Marriage Counselor’s Tips for Discussing Finances with Your Spouse

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Marriage Counselor and author Paula Levy co-presented “Couples and Money” a full day workshop, at the Ackerman Institute for the Family, in New York City, on November 4, 2011.

Although money issues have always been a source of friction in relationships, the current recession has created unprecedented anger, frustration and disappointment for many families, according to Paula Levy, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with offices in Westport, CT and Ridgefield, CT. With over a decade of experience as a Marriage Counselor as well as a previous career as a Certified Public Accountant, Ms. Levy has worked with many couples impacted by financial stressors.

There are ways to rise above the arguments and insults, says Ms. Levy. “We become so focused on the day to day management of financial issues we fail to see the big picture”.    Here are 5 tips that can help you and your spouse communicate more effectively about financial issues.

1.    Recognize that you and your spouse are distinct individuals with different financial styles. Respect your partner’s views about monetary issues. Realize that there is no one right way to address financial concerns.
2.    Think about the values you learned about money as a child. Was money a source of happiness or a cause of conflict within your family? Share stories with your spouse that will help him or her understand your childhood experiences regarding financial issues. These stories can help both of you understand each other’s sensitivities regarding monetary issues.
3.    Think about the messages you have received from your friends, your community, your church and the media regarding financial issues. Are these values valid for you and the goals that you have?
4.    Create a Joint Financial Vision, which is a statement of your hopes and dreams as a couple along with a financial blueprint for achieving those dreams.
5.    Be willing to share your fears as well as your hopes for the future. Work as a team to achieve your goals and diminish your worries.
As a marriage counselor, Ms. Levy knows how much frustration monetary problems can cause in a family. Couples who can work as a team to tackle financial issues can strengthen the marital bond and overcome difficult financial times.

Paula Levy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who provides marriage counseling to couples impacted by affairs, financial problems, communication issues and other marital stressors. Ms. Levy is available by phone at 203-761-9587 or by email at paulalevy(at)centerforchangellc(dot)com or visit


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