In Thriving in Love and Money: 5 Game-Changing Insights about Your Relationship, Your Money, and Yourself, relationship researchers Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn discovered that money tension is not really about the money, but about how money makes us feel. 

92 percent of couples fight or try to avoid talking about money.

This book helps couples understand each other and digs deep into the core issues shaping what we value and how it affects the way we handle money.

While helping couples become united in love and money, the couple makes it clear their findings do not apply to “highly specialized situations” involving abuse and encourages professional intervention in those cases.

“If you aren’t thriving in the “love” part of love and marriage, it will be difficult to do the “money” part well.”

Three years of research showed several intertwined actions contributing to financial happiness. 

Couples need to:

  1. build a cushion for discretionary purchases
  2. be able to talk about money
  3. understand what is underneath how we and our partner respond to money

In order to do the first two well, it’s important to understand the values we place on money.

In Thriving in Love and Money, relationship researchers Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn help spouses discover how money makes us feel so we can be united.

“Understanding fuels talking.”

I loved the title of the third chapter: “Can’t Buy Me Love: Why my reasonable wants and your ridiculous wants often leave us wanting.” It offered great insights into why couples argue over money. 

“You don’t have to agree with your spouse. You don’t even have to value what they do. But you will have a vastly better relationship once you make the effort to understand why something matters to them–even if it conflicts with what matters to you.”

Another source of conflict arises when each person aims to stay away from their own “cliff” of fear. Our fears center around our insecurities. Men tend to work hard for financial security and women focus more on emotional security. 

“The happiest couples fought the temptation to draw a line between “yours” and “mine.” They fully shared everything, holding nothing back. Bank accounts, credit cards, user names, passwords, PIN numbers, emails, text messages—they shared it all.”

I loved the tips, truths, insights, unity busters, and unity builders highlighted in bold throughout the book. 

I thought the suggestions were spot on and very helpful.

“When we resist being one with money, we are essentially acting like money is more important!”

I was given a free copy of this book from BethanyHouse in exchange for my honest review.


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