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We need to talk about money! 16th October, 2016

Does the idea of talking about money with your partner fill you with dread? Are you keeping your partner in the dark about your financial situation? Are 'finances' a no-go topic of conversation in your relationship? 

If so, then a word of warning! Our financial health can also affect our emotional and physical health as well as our relationship with our partner. 

Martin Lewis (Money Saving Expert) was on ITV's 'This Morning' this week encouraging us to 'face the reality' and have that 'unpleasant' conversation about our finances with our partner. 

Money is often a source of conflict in relationships and this is because two individuals might think about money very differently and at times may have conflicting views. This is influenced by our relationship with money as we grew up and how financial matters were dealt with and regarded by our families of origin.

A difficult or troubling financial situation can trickle into other areas of our life and can adversely impact on our emotional and physical health. 

Sometimes unhealthy spending is a maladaptive way of coping with something else that is going on in our lives today or has gone on in the past that we are struggling to deal with or come to terms with. This could be the loss of a loved one for example or a failed relationship and we might go shopping to make ourselves feel better at some level, hence the term 'retail therapy'!

However, the feeling is short lived and the over-spending only serves to compound our problem and we can soon feel isolated and overwhelmed. 

Taking the first step means facing the reality ourselves before beginning to talk about it with others we trust.

Counselling or 'talking therapy' can help improve the quality of people's lives by providing a confidential space to explore areas of difficulty and focus on changes you would like to make.

Counsellors are impartial and trained to listen attentively to the client's concerns without judgement which means that you can talk freely about whatever is on your mind. Counsellors help you to see things as they really are rather than run away from them. This is done sensitively of course and at your pace and may eventually help you to face the reality of your situation whatever that may be. 

Although daunting, discussing our financial situation is a 'much needed' conversation that needs to happen says Martin Lewis; not least because being a couple often means that our finances are linked and how we manage our finances impacts the other. 

Once you have that difficult conversation, you can begin to deal with it together and will sleep better for it! 

For more on this topic, see Martin Lewis on ITV This Morning Monday 10th October 2016.

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