Money and Couples

Hi Brooke,

I help married couples manage their money. I’m not sure how to advise someone when their spouse seems to “undo” their actions by their own behavior. For example, one spouse wants to pay down a credit card debt and be debt free, while the other keeps spending on the account. I use the coaching tools to talk about this is a neutral circumstances, on how to remain loving and non-judgmental, on how you can only control your thoughts, etc. But if she wants to eventually accomplish a goal and take massive action, how can she do this if she’s not supposed to be focusing on changing the circumstance or controlling her spouse’s behaviors?

C: Credit Card Debt Growing
T: I want to reduce it
F: Motivated
A: Pay down debt
R: Trying to reduce it

C: Husband adds to debt
T: I can’t reduce it if he keeps adding to it
F: Frustrated
A: Try to change his behavior
R: Can’t change his behavior and can’t reduce debt