This week we are celebrating our friends Cherie and Brian Lowe’s new book, Your Money, Your Marriage, with a series of posts all about the sexiness of financial freedom. The book is absolutely fantastic, and we hope you check it out today. Enjoy the post!
The conversations repeated in predictable rhythm.
Friend or acquaintance: “What’s your new book about?”
Us: “Financial Foreplay”
Friend or acquaintance: With a blank stare and slightly red face quickly replaced by curiosity – “What’s that?!”
Us: “The concept that the skills you learn through shared smart money management habits can be transferred to – you know – other areas of your marriage.”
Friend or acquaintance: “When can I buy it?”
Most of us probably never stop to think about the ways sex and money knit themselves together in our marriages. But pause for one second and recall the last time you and your spouse argued about your finances. Our guess is that your evening didn’t end in hot passion, right?
Paying Off Debt Led to Better Sex
The same was true for us. Nine years into our marriage after a number of passive aggressive spats about spending and really no plan, we began a journey toward becoming debt free. In the beginning, we thought it would take us 15 years to get the job done. If we reduced our lifestyle drastically and took on extra work, we thought maybe, just maybe, we could get the job done in 7.5 years. And yet, we’re so glad that God does much better math than we ever could because just under 4 years later, we sat at our kitchen table and made our final student loan payment.
During those year, we eliminated $127,482.30 worth of debt. Comprised of a mixture of sources, our debt reflected both poor choices and just going with the flow of what everyone else did. Car loans, credit cards, medical debt, furniture purchased on a payment plan, an unemployment loan, and over $80k in combined student loan debt kept us from living a whole and healthy life. That debtload also nearly strangled our marriage.
Funny enough, we probably would have never thought we had more of an intimacy problem than a money problem. However, as we began working together to pay off that mammoth amount, we found our relationship improved in more ways than one. Budgeting, working toward a common goal, remaining faithful in our financial promises – all of this and much more – began strengthening the intimacy we shared. Our intentional efforts poured over from our shared bank accounts into our shared bed.
Money Fights Lead to Divorce
Research supports the connections we learned inadvertently. Money fights and money problems top the list for reasons why couples argue and eventually divorce. We wondered if disagreements about money pull married people apart, then could agreements about money push them together?
From there, we identified eight key areas most couples struggle when it comes to money and marriage. Communication, conflict, organization, and trust top the list. Rather than convincing husband and wives that they can become perfect in their marriage, we focus on movement toward healthier habits. After all, improvement requires movement. We long for couples to move from being busy to being prioritized, from the fear of missing out to the love of showing up in their own lives.
Problems Don’t Vanish Overnight
Oh how we wish we could wave a magic wand over every marriage and eliminate financial and intimacy problems with a “poof.” But you already know life doesn’t work out that way. However, more than anything you need to know there’s hope – for your money and your marriage. Your relationship is not beyond rescue and your financial situation not beyond repair.
To us, financial foreplay simply means husbands and wives investing in smart financial habits and relational capital to clear the way for spicy sex and meaningful togetherness. It’s taking care of bank business so you can get down to “business” in bed, leaving cash conflicts far behind. It’s a complete trust, vulnerability, and connection when it comes to both our bodies and our budgets. Financial foreplay results from a continued mutual pursuit of improved shared money habits and communication.
Who wouldn’t want more of that? To discover more about how to get more Financial Foreplay action in your marriage, visit YourMoneyYourMarriage.com and check out Your Money, Your Marriage: The Secrets to Smart Finance, Spicy Romance, and Their Intimate Connection.