Dear Barb – Find a Compromise Before Heading to the Altar

Dear Barb:

I’m engaged to be married this year. I have been dating my fiancé for five years. We have always got along well, until recently. As we began planning our married life together I noticed that John was very definite in the way he wants our life to be. For example, we both work but he feels the man should manage the money. I don’t agree. I feel we should have our own bank accounts and work out who will pay which bill, etc. I have told John how I feel but he’s not willing to compromise. I’m a very independent person and I really don’t want to do this, but I don’t want to jeopardize our life together. How can I get him to understand how important this is to me?

Ellen

Dear Ellen, thanks for bringing up this very important topic.

Managing the finances in marriage is vital to making the partnership work. You need to discuss and resolve this issue before you marry. Is there any reason why your fiancé feels he would be a better money manager than you? It seems that he simply believes that the man should manage money. Perhaps his father always managed the money at home and he feels That’s the way it should be. How have you managed your money up to this point? Have you been irresponsible, thus causing him to be concerned?

I firmly believe if two people are working and contributing to the household, then they should have an equal say in how the finances are to be managed. Neither person should have to ask the other for money. As well, each should have a bank account with money he or she can spend without having to explain those choices to the other person.

You said you have discussed how you feel but your fiancé isn’t willing to compromise. Therefore I would suggest that you talk to a marriage counsellor or a credit counsellor. Perhaps John needs some reassurance that you can manage the finances effectively as a couple. For example, you should decide together how much each of you will contribute toward household expenses, savings, future purchases, and retirement. A credit counsellor can help you set up a budget. As well, a 50/50 split many not be adequate if one party makes considerably more than the other.

If this information is presented properly, by knowledgeable individuals, your fiancé should be open to compromise. After all, I’m sure he doesn’t want to start off his married life with problems present. I hope this information was helpful, and good luck with your wedding plans.

Email your questions to voice@voicemagazine.org. Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.

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