Money Lies: Non-Participating Spouse

Most couples do not agree on how the finances should be handled.  One might be a saver and the other is a spender. One might hate to budget and refuses to use one and the other is a planner and wants to use a budget.  How do you work together when one spouse refuses to participate? This is one of the most common things I get asked!

The first thing I should point out is that it is definitely possible to keep your finances on track even if you have a less than willing spouse.  Your spouse WILL work with you on your finances.

If you have been believing otherwise, you are believing a money lie!  

The good news is, I do have some tips for getting your spouse on board and more willing to participate in money decisions.  The bad news is, there is one single thing that is going to work perfectly in every situation. Every couple and every person is different.  That does not mean you should not try some (or all) of my tricks out!

The first step is to find out why your spouse is not currently interested.  Ask some questions!

  • Why do they say they are not interested?
  • What are their “money wounds” – the things that have happened in their financial past? Understanding their past can be very helpful toward fixing the future. Did they grow up in utter poverty? Or maybe with excess wealth? Have they experienced bankruptcy? Maybe their parents had a very dysfunctional relationship regarding their finances.

Once you have figured out why your spouse is reluctant to navigate financial matters with you, take some steps to get them more involved.

  • Write down your plans, hopes, and dreams and share them with your spouse.
  • Ask your spouse to take some time to write down their plans, hopes, and dreams and share them with you.
  • Write down the cost of each one and ask the question of your spouse: “If we keep going the same financial direction, will we be able to fund these dreams?”.

It is probably also a good idea to mention a couple things you definitely should NOT do during this time.

  • Badger, yell, or scream at your spouse.
  • Issue “Do this … or else!” commandments.
  • Demean your spouse.
  • Make this a four-hour long discussion.

It can be frustrating trying to make finances work with a non-participating spouse.  However, do not be discouraged! It is POSSIBLE and you CAN do it!


Want more tips like this one?  Subscribe to the Monday Money Tip Podcast HERE.

Need more on working efficiently with your non-participating spouse?  Check out our eBook HERE with more practical ways to navigate this situation.

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