In a culture that bombards us with advertising messages that breed discontentment, couples often struggle with wanting too much, too soon. This is especially true for Gen Xers: We expect to have the house, the cars, and the boat . . . now. . . .
The good thing about being married is that your spouse is the perfect person to pop your self-gratification bubble. You can’t get everything your way when you live with someone else 24/7. Yes, I sometimes get grumpy when John asks, “Do you really need that?” But in the end, I realize he’s right.
Marriage also teaches us to recognize our spouse’s weaknesses. For example, I throw out the woodworking catalogs that come in the mail. I steer John away from the electronics section at Wal-Mart. And we never walk into Best Buy “just to browse.”
I used to stress about the different cars John was drawn to. He would wax rhapsodic over one’s leg room or its powerful engines, and my mind would immediately start thinking car payment. The next week John would be talking about a different car, and once again I’d be overwhelmed with the details. Over time, I have come to realize that his talk is just that . . . talk. Dreaming about a new vehicle doesn’t mean he’s going to run out and buy one. In fact, talking about it seems to get it out of his system.
What about you? Have you and your spouse identified and talked about your financial weaknesses?
Also, don’t forget to listen to my interviews today with the president and CEO of Compassion International, Dr. Wess Stafford, and television executive and author Joe Kissack. The show begins at 4:00 p.m. EDT here!
This post is an excerpt from my book Generation NeXt Marriage: The Couple’s Guide to Keeping It Together. To read more about finances and all things marriage, you can find the book here.