It’s been several weeks since I asked for advice on the ‘right’ time to  share financial statements with my boyfriend.  Well you gave it to me!!  And as a result, I had three big “Aha’s.

  • 1st Aha:  Clearly this subject touched a nerve.  I was astounded by how many of you responded— by email, on my site,  and in Facebook.
  • 2nd Aha:  I’m still amazed at my reticence.  I  sent my boyfriend the blog, which stimulated an interesting discussion… but we have yet to “go all the way” (by sharing our statements).
  • 3rd Aha:  I’m noticing how easy (and apropos) it is to use sexual metaphors when describing money discussions between couples.   Hmmmmm… perhaps the subject for another blog?

As for your responses…

First, deep thanks to all who replied!! It was beyond fabulous to realize how many of you could relate to my dilemma.

What I found most fascinating, however, was the vast range of comments. They were all across the board— from one extreme; (“Say nothing!” and “It’s not his concern”), to the other; (“Never hold back anything” and “If you can’t come from a place of profound honesty, you’re not ready to make the commitment”).   Several of you suggested drawing up an agreement with our respective lawyers, kind of like a prenuptial for live-ins.  And quite a few of you remarked that the conversation about sharing expenses was far more important than sharing financial statements.

Without a doubt, the overwhelming majority were in the “full disclosure” camp, warning me that intimacy requires openness.

My favorite came from author Manisha Thakor, whose new book (due out this December) is aptly titled: Get Financially Naked: How to Talk Money with Your Honey. You gotta’ love that title!!!  And it’s hard to argue with her premise.

“If you’re willing to take your clothes off together one way,” Manisha wrote, “you should be prepared to take them off financially speaking as well.”  (This gives a lot of credence to my 3rd aha!)

Her advice:  “Go for it.  Do the thing that these days is even more intimate than sex — talk about money together.  Get the pink elephant of money out into the center of the room and demystify it.  Otherwise, like termites eating away at the foundation of your relationship, little nagging doubts or questions about each others finances could end up destroying what is currently a beautiful home life.”

I agree with every word she says.  Yet, I couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t open up and spill the whole can of beans to my boyfriend.   Nor could he.  But we did take a few baby steps… and I’ll share some of them with you in my next post.

Maybe, by then, I’ll figure out why neither of us were willing to “go all the way” yet.

Barbara Stanny

The leading authority on women & money
barbara@barbarastanny.com
www.barbarastanny.com

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