Chuck Bentley on Breaking the Cycle of Fighting Over Money

Dear Chuck,

We fight about money every time we get near the end of the month and feel like our bills are mounting. How do we stop this cycle?

Stuck in Fight Mode

Dear Stuck in Fight Mode,

Your opening statement contains both the problem and hidden solution to your question! You and your spouse need to stop fighting each other and unite to fight your money problems together; otherwise, the cycle will likely never end. So to your real question as to “how to stop the cycle,” I have lots of personal experience and advice!

Money Fights

“Arguments about money is by far the top predictor of divorce,” says Sonya Britt, a researcher at the University of Kansas. She states, “It’s not children, sex, in-laws, or anything else. It’s money – for both men and women.”

I once asked a wise senior business leader for advice with a problem I faced in a company. He said, “It is impossible to prosper when there is war. You must seek peace first; then you will prosper.” His insight immediately opened my eyes to the solution. I went and made peace with my adversary. Once that was accomplished, our energies were refocused on growing the company. The advice worked.

It also works in marriage. Oftentimes, we are passively–or aggressively–in conflict with our spouse. Without peace, a marriage cannot reach its full potential. A lack of unity directly relates to financial struggles and impacts decision-making.

Step One

Seek to become peacemakers in your home. It requires listening to, honoring and learning from each other. It aids in resolving arguments, division, and discord. Aim to make three tips your habits:

  1. Be the first to apologize. “The first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. The first to forget is the happiest.” –Author unknown.
  2. Speak with gentle, healing words. “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.” (Proverbs 15:1-2 ESV)
  3. Cultivate your friendship. It’s a key to a fulfilling marriage.

C. S. Lewis said, “Love in this second sense–love as distinct from ‘being in love’–is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit.” He understood that, just as choosing to react negatively can become a habit, we can choose to love and make it a habit.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Chuck Bentley