Feb 7, 2016
Henrik Ibsen said that "Home life ceases to be free and
beautiful as soon as it is founded on borrowing and
When I was in my first long-term relationship, I wanted to get married, and fortunately, so did she! However, I said we'll get married as soon as we're both out of debt. The next 6 years of being engaged and not being married really made it clear what my priorities were in love, money and life.
We never did get married, and soon we were split.
Fast forward a few years and I make the same commitment to another woman. This time, we did it, we got out of debt! In fact, the day we got married, we were debt free. AND... we were also flat broke.
We had nothing left. We lost our jobs, our apartment, our savings... all gone. And we ended up having to be a part of the welfare system while being sheltered by loving family.
BUT... we were out of debt!
I guess you have to be careful what you wish for, and be very specific what you mean!
We got married the day we were broke. A friend got us a hotel room, and we enjoyed two days of "honeymoon".
Henrik has a point.
During my first relationship, we were in debt. During my second relationship, we were completely out of debt, and broke.
In both relationships, there was financial trouble and it affected us.
So what's the secret? Can there be success in a relationship when there are money issues?
Any and all problems will be amplified because of other problems.
That's true with anything. When you have one problem, other problems tend to get amplified because one problem isn't resolved. And problems tend to compound.
You might wonder why your partner brings things up from the past. It's because those things are still somehow unresolved - and the problems of today compound those original problems.
What's the solution?
For me, it was to get single, regroup, and re-order my priorities in life so I didn't bring my dysfunctions into the next relationship.
I had money dysfunctions, so I needed to own those and change those without involving anyone else. In the past, we took it on together. But now I realize I need to fix myself before I can do anything about "us".
That's the trick. If you're in a relationship, and you have challenges, then prioritize what needs to be tackled first (the biggest problem) and resolve that. Once you get some relief from one problem, your mind can be a bit more clear for the next one.
Now, my challenges are mine, and hers are hers.
YES we help each other and YES we work together when possible, but at the end of the day, I know I have my own stuff to work on, and it expands who I am when I'm able to really dig into myself and address what's happening inside me.
We can come together and we can ask for help, but we also know that we, as individuals still have to do our own internal work.
This is an empowered place to be. It's not a reliance on someone else, it's an alliance with someone else to agree to be there as much as you can for the other person, but returning to yourself to continue learning, growing and evolving to be the best "you" you can be for the other person.
I still work on this daily.
I talk about this on today's episode, and I also share a letter from someone with $200,000 in debt. Hmm, someone who's had money challenges talking about someone who has money challenges... is this going to work? ;)
Let's find out!