Dream a little dream
By Sabrina McDonald
My husband, Robbie, is a tournament bass fisherman. He educated me on the most important principle of the sport: The word BOAT stands for “Bust Out Another Thousand.”
Yep. I wasn’t prepared for the fighting that comes after a broken lower unit or fried electronic device.
Since I’m our Designated Financial Juggler, I often cringe when tournaments enter the conversation. As much as I appreciate my husband’s talents, I’m scared of busting out another thousand!
During the height of fishing season this year, I sensed distance from my usually loving husband. Concerned, I asked him about the tournament; he answered with a shrug.
But moments later, his best friend and fishing buddy called, and Robbie bubbled over with stories of the water.
Later, I told him what I saw, and his response surprised me: “I don’t feel like you support me.”
Ooooh … that’s not good.
My frugal fears translated to him as lack of validation. So when Robbie needed someone to delight and dream with, he opened up to the person who offered friendly, non-judgmental acceptance.
Which was not me.
What was I to do? I wanted Robbie to have dreams. But I also feared that “support” meant carte blanche permission.
If you are a penny-pinching spouse like me, here are some things I’m trying.
First, don’t immediately say “no” to every new idea. Try, “Okay. Tell me more about your plans to make this happen?” Your spouse’s answer will expose whether this is serious or fun.
Then, if money is mentioned, agree on some boundaries:
1. We can’t go into debt.
2. Let’s find a way together to come up with the money.
3. Let’s settle on a financial goal we can reach before moving to the next larger purchase.
Truth is, most dreams won’t come true. But dreamers need the freedom to imagine out loud.
If there is a chance of success, you can make it happen together. Your willingness to dream a little dream with your spouse will keep you close and connected either way.
The good stuff: Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)
Action points: Start saving coins in a jar, especially for your spouse’s big dream. Ask your spouse about his or her dream and don’t allow yourself to say, “We can’t do that.” Replace those words with, “How can we make that happen?” Work with your spouse to write down a plan, and include a way to pay for it.
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