Episode 64: Am I Getting a Good Deal in My Marriage? with Dr. Matt Morris

Money is a flash point in marriages. Throw in income disparity between spouses and you have even more opportunity for complex, emotionally charged conflict.

In this episode of the Stuff About Money podcast, Erik Garcia, CFP®, ChFC®, BFA™ and Xavier Angel, CFP®, ChFC®, CLTC, invite Dr. Matt Morris, couple’s counselor and perennial contributor to the show, to discuss potential pitfalls for couples if they are not engaging in regular, healthy conversations about money. You will walk away with an awareness of areas you can afford to grow in with a list of strategies and tactics to reduce money friction in your relationship.

Episode Highlights:

  • Dr Matt notes that couples are increasingly discussing financial matters, such as debt and income, during premarital counseling, as they often marry later and are more financially stable. (06:58)
  • Dr Matt explains that individuals who depend financially on their partners often experience complex emotions, including guilt and unease, due to concerns about their contributions being undervalued. (11:43)
  • Dr Matt emphasizes the need to discuss complex feelings related to uneven distribution of family responsibilities. (16:51)
  • Dr Matt mentions that financial security in relationships is important to prevent feelings of unfairness and power struggles. (21:50)
  • Dr Matt discusses how hiding expenses from partners, like splurging on concert tickets or shoes, can lead to a pattern of non-disclosure in financial matters. (33:09)
  • Dr Matt suggests couples maintain a living document listing financial priorities and regularly update it to reflect changing circumstances and values. (41:15)
  • Dr Matt discusses how financial discussions can address insecurities, leading to budget adjustments that ensure both partners feel valued. (46:23)
  • Dr Matt explains that in couples therapy, the perception of equitable distribution of household responsibilities is crucial, yet challenging, due to the invisible nature of much domestic work. (54:22)
  • Dr Matt emphasizes the need for ongoing discussions about the division of household labor as circumstances change, to prevent resentment and challenge traditional gender roles. (58:22)

Key Quotes:

  • “Having a conversation about an agreed upon amount of money that doesn’t have to be discussed, I think is helpful to address this power imbalance that both people might be feeling in the relationship.” – Dr. Matt Morris
  • “Every couple has to decide, here’s the amount of labor, here’s the task, and here’s where we’re going to sort it out in a way that feels equitable for us.” – Dr. Matt Morris
  • “Relational security is the goal. We feel good with each other. We feel like we’ve got a partner and your finances play a really important part in that. So, just keep asking yourself, are we managing our money in a way that causes us to feel like a team, to feel like we’re secure, to feel like we’re safe together.” – Dr. Matt Morris

Resources Mentioned:

About Erik Garcia

Hi there, I'm Erik. How you manage your money and other resources impacts practically every aspect of your life. I help individuals and families invest plan for a more secure and predictable financial future. Thanks for taking time on my site!

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