One of the laugh lines in our marriage has been Nancy’s tongue-in-cheek dictum that “What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is ours.” This has been a reminder over the past 37 years that marrying a woman from New Jersey can be fraught with peril. And a lot of laughs.
Love’s Sacred Embrace is devoting the month of January to two complementary themes: Money, Budgeting and Finances, and Submission to Each Other. For many of us, January is the financial hangover that follows the commercial binge of the Christmas season. Despite our best intentions and promises to “hold the line,” we typically confront January with a pile of bills stacked on top of the usual pile of bills. It can be a dreadfully stressful situation, one which, at least for me, used to take much of the joy out of the season. Fortunately, my Jersey girl insisted four years ago that we create a budget, and I, being the good husband I am, submitted to her wishes, albeit only after decades of resisting.
A budget, by itself, is not a solution to a lifestyle in which expenditures routinely exceed incomes. The process of putting together a budget, however, forces couples to discuss which things are more or less important to them. A budget, to which each spouse eventually commits (submits), then, is a process, a negotiation, a way of discovering what is important to each other, and what less-important things must be sacrificed in order to have the important stuff.
It’s probably true that a good working budget forces each spouse to acknowledge the truth that you win some, and you lose some. As in all things related to marriage, if one spouse does all the giving up, and the other spouse does all the winning, there will be storm clouds on the horizon.
Our bloggers will be addressing finances, and submission, in the coming few weeks. I discovered a site called Money and Marriage God’s Way which offers a host of information and insights into this subject. Here’s a sample.
As the article points out, in a working sacramental marriage, there is no yours and no mine. There is only ours. Someone needs to break this news to Nancy.
For a great conversation on this topic, please join us on January 12th for Second Saturdays: Marriage on Tap. Brett Selear will lead a date night discussion on the topic of recovering from the holidays, financially and spiritually.