Money is important but it shouldn’t be the only thing your partner cares about. If you honestly think, “all my husband cares about is money,” then there is something seriously wrong and you need to take action.
Men have the tendency to focus on money thanks to the societal expectation that men are (or should be) the providers in a relationship. That is, they should be able to provide for their wives. If they don’t make enough money to take care of their partner and give that partner what they “deserve,” then they aren’t real men, according to this antiquated societal construct.
Your relationship shouldn’t center around your bank account. How boring would that be?
It should be about feelings, affections, reaching goals, being healthy, achieving dreams, etc. Those are just a handful of what should be important in a relationship and, yes, financials are something that you should care about, but not the only thing.
So in order to save a relationship when all your husband cares about is money, we put together a list of ways to help your partner see what truly matters.
1. Agree on a budget.
Financial planning is always a good idea. Budgeting will get you through good times and bad.
To start, you need to lay out all of your bills and expenses and put them in a spreadsheet or whatever way you choose to keep track of it. This will help your husband to see exactly how much you both are spending each month.
If he understands what is being used he won’t break himself over trying to get to a number above and beyond what you need. It gives him a goal and a limitation. It’s like ripping off the blindfold.
Now that he knows what is used he knows what he needs to make, which shows him when to stop. This helps him create boundaries at work, which directly gives you more time to spend with your husband.
2. Figure out what you are doing with your surplus money.
After planning out your budget, there most likely will be some pocket of surplus money left.
You need to decide what you both are going to do with that money. Do not just let it sit around doing nothing; this can and will drive your money-centric husband insane.
You can divvy it up between the two of you each month and spend it on whatever you want, making both of you feel less deprived. You could put it in your savings. You could invest it.
If you are not being involved in that process, you could be a victim of financial abuse. If he withholds or restricts your access to your financial accounts, that is a clear sign of being emotionally abusive.
3. Make a list of goals.
Make a list of financial goals to help you figure out what you are working towards and how to save up properly. It could be a new car, a new house, a backyard swing set, or maybe you want to start a family. Having both of you write down what you want will help you and your husband understand what you are saving for.
This can be one way you use your surplus money and it can stop your husband from stressing over it.
Having a clear set plan on how to save for certain things allows your husband to feel more productive without sacrificing financial security. It shows him that he is providing which gives him a break from the stress.
4. Help make financial decisions.
Don’t leave your husband alone to deal with money management. Help him decide what should be paid now, what can wait later down the road, and when to save money.
A team effort always takes some edge and pressure off the other person. Take a Sunday afternoon and help him pay bills. Remind him you are in this together that you have his back. The phrase “teamwork makes the dream work” isn’t false.
5. Make an effort to show you believe in your husband.
Your husband needs to know that he is taking care of you, that you can rely on him to make things happen. If he thinks he isn’t doing that, then he most likely will feel guilty about it. So let him know that you believe in him and what he is doing, not the money that he is making.
If you change the focus from what he makes at work to how much you love and appreciate what he does for you, it’ll make a world of a difference.
Showing him that you believe in him is something that can take his mind off of money and pay attention to you. It also boosts his confidence making him feel like he is doing enough. It will make him feel like a man.
Deauna Nunes is an assistant editor who covers pop culture, love and relationships, lifestyle, and news & entertainment for YourTango who’s been published by Emerson College’s literary magazine Generic. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.