Anyone who follows me on Facebook knows that Jeff 's money minded nature can't help but find its way into our married life. He is always harping on me about how much money I have spent. He jokes that I was raised with no concept of how money works. I am not sure that is true or fair ,but Jeff and I definitely have different approaches to handling money, and the budget. I am a "seize the day, you only live once, let's just do it and think about the consequences later". Jeff is of the " we have this much money, don't spend more." and the "you do only live once and but one day we want to retire, right?" This difference in how we handle money is a source of comedy in our marriage ,but it is also the underlying cause for strife. Jeff feels heard and loved when I attempt to manage our money and spend according to the guidelines we've decided on together. I think many people think he dictates to me what I can and can't spend. That is not the truth. We have gone through how much we spend on average on things like groceries, entertainment. etc. However, I tend to forget this when I have reached the end of the month and I want to spend money on say..going on with some girlfriends for a drink:)
Last night we had a good talk about the things I need to feel heard and loved. As I rambled off the list of things that Jeff doesn't do, I couldn't help but examine the things I do not do. When I spend without thinking of the ramifications it will have on our budget, it is saying to someone like Jeff that I don't care. Sometimes we get nit picky about the things we aren't feeling from one another. Why can't he call me to just say hi, why are all his calls about "What did you spend $22.30 at Target for?" He probably thinks, "Why did you spend money at Target when we just talked about not spending money last night?" I have made a renewed commitment to Jeff, and our marriage, to focus on things that are important to him. To show him I respect his wisdom and decision making in this area of our lives. He is far wiser and I wouldn't want that responsibility. I respect the fact that Jeff carries a significant amount of the burden when it comes to worrying about our financial stability. This is what the man does for a living. In fact, it is one of the characteristics that I love about my husband. I love that he is great at math and numbers. God knew what he was doing when he hooked this math and budget challenged girl up with an accountant.
Twelve years into our marriage, we are still figuring out how to navigate this area of our lives. I found an inventory that was given to each of us during our pre-marital counseling. It asked each of us where we were struggle with one another. Our answers are so interesting and somewhat humorous to me, because twelve years later, the are EXACTLY the same. At the end of the day, despite how frustrating marriage can be, it is far more of a blessing. I am lucky to have a man like Jeff as a partner. He is kind, he is generous, he is smart, he is wise. Ironically, Jeff just called and said this past month was one of the best for us as far as staying in budget..maybe there is hope for us, ahem..me, yet:)