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Avoiding Financial Suicide

In her book The Surrendered Wife, Laura Doyle, relationship expert and New York Times best selling author (look her up on the Empowered Wife podcast too!), asks wives to consider an unprecedented way to reach financial bliss- and it may surprise you what she is suggesting! She admits that it may feel like financial suicide to follow her prescribed course, but, she says that in her vast experience, it will result in just the opposite.

If you are a wife who is primarily responsible for paying all the bills- listen up! Even if you are only partially responsible financially, read on. If you've long suspected your husband could be making more money, or using his talents better- this prescription is for you!

While these steps are not professional financial investment advice or the like, they are geared toward gaining greater intimacy in your marriage which then naturally results in better financial freedom.

Laura also suggests studying and beginning to implement her Six Intimacy Skills (found in her book The Empowered Wife) prior to implementing the following steps, and to do the them only when you feel ready.

Step 1

Merge your Money - There can be no intimacy unless there is vulnerability- and this cannot be achieved if you have separate spending accounts. Even if you make more money. Even if you've had separate accounts for years and it's working just fine. Especially if you feel you don't trust him not to overspend or spend unwisely. The idea is to show him you trust his ability to earn, spend and manage money. Is he already the soul breadwinner? Skip this step.

Step 2

Give your husband a list of your planned expenditures for the next month. Make a spending plan that lists only the things you need to buy yourself. For instance, funds for clothes, makeup, gas for the car, going out with friends, personal care, groceries and necessities. It will not include your car payment, the cleaning lady, kid's school fees, household expenses, or student loans, because those may be paid directly by him- online or whatever. Double check your list with some of your girl friends to make sure it sounds like you can live on it. This is not a budget, but a plan within which you can live comfortably and reasonably. If in doubt, plan for more than you think you'll want. A restrictive spending plan is a setup for failure, so be generous to yourself in your plan, especially for the first while. Be reasonable, then don't worry that he won't be able to afford your spending plan. This is not your concern. It will be up to him decide how much of your spending plan you actually get. You may get more, you may get less, but thank him for whatever you do get.

Step 3

Relinquish control of the finances to your husband. It is vital that you approach this with humility by truthfully saying you are relinquishing control of the finances to him because you can't do it anymore. The truth is, you can't do it and still have the intimacy with him that you want. Don't just stop doing them. Explain that you need help. It's driving you crazy, and you are certain he could do a better job of it. Once you've said it, STOP TALKING. He will likely not like this idea one bit. He will most likely put up a fight of some kind. Resist the bait and SAY NOTHING.

Step 4

Tell your husband you want your spending plan in cash, and stick to your spending plan. As Alyson King already described in her article "Rock your Finances," the word budget is much like the word diet and implies restriction. Remember, you presented him a plan that you could live comfortably with. Sticking with that plan is so important because it allows him to predict expenses. This is not a good time to try to break your bad habits of overspending. For now, indulge yourself with your spending plan and let your husband know how grateful you are.

Step 5

Trust your husband- having your husband handle the bills and give you your spending in cash frees you from worry about so many things.

The objections to these 5 steps are as long as the earth is large. Being afraid to rely on your husband, whether the excuse is how busy he is or his health problems, may feel like jumping off of a cliff. And you are. This means you don't check the accounts, you don't open the mail to make sure bills are paid. You don't, you don't, you don't! The result- the man who wooed you during your courtship- is about to return. Hold on for the ride.

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