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Money is a big deal in any marriage, so we knew we wanted to talk about finances. Whether you share our Chili’s 2 for $22 obsession, have discovered the joy of Movie Pass, or maybe want to save for a ticket to outer space, we feel you! Join us as we talk about this topic with our friend Rafa Robert.

Interview with Rafa Robert

Rafa Robert is the Director of Love and Money at Brightpeak Financial. They focus on helping couples thrive in their relationship with money and each other. Rafa has a B.A. in Religion, Theology and Ethics as well as a Masters in Counseling Psychology. He has been married for 20 years and is a dad to two “mid-west-Rican” kids.

The Tension: Money is challenging

Rafa: Young couples that argue about financials on a regular basis in the first five years are 70% more likely to get divorced. We wanted to find out why this is such a tension. We’ve found that it’s bigger than a budget – there’s all this stuff going on under the surface that is more than spending and saving. Finances touch on differences in values.

There are five dimensions to our relationship with money. Understanding the motivation your spouse has when it comes to money can make all the difference.

  1. Spiritual – What do I believe about God and resources?
  2. Cultural – Our family upbringing, even the part of the country you grew up in
  3. Emotional – Are you anxious about money, are you extroverted/introverted, etc.
  4. Behavioral – Are you good with your habits/goals?
  5. Practical – Do you know the right things to do with money?

Ted: If nothing else from this interview, being able to step back and ask what your spouses’ heart is when it comes to finances could be so impactful.

Rafa: We did some studies when we created our Love & Money Assessment and we found how impactful it is to be valued and heard when it comes to money. Jesus talks more about money than just about anything in the Bible and there’s a reason for that.

When you choose to understand each other’s story and speak each other’s language, that’s huge. 

Truth: Money can be a catalyst of connection or disconnection.

Your one simple thing for this week: Ask your spouse about their first memory when it comes to money.

It’s a really easy conversation to have, but you’re tapping into some truths around why the story came to mind. You’re learning about each other and gaining some awareness about their money story. That one simple thing can help you work together to be better together!

Afton: The first time I remember addressing money in my family was around Christmas in 1999. We got a Gateway computer and I told my parents that Santa had to be real because there was no way we could afford that computer. I didn’t think they could ever spend that much money on something ‘frivolous’.

CJ: Money really hit home when I was in middle school. My dad worked in the car industry at a dealership and the industry was struggling. They were consolidating brands and my family started praying that my dad’s dealership wouldn’t get shut down. That’s when I realized it was because we needed money.

Ted: My dad is a cotton farmer and my aunt, who served a mom role after my mom passed away, had two very different views of money. My dad’s mood was based on the weather that fed the crops – it was great when it rained. Then I had my aunt who had money, appreciated nicer things and felt that I should have them. I always felt torn when it came to money.

We hope this question gets you talking about money with your spouse!

Thanks for joining us for the Married People Podcast! We hope today’s episode helped you realize that marriage is a little easier than you may think. We hope you’ll subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and leave a review – they help us make the podcast better.

Visit us on Facebook or Instagram. If you want more resources, check out Your Best Us, our blog at MarriedPeople.org and Brightpeak Financial. Finally, we hope you’ll join us for next week’s episode!

Robert Carnes is the editor on the MarriedPeople team. He's worked in marketing and communications for a number of churches and nonprofits. Robert lives in Atlanta with his wife, Victoria.