Managing Money as a Couple Part 1: Getting Rid of Credit Card Debt

Let’s talk about money. 

Money can be tricky to manage on your own. Add your significant other to the mix and it becomes significantly more complicated (get it? I’m so punny!).  

I’m going to share how my husband, Steve, and I manage our finances. I’m going to get into the nitty-gritty details. In this post (Part 1), I’ll share:

  • where we learned about money,

  • the difference between good debt and bad debt, and 

  • how we mopped up my credit card debt in the early days of our relationship.

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Learn the Nine Essential Ingredients of a True Apology

I had a hard time with this one, folks.

I’ve always fancied myself an expert apologizer. I have LOTS of opinions on how and when we should apologize and I’ve been working on creating my own apology framework for couples. 

As I was researching apologies, I discovered the nine essential ingredients of a true apology by apology expert, Dr. Harriet Lerner (@HarrietLerner). Harriet is a trained clinical psychologist who’s written several New York Times bestselling books, her most recent one being Why Won’t You Apologize?

Her framework has given me a lot to think about. Some of her ingredients overlap with my own (which makes me feel super smart), and others raise a lot of questions for me which almost made me scrap this post altogether and write about something else – something easier. 

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Why I Stopped Putting Away My Husband’s Clean Laundry and How It Improved Our Relationship

I’m the primary laundry doer in my house. I wash, fold, and put away. It’s a time consuming and never ending chore. It’s not like cleaning the gutters, which is done once per year. It’s every week (or 2 weeks, if we let it pile up).

After a while, I began resenting the fact that my husband never said “thank you” or even seemed to notice that his underwear drawer was replenished on the exact day he would have otherwise run out. 

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You’re So Vain, You Probably Think This Post Is About You…

Happiness experts say that we can’t make anyone else happy (like our partners), but we can make ourselves happy. Our moods are contagious, so by making ourselves happy, our partner’s will (as a side effect) become happier. This is definitely true in my relationship. When I’m happy, my husband’s happy, but when I’m miserable, he’s miserable too. Maybe that’s where happy wife, happy life comes from.

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What I Learned From a Former FBI Hostage Negotiator About Relationships

I want to share something I learned this week that I’m super excited to try. 

I was watching a masterclass* called Chris Voss Teaches The Art of Negotiation (Chris Voss @VossNegotiation is a former FBI lead hostage negotiator and bestselling author of Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It). In it, he teaches the concept of “labeling”. He talks about labels in the context of negotiations (during hostage negotiations and business negotiations), but I think it’s a brilliant tool that can be used on our significant others!

So today, I’m going to teach you what I learned from Chris Voss’s masterclass about labels: what they are, how they work, and the right and wrong way to label emotions. 

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Feeling grumpy? Maybe you need a timeout.

I felt grumpy earlier this week and couldn’t figure out why. It could have been any number of things, or maybe just a combination of a bunch of little things. Who knows. 

I may have taken my grumpiness out on my husband, Steve, while we were making dinner. Ok, I definitely took my grumpiness out on him. He patiently tolerated slash ignored it. 

After we’d finished eating, we decided to take the dog for a long walk. We cherished our long walks together. It was our time to connect at the end of the workday. I have, on more than one occasion, spoiled these walks by forgetting to leave my grumpiness at home. Inevitably, my bad mood would spread to Steve, spoil our walk, and sour the evening. It was dumb. 

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Two simple things you can say to express appreciation (at work and at home)

A lot of the advice that helps us do well at work can equally be applied at home, and vice versa. Good advice is good advice, after all. Here’s one such piece of advice: express your sincere appreciation to those around you. Whether you’re a partner at a law firm working with a junior lawyer or the spouse of a workaholic, there are two simple things you can say that will work wonders.

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