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It's My Money, Honey
Series: When Leaders Live Together
How Two Strong Personalities Can Thrive In Marriage
Larry and Devi Titus
Nothing can cause division between marriage partners faster than money. As you might have guessed, in financial matters, as well as everything else, I am totally different than Devi. Is that a set-up for trouble? You bet your bucks, Buddy. As I said before, if I go left, Devi goes right. If I go up, she goes down. If I say yes, she says no. Emphatically! So, when it comes to finances, couples face a great potential of division, especially when both partners have strong personalities, strong opinions and strong incomes.
You can see a real difference between Devi and me when we sell our prod- ucts. As quickly as Devi sells books, CDs and DVDs from her products table, which on most weekends is quite fast, I'm on the opposite side of the table giving them away just as fast. In fact, if you want to pay the market price for a book, go to Devi. If you want a free book, CD, or DVD, come and see me. She will love you, hug you, sign your book and take your money. I will hug you, give you a squeeze, compliment you, then give you the book free or give your money back. And this is only one of the many ways in which we see and respond to financial situations differently.
Could you ever have imagined that differences in your childhood back- grounds would impact your marriage in such an influential way? Marriage can exacerbate many issues, and money sits at the top of the list.
As a child, my parents never taught me to save money. Now, as an adult, it's still hard for me to save. No one taught me how to manage my money or how to budget. I don't remember one time my parents ever teaching me about finances, other than that I should tithe. We didn't have credit cards back then, but if I did, I would have been up to my eyeballs in debt. As it was, I waited until several years of marriage before I got up to my eyeballs in debt. Maybe my brothers did, but as the last of the siblings, I never knew when my parents weren't struggling financially. We didn't live dirt poor, but Dad neverhad enough money to quite make it and definitely didn't have enough money to retire. If my Mom hadn't gone to work in the ministry after my dad's stroke, I have no idea how they would have survived.
To this day, I struggle with issues of finances. If I see something I like, I buy it, then and there. I think that's called ''instant gratification.'' I also like the best of whatever it is, and I'm unwilling to take second best. If Devi sees something she likes, she waits until it goes on sale or opts for something that looks just as good, but costs less.
On the other hand, Devi's family lived as hard workers, frugal savers and great money managers. They never made a lot of money, but they saved through the years and eventually retired to a very comfortable living. ...
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