Hope for your financial life and beyond

ATTN Men: A Woman Values Security. Get It For Her!

What’s the final hurdle for couples to overcome the money fights in their relationship? Find out now in this final installment of my series.

Part I: How Couples Can End the Money Fights (a look at the importance of communication)

Part II: Relationships Blossom When Couples Budget

Road with guardrailMy wife and I were making such progress.

Goals and values being shared in open and honest communication – Check.

Emotional barriers torn apart and strong connections being rebuilt through the sharing of feelings – Check.

Budget in solid working order after months of trial and error – Check.

Frivolous spending habits being altered through discipline and focus – Check.

Still, it wasn’t enough to end the tension over money. Something still lingered subtly beneath the surface that was keeping us from moving forward. With our momentum stalled, we decided one day to take a step backwards…backwards to Step One that is. That’s right, more communication.

This time around as I listened deeper to my wife talk about her needs, here is what I heard her say…

“I need to feel secure.”

Some Thoughts on Security from Mrs. Luke1428

I needed to be reassured that we were not going to spend money that we did not have. To me, that put our future in jeopardy, which was something I was not OK with. A budget gave us boundaries and an emergency fund gave our budget cover. As long as we were inside those boundaries, I had a sense of security. It really is amazing how much freedom I felt to spend once I knew we were operating with those things in place. 

Imagine you are driving with your spouse on a mountain road along a cliff with no guardrail. The cautious driver would move as far away from the edge as possible. That was me – probably overcompensating on the conservative side. Meanwhile, the other spouse drives recklessly, skirting the edge of the cliff at every turn. Their driving indicates they do not care that there is no boundary and that they are willing to take unnecessary risks. This would completely freak out the other spouse, and probably even anger them.

Now imagine that same road, but with the guardrails in place for both drivers. The cautious spouse knows that there is a limit and that the car will not go careening over the side of the cliff. The cautious spouse isn’t worried or fearful anymore. Additionally, the cautious spouse can drive freely and not overcompensate due to fear. This scenario brings peace and security. Everyone enjoys the ride more.

Taking Steps

Knowing my wife had this need for security changed the direction of our path, especially in how I viewed our money management and planning for the future.

On our emergency fund: I realized having three to six months in emergency expenses set aside made her sleep better at night. No more worrying about where the money will come from to fix whatever breaks down. Sure, the money is earning nothing sitting in a savings account. It doesn’t matter…the fund is an investment in her emotional health. (Funny thing is that once we had this set in place, I realized it was also an investment in mine.)

On preparing for retirement and college: It became apparent that we couldn’t just save and invest our money without a plan. Specific money had to be designated solely for us in our later years and to assist our children with college. And we had to start now. No waiting until our 50s to start thinking about these things.

On Mrs. Luke1428’s career change: I believe my resolve to plan and stay within the guardrails gave my wife the confidence to pursue and successfully complete a career change from high school teacher to CPA. There would have been great hesitancy on her part to commit the financial and emotional resources to such a bold move had I been wildly spending every dollar.

So men, listen up. The lady in your life values security and that’s not a bad thing. Don’t view her as being unrealistic or weak-minded. She is demonstrating great wisdom by seeking this out. In the end, recognizing this issue and providing her with what she needs will reduce the tension over money in your relationship and bring you together to work as one.

Enjoying the Ride

There does not need to be constant fighting over money in your relationship. It will take you coming together and committing to the steps I’ve outlined in this series. I can’t promise it will be easy every step of the way but if you work the process and give it time, you will eventually be able to enjoy the ride.

Ladies – what are your thoughts on the need for security being a “must have.” Is that true? Men – How are you working with your girlfriend or spouse to ensure her emotional needs are being met?

Image by Phaitoon at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Next Post: 4 Ways to Punch Through the Scary Questions at the Start

Prior Post: How One Shoebox Can Change a Life This Christmas

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Comments

  1. Not getting ____ for any woman when she can leave me for any made-up excuse (like being bored) and take everything I’ve ever worked for, free of charge, without any sympathy… F T Sh_t!

  2. Student Debt Survivor says:

    Happy wife, happy life, right? Bf is very attuned to my financial and emotional needs (which are often interconnected in a lot of ways). Financial security is important to both of us, so we’re usually on the same page when it comes to finances which is really reassuring.

  3. Kim@Eyesonthedollar says:

    Your wife sounds like a very smart lady. I value security pretty highly. After not having the amount we should have for years, I think we maybe are a bit overboard right now, but like you said, it helps me sleep better at night.

  4. Financial security is very important to me. My boyfriend doesn’t understand why I need such a large emergency fund. He likes to poke fun at me as his savings account holds a drastically different number than mine. He is more rational, putting his extra money toward student loans, but I sleep better at night knowing I have funds available should the need arise. He is fine with a much less number for now, considering we rent and the only thing that’s a liability is his car.

    • I don’t think what you are doing is irrational though. You are just at a different stage right now with a different different focus on where is the most important place to send your money. If the bf has at least $1,000 in a savings account for emergencies, then he probably should be moving on to the next phase of money management – which would be debt payoff. Once the debts are gone, then he would be ready to bump that e-fund up to 3-6 months worth of expenses.

  5. wellheeledblog says:

    My husband and I both value financial security, however my definition of “financially secure” is a much bigger number than his. My definition of “financially comfortable” is also a much bigger number than his. That has caused some consternation early on, but I think now we are moving towards to being on the same page.

    • That’s a great point and a big part of our issue as well. I didn’t realize how big her “comfortable” numbers were. I looked at our finances and thought things were fine. She didn’t share the same viewpoint.

  6. Shannon Ryan says:

    This has been an excellent series, Brian! Security is very important to me. Partly because I have seen firsthand the damage of not having financial security and have had to help couples put the pieces of their financial lives back together. Like Tonya said, having financial security allows you to focus on other things, rather than spending your time worrying.

    • Thanks Shannon! I’ll bet you’ve seen some interesting dynamics between couples. My guess is it’s more of a challenge to get the men on board. We can be a stubborn lot sometimes.

  7. Monasez (@Monasez) says:

    Security is definitely very important. In any relationship you got to bring something to the table. I always say either your an asset or a liability. Financially secure man is an asset.

    • I like the way you put that — either they are an asset or a liability. One lessens worry, one increases worry. I need to look at myself now too to see if I’m an asset or a liability to him.

  8. I think security is a great gift you can give each other. I think it frees up that mental space to focus on everything else important in life.

  9. This is definitely something my wife and I have been dealing with, though I’m the one who wants financial security more so than my wife. Don’t get me wrong, she wants security as well but I personally am such a pessimist I think of disaster scenarios where we will need that 3-6 month cushion. Thankfully we have been pursuing an emergency fund and even though we are tempted to spend it on other things, we’ve been slowly building it up over the past couple months. The income from Young Adult Money is now almost exclusively going to the savings account so it motivates me to work harder at the site as well!

    • That emergency fund is the biggest deal for bringing security and most people just don’t realize that. They look at the emergency fund as a wasted opportunity and would rather use that money for investments that could earn them a better return. I don’t see it that way. Having those 3-6 months set aside, with the commitment to touch it only for emergencies, relieves so much anxiety from your mind.

  10. Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says:

    Right on the mark here, Brian! Not sure what it is about us gals that gives us the need to feel so secure, especially regarding money, but it is what it is, I guess. I’m feeling very blessed that Rick is on board with this whole “financial security” plan. It’d be tough if he wasn’t.

  11. FI Pilgrim says:

    Great lesson, and kudos to you for making the necessary changes to honor your wife’s need for security!

  12. Holly Johnson says:

    I definitely value financial security in my marriage. It’s not about him earning as much as possible or buying me stuff. It’s about knowing that we’ll have the money for day-to-day things as well as the big stuff like the kid’s college and retirement. I don’t like worrying about money.

Trackbacks

  1. […] that every wife needs, and it’s my responsibility to provide that. Brian at Luke1428 has a great article about […]

  2. […] Fourman @ Luke1428 writes ATTN Men: A Woman Values Security. Get It For Her! – Financial security is something highly valued by women. When I realized this about my wife, […]

  3. […] Fourman @ Luke1428 writes ATTN Men: A Woman Values Security. Get It For Her! – Financial security is something highly valued by women. When I realized this about my wife, […]

  4. […] over at Luke 1428 concluded his wonderful 3-part series on Couples and Money by sharing ATTN Men: A Woman Values Security. Get It for Her. This series is a must-read for couples. And yes, as much as I like shiny objects, security means […]

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