Lim Kopi Fridays Videos

Ep. 10 - Breaking the Taboo: Talking Money with Your Partner


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Have you and your partner ever found yourself avoiding the elephant in the room which is talking about money? If yes, you are not alone. What if I told you that breaking the silence on financial matters discussion with your partner might just be the key to unlocking a deeper connection with each other? Now let’s dive right in.

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Hello, everyone, My name is Adrian. And welcome to another episode of Lim Kopi Fridays with Adrian. Have you ever found yourself when you are trying to discuss financial matters with your partner, tension starts to build up? It seems as there is a dead air around you and some awkward silences, and eventually you just decided to not talk about it and just avoid that whole situation altogether, because you do not want to discuss the

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money matters with your partner and you start to build up walls between you and him or her, and as a result, and that could actually affect your personal relationship with each other as well. When we come to think about it, talking about financial stuff is not just about numbers. Of course, numbers is the first layer when we are talking about it. But at the end of all financial numbers is about dreams, is about our fears, it’s about goals.

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And it’s really about finding common grounds between the two of you. And when you come to a common ground, then you can start to make joint decisions better, and that can actually help to elevate your personal relationship with each other as well. Understanding the importance of open dialogue, because it’s not just about open dialogue with each other about the finances, but it also shows that you respect each other’s opinions and it can help to foster growth and stability in your personal relationship as well.

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So you got to understand why some of us want to avoid this topic altogether. There could be a few reasons. the very first reason that I can think of, would be the fear of judgment. And this fear usually stems from the lack of confidence or their past experience, like negative experience in the past that have actually resulted them in thinking that whatever decisions that they make may not lead to a good outcome. And as a result they don’t really want to discuss that with other people for fear of being judged by them.

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Overtime this could eventually also lead to emotional baggage because of the fact that they don’t want to be judged by others because of the lack of good experience in the past or they could have been judged by others before and then as a result, the emotional baggage on them when they are trying to talk to people about financial matters keep weighing down on them and they may feel suffocated in that sense. And when there’s no one that they can relate to, sometimes these things will start to build up and they may even make worse financial decisions. And the other matter would be that there may be a perceived or there could be actual power imbalance between both parties.

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There will probably be more dominant and there’s one that is less financially dominant. The less financially dominant person would unlikely to be open up to conversations with the other party because he or she may have been neglected in the past; their opinions may have been ignored, or they may even have been criticised for making a some sort of financial decisions. So these could actually build up and prevent people from talking about money altogether.

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Last but not the least, people believe that they should avoid conflict within couples. And as a result of that, they stop talking about financial stuff because some people are relatively more sensitive about money, being personal money or how they handle money, and they do not want others to really look into how they spend their money. That could be something that can cause conflict and people want to be more harmonious with one another. And as a result, they decided not going to talk about money to prevent conflict. But if you really think about it, as we move into our lives, different stages of our lives, there will be bound to have time that we have to talk about money.

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And when the time comes and you’re not ready for it, and you suddenly have to talk about money, there might be more conflict later on. Now that we know why some of us avoid talking about money altogether with our partner, what some of the ways that we can improve the situation? Number one would be that we can establish mutual goals and judgment free zone and that’s very important because when we feel that we are in a safe environment, we tend to open up a little bit more.

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If you are on the other side, let’s say if you are someone who is more dominant financially and you tend to make most of the decisions, you might want to look into creating the safe zone for your partner to communicate and to converse his or her thoughts as well. Likewise, if let’s say you are the less dominant party, you may have to speak to your partner to create the safe zone together so that you are able to express your feelings, your thoughts more naturally and that will help to foster your relationship as well. So for example, planning for a retirement together, planning for travels, big purchases, buying a house.

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These are some of the things that you may have to come to a joint decision most of the time. And because of that, you may have to identify what is the thing that matters the most? Could your children’s education be something that’s important for you? For the both of you? We have to come to a common ground, because coming to a common ground set the stage for both parties to chip in equally in terms of their mindset, in terms of what they think is best for that situation. And sometimes having this conversation can be difficult for some people because you may think that you would want the other party to agree with you.

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But most people want people to agree with them. But in actual conversation, that doesn’t really work all the time because there have to be some sort of a little bit of a tension there and a little bit of a disagreement, which is common. And because of the disagreement then we can make a joint decision based on a common ground. One of the ways that we can improve this on our own is to understand the different perspective that can come into play. By understanding a different perspective then you can more easily come to a common ground when we are talking about finances with the other party. And this is very important because everyone have different history with money and because of different perspective that may form as a result of the history,

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We may not agree most of the time, so coming to a common ground would be crucial for improving your relationship with one another. Even better if you can encourage joint decision making and collaboration, because when the two of you are discussing money matters, it could be in this manner where the board you are in confrontational with one another, right? But if you are at the state of collaboration, joint decision making, the two of you are fighting the rest. That means not the rest of the people, but you are fighting the problem that is coming in front of you. And two people’s brains, two people’s efforts is always better than one.

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And in a personal relationship, it makes better sense for both of you to be fighting not against each other, but for each other. So to conclude, breaking the taboo about talking about money with each other might be one of the ways that you can do to really break down the barriers that you may have and to improve your personal relationship with your partner. I hope this helps and I’ll see you in the next episode.