Dave Ramsey has advice on confronting one big money concern

Personal finance issues are often discussed in terms of dry math, favoring numerical values about money spent, received and saved over emotional considerations.

Bestselling author and radio host Dave Ramsey acknowledges that feelings can be involved and, for one specific situation, has some thoughts about how to successfully handle them.

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A man recently asked Ramsey about a financial situation he was confronting with his wife. He did not reveal his identity.

“My wife and I have been married for nine months,” he wrote, according to an email sent to TheStreet from Ramsey Solutions. “We have about $50,000 in debt, and I recently cashed out an old whole life policy that enabled us to pay off $22,000 of our debt.”

“My wife still feels weird about us doing that, since the money paid off all the student loan debt she accumulated before we got married but none of the debt I brought to the marriage,” the husband continued. “I look at everything as ours, not mine and hers. What can I do about her sense of guilt and feeling indebted to me?”

Views on money and marriage can differ

Ramsey mentioned that he believes these types of reactions to how money is shared and spent are commonplace and natural.

“This isn’t an uncommon thing in situations like yours,” Ramsey wrote. “But more than feeling indebted to someone or experiencing a sense of guilt or shame, it’s really a discussion about differing views of marriage.”

It’s an understatement to say that relationship dynamics can be complicated, particularly when it comes to dealing with finances.

“You’re never in debt to your spouse,” Ramsey wrote. “You should be all in where your husband or wife is concerned.”

“Remember the vows?” he asked. “For richer, for poorer. In sickness and in health. If she makes you chicken soup when you’re sick, does she charge you for it? Of course not.”

Ramsey discussed his view of the meaning of marriage, encompassing all kinds of challenges couples decide to meet together.

“When you get married, you agree to take on each other’s burdens,” Ramsey wrote. “Once you walk down the aisle with someone, you’re choosing to serve each other. You’re also choosing to take on each other’s debt, each other’s income, each other’s assets and each other’s crazy parents. Everything!”

A couple is seen meeting with a financial advisor. Dave Ramsey believes a shared understanding of how to deal with finances is necessary in a marriage.


The importance of communicating thoughts about finances

The Ramsey Show host addressed what he thinks are some characteristics of an ideal relationship.

“It all boils down to having a shared view of a proper marriage relationship,” he wrote. “There’s no mine and yours anymore. Now, you can’t make her feel — or not feel — a certain way.”

“But you can ask her questions to understand where she’s coming from and what blockers are keeping her from being totally together in this,” he continued. “Talk about it. Put your heads together and practice thinking about your marriage as a union.”

Ramsey included a few words of support for the couple.

“It will take some encouragement from you and some getting used to on her part, but if you work together, it’s a muscle you can grow and develop together!” he wrote.

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