone it is so easy to become fully absorbed with your way of seeing the world. It took me a while to appreciate the fact that marriage made me look at the world in different ways and embrace some things that made me uncomfortable. I can  be stubborn and absolutely sure that I am 100% right.  If I were still single I would be socking away every penny for a rainy day and still be incapable of compromise, but instead I joined my life with a wonderful person and he is slowly teaching me that there is more to money than security. Sometimes money should be used to enjoy life and enjoy the things that really matter like spending time together. Especially if the security part is basically handled – hello emergency fund!

The goal of paying off our mortgage serves my security based mind-set because having a paid for house provides a lot of security for me; paying off our mortgage serves his way of thinking because we will have more freedom, flexibility and free time after we accomplish it! We started on opposite ends of the spectrum but we both found a reason to move towards our common goal; a goal that really mattered to both of us and has brought us closer than ever. As corny as it is, he is the balance to my amortization schedule building, detail obsessed, socially awkward self. He brings me out into the world and points out the beauty and I am so incredibly thankful that I got him!

What is the purpose of money in your mind? Do you an your partner usually agree on the topic of money?

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