Is there anything more enticing than talking about sex? On a regular day, the subject of intimacy with your spouse should be nothing more than titillating and exciting. But, when you’re trying to discuss a sexual problem or issue you’re having, suddenly what goes on in the bedroom seems like the most agonizing topic to get through.
The same is true when discussing matters of family and financial management in marriage. After all, is there any polite way to tell your spouse you wish your in-laws would mind their own business or that you’ve incurred some debt?
No matter how close you and your spouse are, there is always something inherently awkward about bringing up intimacy issues, marriage problems, and the subject of your debts and finances. Here’s how you can have a detailed conversation about money, sex, and family.
Discussing Financial Management in Marriage
Everybody needs money. No matter who you are- you still have to pay your bills, buy groceries, save, and spend. Whether you pool your finances together or keep separate bank accounts, every couple must discuss money-matters at some point or another. Here are some pointers on how to talk about financial management in marriage.
1. Communicate Effectively
What issues do you want to discuss with your spouse? Make the key points of your conversation clear and concise. This will help you to avoid any miscommunications and arguments.
Many find it beneficial to write a “financial letter” to one another talking about how each partner would like to spend, save, budget, and invest. This gives each spouse a clear idea of how each one views their finances.
2. Don’t Attack
Your spouse may become defensive when the topic of money is brought up, so make sure you are discussing your finances in a way that does not seem accusatory. Always remember that how you handle your money is a decision you make as a couple, so ask for your spouse’s input regarding money matters.
3. Make a Plan
Once you and your spouse are on the same page regarding your finances, you’ll be able to make a solid plan for the future. Talk about your financial situation, how you want to handle finances going forward as a couple and create a strategy for budgeting.
How to Talk about Intimacy Issues with your Spouse
A lack of communication regarding intimacy issues can leave one or both partners feeling sexually and emotionally unsatisfied. One study found that 7% of men and 30% of women report pain during vaginal intercourse, yet a large proportion of the couples never tell their partner about the pain.
Here are the best tips to get through a conversation about sex with your spouse.
1. Choose the Right Time
If you are feeling pain during intercourse or are feeling uncomfortable emotionally during sex – speak up! But for all other topics, choose the time you bring it up wisely. For example, telling your partner you have been faking your orgasms right before getting intimate is more likely to make them feel hurt and discouraged, rather than make them feel excited about having sex.
At a time when you are both relaxed and comfortable, initiate the conversation with your spouse about the topic at hand and try and stick to short conversations instead of laying everything out on the table.
2. Be Honest
You can’t tell half-truths when it comes to resolving intimacy issues in your marriage.
Do you like when your spouse does X, but are really uncomfortable when they perform X, Y, Z in bed? Let them know. Do you prefer when they initiate sex? Tell them! Your partner cannot read your mind and they can’t fix anything if they don’t know there is something to fix.
3. Take Charge in the Right Way
Taking the uncomfortable edge off of your intimacy issues is all about how you approach the subject. For example, if you are having trouble reaching orgasm, don’t blame your partner or make them feel bad about it. Instead, do a sexy show-and-tell to help them get to know your body better.
Is your partner having trouble getting or maintaining an erection? Instead of expressing frustration, have a conversation about making a doctor’s appointment by telling your partner you love being intimate with them.
Keep your sex life healthy and satisfying by communicating honestly with your partner about your private desires.
Talking to your Partner about Family
A family is a tricky subject to broach with your sweetheart. Whether you’re discussing starting a family or you’re dealing with in-laws, a family can be a tricky subject to broach with your spouse. Here’s how you do it without starting a war.
1. Dealing with your In-Laws
Communicating with your spouse is always the best idea when it comes to dealing with in-laws. Sit down as a couple and discuss honestly, but politely, boundaries and limits regarding your in-laws. Be clear on your feelings about unannounced visits and unsolicited advice.
2. Starting a Family
If you are in a mature, strong marriage, you might be ready to talk to your spouse about having a baby. Ask how they feel about starting a family together. It can hurt if you want to have a child and your partner is not ready, but always remember that “Not now” does not mean “Never” and that you should never have children unless both partners are interested in doing so.
If your partner is on the same page as you about starting a family, it can be helpful to have a positive discussion about why you feel having a child will enrich your marriage. Discuss a financial budget for having children, healthcare, what kind of parents you would like to be, and how you will keep your marriage strong during child-rearing.
You should be able to talk to your partner about anything. While it isn’t always easy to talk about intimacy issues, financial management in marriage, and other marriage problems with your partner, it is always worth it. Strengthen your relationship by learning to talk about sex, money, and family at the right time and with the right mindset.