Laying the Ground Rules
About the Guest
Do you agree with the way your spouse handles the finances? Scott Stanley, one of America's premier marital researchers, will tell how husbands and wives can get on the same page financially.
Scott StanleyScott Stanley, Ph.D., is a research professor and co‑director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver. He has published widely with research interests including commitment, communication, conflict, confidence, risk factors for divorce, the prevention of marital distress, and couple development. Along with Dr. Howard Markman and colleagues, he has been involved in the research, development, and refinement of the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (...more
Do you agree with the way your spouse handles the finances?
Laying the Ground Rules
Bob: You know, and he's saying, "Okay, I'll solve this for you. I'll take it back, and then you'll be happy, right?" Well, no, she won't be happy because he won't be happy because there's really a bigger issue here about values and priorities.
Scott: Yes, let me give you an example. A couple that we worked with where they were married just six months, lots of potential, lots of strengths, committed couple, nice couple. But six months into marriage, she was just feeling terrible about how much time he was spending watching football on TV.
The way she initially expressed the concern, it really came across as "You're hogging the TV. I don't even know what comes on anymore. I can't get at the TV because" – they have one TV, and "You're always on it watching TV." He was defensive about watching football and how important football is to him.
Now, if they ran out and bought a second TV …
Bob: That will fix it, right?
Scott: Yes, exactly. And, of course, it won't, because her issue isn't him hogging the TV, her issue is how come six months into marriage you would rather be watching football all the time than talking with me or spending some time with me?
That's the real issue, and that's the one you don't hear. You see it – you see evidence of it all over the couple, and she certainly felt it, but if he's really listening to her, and it's safe for her to say it, she can get to a different level and say, "I'm feeling like you do not want to be with me."
Dennis: Well, as I'm listening to these ground rules, I want to park all these on our website, FamilyLifeToday.com – put all six of them on there. The last one is a good one. Barbara would say she knows why I would pick this – "We will take time for the great things – fun" – Barbara would say, "Yeah, that's right, fun – friendship – and what's the last one? My glasses aren't focusing on it.
Dennis: That's in a book about money?
Scott: I'm afraid so.
Dennis: What are you speaking of there?
Dennis: You're a researcher.
Scott: Have you ever heard of it?
Dennis: I – definitely.
Scott: There's this "two becomes one" idea early in Scripture, and …
Dennis: … this is in a book about money.
Scott: Well, you know, it turns out that money can't buy me love, and what really draws couples together are …
Dennis: You're saying that this area relates to the financial area of a couple?
Scott: Yes, because this is fundamental to doing well in life. You know, money matters, and a lot of matters have to do with money, but what really matters more is the friendship in the marriage, the doing fun things, the central connection, the spiritual connection – those are the great things.
I give this illustration now in lots of workshops. I put up a picture of our puppy the day we brought him home. We have this little white Bichon, and it's adorable. Imagine just an adorable picture of a little puppy.
I make the point to couples – I say this – "Look, when you are thinking of getting a puppy, and you see this face in the store, notice this – you fall in love with the front end of the puppy. But every puppy has a back end, and every marriage has a back end, and one of the problems with marriage, over time, is we're so busy dealing with money and bills and kids and house repairs and all this kind of stuff, that we stop making time for the front end of the puppy.
Now, the back end of the puppy is really important. If we don't handle it well, if we don't structure that some, and determine where – see, the back end is the where and the when and handling it carefully. But we have to make room for the front end or else we forget why we wanted to bring that puppy home.
Bob: You know, you can look at a marriage, and if a couple says, "It's been a while since we've laughed together," "It's been a while since we've just gotten away and done something fun," "We haven't had a season like – we haven't had a night like – we haven't had an hour like that in a while"…
Dennis: … and it can be money, Bob, that sends couples off into kind of a drought-like experience.
Bob: It is amazing, though, how when a couple is able to get away and spend some uninterrupted time just the two of them together focused on their relation. That breathes a refreshing breath of new air into a marriage relationship. We’ve heard that from tens of thousands of couples who have attended our FamilyLife Weekend to Remember marriage conferences.
I was just thinking about the fact that six months ago we were encouraging FamilyLife Today listeners to consider becoming legacy partners. A legacy partner is somebody who helps support the ministry of FamilyLife Today on a monthly basis.
We told folks if you’d agree to sign up to become a legacy partner and if you make your donation via credit card each month we’ll send you a certificate to attend a Weekend to Remember marriage conference as our guest. We’ll pay the registration fee for you.
We had more than a thousand people sign up as legacy partners and we now have heard back from a lot of folks who not only continue to support the ministry but also attended one of these conferences in the spring. Again they tell us that just that time away was refreshing for them as a couple and helped them get refocused on the priorities of a marriage relationship.
I mention that because this month we are once again asking folks to consider becoming a legacy partner. Once again if you will agree to support the ministry and make a donation each month via recurring credit card draft we will send you a certificate for a Weekend to Remember marriage conference. You can attend any of the conferences you’d like in any of the cities where we are hosting them this fall.
All the details can be found online at FamilyLifeToday.com. Go to our web site and the information you need is available there. Again it’s FamilyLife Today.com. When you sign up as a new legacy partner there’s a welcome kit we send you that has a lot of helpful resources in it. Again if you sign up via recurring credit card draft we’ll also send you a certificate for a Weekend to Remember marriage conference. We hope you’ll consider doing that. We want to say thanks in advance for your support of this ministry and your financial partnership with us.
Le t me also encourage you when you are online at FamilyLife Today.com get more information from a helpful book by our friend Howard Dayton. He’s just finished a book called Money and Marriage God’s Way and it’s the kind of resource that can assist couples who are struggling in the area we’ve talked about this week with practical, biblical wisdom on financial issues and how those impact a marriage relationship.
Find more online at FamilyLife Today.com and you can order from us online as well or call 1-800-FL-TODAY. 1-800-358-6329 and someone on our team can let you know how you can get Howard’s book sent to you.
Well, I hope you have a great weekend this weekend. I hope you and your family are able to worship together. And I hope you can join us back on Monday when we’re going to hear the advice that older teens give to younger teens about what they’d do differently as they head into the teenage years. It’s fascinating to hear what these teenagers have to say. I hope you can be with us for that.
Thanks today to our engineer today, Keith Lynch, and our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine. Have a great weekend. We’ll see you Monday for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
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