Valentine’s Day being last month got me thinking about how to love my wife better.  Being wired as I am, I began to think about how I can make Nancy feel loved by the way we handle our money and make financial decisions.

Men, we can make our wives feel loved on so many different levels – not just by hugging her and saying, “I love you.”  We can love her well by how we communicate with her, how we act, how we work, how we interact with our children, even in how we care for ourselves and manage the money entrusted to us.

So I began to think, how do I show Nancy that she’s loved by the way we handle our money?  And I asked her, too!  Here’s some things we came up with; hopefully, men, it will give you some ideas to love your wife better!

1) Don’t hide anything from her.  Be honest.

Is your spouse addicted to a substance or damaging habit?  Are they mentally incapacitated?  Are you legally separated?  If the answers to all of these is “no,” you should have your finances combined.  Both of you should have access to all of your money.  Both Nancy’s name and my name are on all of our personal and business accounts.

The only thing we have “separate” are personal stashes of blow money.  If we’ve got a little cash that we saved or received as a gift, we keep these separate.  I’ll be real, this makes surprises a little difficult, but we deal with that okay I think.

2) Take this money thing seriously.

All women might not explicitly state this, but it’s going to be easier for your wife to respect a man who takes his and his family’s finances seriously.  If you have a nonchalant, “whatever,” cavalier approach to your finances, that doesn’t make your wife feel loved or cared for.  Even worse, denying problems or being unwilling to face them will sow fear in your wife’s heart.  Man up, and address your financial situation seriously.  She’ll love you for it.

3) No matter her earning status, value her as a co-equal manager of what God has given you.

I don’t care if she’s the breadwinner, you’re the breadwinner, she has a little business that contributes, or she’s never made a penny for your family’s finances.  She has as much say as you do in how family money is spent.  Don’t dismiss her input, value it.  In describing the virtuous wife, Proverbs 31 says, “The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain.”

God wired your wife to have a different perspective than you have.  Her perspective is valuable, and recognizing and receiving her input will show her your love.

4) Take her need for security seriously.

The short time I was completely out on my own as a bachelor before Nancy and I got married, I lived on next-to-nothing.  As men, we can do that.  It’s not a huge deal if we don’t make any money, if there’s no money in the bank; we can get up, go to work tomorrow, and fix the situation.

Your wife doesn’t see it this way, she has a built-in need for security.  That translates to the following: Food in the pantry, money in the bank.  Not either of these; both!  She feels the risk of living without a plan.  She feels the risk of not having savings.  We as men often lack this capacity.  Even if she can’t articulate it, having money in the bank, debt under control, and a vision for the future will help her feel more secure.

5) Don’t make any major financial decisions without her. 

You have to define for your household what is a “major” financial decision.  For us, it’s anything over $100.  When we started out, it was anything more than $40.  Depending on your means and where you’re at in your journey, it might be much more (or less) for you!  Respect your wife enough by not showing up with at home with a new pet, car, boat or some other crazy purchase!

How to Love Your Wife Financially continues here with Part 2!

Question for wives: When do you feel most loved in relation to you and your spouse’s finances?

Thanks to Nancy Ray Photography for the image!