How Your Choices Play Out Like Dominoes
Often people make the mistake of being blind to the effects their actions have on others. But every decision you make has a “domino effect.”
70% of couples talk – or fight – about money at least once a week. Reality check: You and your spouse WON’T always be on the same page, but you’re still on the same team…especially when it comes to money!
Have you ever felt like you and your spouse just weren’t on the same page? Where YOU want to pay off debt, live within your means and start putting money into savings, THEY spend like crazy and simply don’t have the same financial vision you do. According to a study done by Smart Money magazine and Redbook, 70 percent of couples talk about money at least once a week. They fight mostly about debt, then spending habits and saving money for retirement.
It can be frustrating… and even hurtful! Recently, I got to speak with an amazingly-honorable man, Derek Hollinshead, who lived this exact situation. For the first seven years of his marriage, he and his wife weren’t on the same page, financially – maybe not even in the same book!
Derek looked for a way to get out from under hundreds of thousands in debt and spoke with his wife. And although she agreed with him, she would continue to go gamble away hundreds of dollars.
If you’ve experienced this, you know how Derek felt: “It was very frustrating, like pushing a giant rock uphill, only to have it fall back on you!”
Most people would probably be harsh, feel disrespected, resentful or lash out at their spouse. Surprisingly, that’s not how Derek reacted: “From time to time, we would have a talk about it and I would really try to communicate my frustration, but try to be merciful because she’s my partner, you know. If she falls down, I need to pick her up as best I can.” Truthfully, any type of negative reactions does NOT help the situation… something Derek realized!
It took awhile, but Derek’s wife finally did come around. What changed? “First, every time we talked about it something finally started clicking with her about how much it was hurting me and she realized I was trying to be patient with her.” The second part came when she attended First Steps To Success, where she found a direct plan to get out of debt and felt convicted to get on the same page as her husband!
Since then, Derek and his wife have paid off $165K of debt over the past 34 months! “It truly is amazing and just feels like we’re on the same page. We’re still on a journey to paying off the rest of our debt and I make mistakes here and there, too. But at least now we’re facing the battle together.”
When I asked Derek what advice he might give to someone in a similar situation, he told me: “I’ve actually had this kind of conversation before. The first thing to remember is, you and your spouse are a team, so lashing out at them is not going to help the team. Being patient through it all, until they get it, will be difficult and frustrating, but it’s important to stay the course.”
Reality check: You and your spouse won’t always be on the same page… but you’re still on the same team. Especially when it comes to money… the number one thing couples fight about. Having patience, even when your spouse dishonors you, is important! We all fail, we all mess up or need a hand.
If you’re on this journey to become debt-free, I just wanted to send this story of encouragement to show staying the course will pay off in the end! And having a foolproof plan to do it, can make it easier! If you’re paying off debt or have ever experienced financial frustrations with your spouse not being on the same page, I hope this touches and inspires you, like it does me. Let me know your thoughts below and be sure to share today’s word of encouragement.
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In great faith,
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