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A friend told me her financial adviser saved her marriage, and now I can't stop thinking about what working with one would do for me

A friend told me her financial adviser saved her marriage, and now I can't stop thinking about what working with one would do for me

couple looking at bills

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The author is not pictured.

My husband and I often joke that the only interests we have in common are each other and our kids. We are the epitome of "opposites attract" - clashing in how we communicate, how we express ourselves, the hobbies we enjoy, and how we see the world.

For the most part, this makes us a good team. We learn from each other, make each other stronger, and offer our kids a well-rounded and balanced approach to life. But when it comes to finances, our differences mean we are rarely on the same page.

For my husband, nothing is more important than security and stability, while I embody a sense of adventure, craving new experiences and frequently planning trips to new places.

My husband is very disciplined in how he spends his money and can easily turn down expensive social functions, while I struggle with saying no due to cost.

This, of course, translates into arguments over what to prioritize in our budget. Saving is the most important to him, and while I agree we need some savings, I see little value in leaving piles of money untouched when there is so much of the world to see.

Why we're interested in working with a financial adviser

As with most things in a lifelong partnership, my husband and I have had to learn to compromise and find a middle ground when it comes to how we handle our finances. Yet, our conversations around money are still often fraught with tension.

While discussing this with one of my friends recently, she mentioned that working with a financial adviser is the best thing she's done for her marriage. I have never worked with a financial adviser before, but after hearing her experience, I can't get the idea out of my head.

My friend and her partner also struggle with saving, and she said that working with someone outside their relationship helped them see their spending habits more clearly, allowing them to work as a team and hold each other accountable to the goals they set together.

Think a financial planner could help your marriage? Use SmartAsset's free tool to find a qualified professional »

Up until my friend confided in me, I didn't know anyone who had worked with a financial adviser. It seemed like the kind of thing wealthier, older people did as they approached retirement or needed help with estate planning.

I never really considered it an option for myself, nor did I think about how working with a financial adviser could potentially improve my marriage. But the more I think about it, it's not hard to see why my friend's experience has been positive.

Conversations about money could benefit from an outside perspective

Money is typically a contentious topic among couples, and for good reason. Managing expenses while also trying to save for retirement and college in a culture obsessed with consumption can feel overwhelming. And while people often regard financial conversations as dry and boring, the topic of money is actually rife with emotions of pride, fear, love, and shame.

The different ways my husband and I spend money illustrate our different values, and more than that, also reflect what we were taught about money growing up and how our parents talked about finances with us. In short, money is a loaded topic that isn't just about financial priorities, but also who we are as people.

A conversation about money is rarely just about money, and an outside professional could help us focus on our shared financial goals and less on all the ways we're different.

After 16 years together, we're ready to evolve our approach to money

My husband and I met in high school. We were kids without a clue about where we would go to college, much less how we would save for retirement. We've been together now for 16 years. We grew up together, went to college together, started careers together, bought a house, and are now raising two kids.

We have never handled our finances independently; they've always been intertwined. And since we got married relatively young without steady jobs at the time, we didn't discuss topics like how much of our budget we would spend on groceries or what kind of savings accounts we would have for retirement. In fact, we didn't discuss budgets at all. As with everything else in our lives together, we learned along the way.

Now that we're in our 30s with established careers and a lot more knowledge and experience than we had at the altar in our early 20s, it's clear we could have benefitted from discussing financial goals earlier. We've managed, and done well for ourselves in our eight years of marriage, but definitely have room to grow.

Our finances, and lives, need a little bit of both of us - the steady hand that keeps us on track and the free spirit who keeps life fun and interesting.

The idea of working with an outside third party who can help my husband and me honor our differences while working toward financial goals together is intriguing. It could be just what we need. That is, if I can convince him a financial adviser is worth paying for.

Think you could benefit from meeting with a financial planner? Use SmartAsset's free tool to find a qualified professional near you »

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