Negotiating a financial arrangement: Cohabiting couples

A major finding of recent research into the effects of cohabitation on subsequent marital outcomes is the potential detrimental consequences of ‘sliding’ in relationships rather than ‘deciding’ – that is letting transition events ‘just happen’ rather than making a considered, unambiguous decision.

A discussion for cohabiting couples and for facilitators working with couples is about what the couple agree a healthy relationship should be. A discussion about prioritising the relationship, the meaning of dedication to your partner and the importance of taking other options off the table, can be valuable.

Discussing Financial matters
More often than not, one or both partners are reticent about sharing their financial resources. This can provide a catalyst for discussing the meaning of the ‘giving’ of one to the other (as usually expressed in the marriage vows) and a ‘shared life’. Cohabiting couples may find it difficult to reconcile independence, (frequently expressed as a control of money) with the mutuality and compromise that are characteristic of relationship harmony.

It is important to deal directly and constructively with the issues that may put them at risk, and financial pressures are commonly quoted as reasons for relationship conflict and breakdown. Working with couples who are living together, using the PREPARE/ENRICH inventory, provides a unique opportunity to explore finances, their underlying values in relation to money, to encourage the couple to reaffirm their decision to live together and to further their understanding of the nature and importance of commitment.

PREPARE/ENRICH has several resources to help you unpack and mine the assessment results around money.

#PREPARE/ENRICH is a customised online assessment tool that identifies each couples unique strength and growth areas. Based on their assessment results, a facilitator provides feedback sessions, helping couples to discuss and understand their results while teaching them proven relationship skills.

For more information on PREPARE/ENRICH or to simply set up a couple on the tool, please contact: or call today (02) 9520 4049 #prepareenrich #strongerrelationships

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