Going from “You” and “Me” to “We”

Going from “You” and “Me” to “We” March 15, 2022

Although in the USA, we honor our national independence every July 4, we are exhilarated by individual freedom all year long. Which is great—until it comes to marriage. Suddenly, we’re in a covenant in which two individuals must become one. We are no longer just “you” and “me” but “we.”

We may love being married and be fully committed to a lifetime together—yet sometimes, secretly, we still kinda want to do what we want to do. And nowhere is that more obvious than in how we handle money. In thousands of interviews and surveys for Thriving in Love and Money, we discovered that most of us (at least 80%) have ways we subconsciously resist being fully “one” in our finances.

Before you think, “That’s not me,” ask yourself if you’ve ever been tempted to do or think any of the following:

  • Pull that Amazon package off the porch before your spouse sees it or keep them from knowing about certain spending decisions.
  • Think, “It’s my money, I can spend it this way” or “My spouse can’t tell me what to do with my money” or “My spouse can spend some of it, but I have more say over it than they do.”
  • Feel it’s your responsibility to pay your student loans, since you incurred them.
  • Keep a hidden savings account (or any other account) “just in case” or because “otherwise they might spend it.”
  • Seek financial help from your family when your spouse wishes you wouldn’t.
  • Split expenses in proportion to what you each earn—not for convenience, but to be “fair.”
  • Cover certain bills to demonstrate your self-sufficiency.
  • Avoid financial planning together so you don’t have to come to an agreement.
  • Think you know best how money should be handled—and your spouse just “doesn’t get it.”
  • View money your parents gave you (or that you brought into the marriage), as “yours” and resent the idea of your spouse spending it.

So, what do you think? Do you have more of a desire to “do what you want to do” than you realized? Our research revealed a few unity-building habits to help us resist that temptation and create thriving closeness in our marriages around money instead.

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