How early trauma can affect your relationship with money

Few people go through their lives without experiencing a financial shock of some sort – whether you’re a kid watching your parents go through or experiencing it yourself as an adult. Look no further than the epidemic to see countless recent cases of it.

Such events can undermine money habits that can harm your finances, your relationships, or both.

Growing up in a financially volatile family—especially if your family is just barely one—can leave a deep imprint and affect how you handle money in adulthood, no matter how successful you are financially.

“Every day is an emergency when you’re poor. You’re always like one bad bill away from losing everything,” Mars Nevada, director of arts for the ad agency, told CNN’s “Diversified” podcast presenter Dillian Barros, the ad agency’s director of arts. “Having this kind of existential threat [and] Being aware of that as a kid kind of absurd in a way that I don’t know if you’ve completely outgrown yet as an adult. “

Children can absorb stress and anxiety when they see their parents struggling financially, said Ed Coombs, licensed therapist, financial advisor, and author of The Love and Healthy Money Way: How the Four Attachment Styles Affect Your Financial Well-being.

The way you handle money in adulthood may be an emotional response to those stressors, Coombs said. One response may be to become too restrictive in how you spend money and to criticize your partner’s spending. He pointed out that this may lead to the opposite happening. “You may be indifferent to money, and think that you may also live today because it may be gone tomorrow.”

Likewise, traumatic childhood experiences that may not have anything to do with money directly — such as not feeling loved by a parent or being sexually abused — can lead to financial behaviors that harm your financial health and relationships, Coambs He pointed out.

For example, if you overspend to boost your self-worth, it can result in not only unmanageable credit card debt, but also painful criticism from your partner, which can feel threatened by the rejection you felt as a child. This, in turn, can lead you to financial secrecy.

Financial shock in adulthood can have a long tail

Sometimes, of course, financial shock will hit adulthood, not childhood.

One particularly insidious example is a husband’s blind financial surprise. For example, finding out that your husband is having an affair can be painful. But then this shock is compounded if you also learn that your cheating spouse has wasted a lot of money on the other person.

“It’s very painful and can mask sexual infidelity. It’s a double punch. It becomes a huge problem because [you] She didn’t know, said Debra Kaplan, licensed therapist and author of “Battle of the Titans: Mastering the Powers of Sex, Money, and Power in Relationships.”

So, for example, some people may respond by avoiding risking their money. The effect becomes ‘How do I trust?’ I can’t trust myself because I believed this person. I don’t know what’s real. “So they end up not spending because they don’t trust,” Kaplan said.

Find healthy ways to deal

If you suspect that you have money habits undermined by emotions from a traumatic experience, there are ways to deconstruct the situation and establish a healthy relationship with money.

Financial therapy is a thriving field that typically combines the psychological expertise of a licensed therapist with the skills of a certified financial planner in managing money and financial behavioral changes.

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Sometimes you can have both in the same person. But if not, you might want to see a therapist first, recommended by Alex Melcomian, a licensed marriage and family therapist and founder of the Center for Financial Psychology in Los Angeles.

“Meet someone with a clinical background to dig into your money story and find out why you act the way you do,” Melcomian said. “And then, when you address these experiences, you can meet with a healthcare professional (CFP) to dig into the numbers.”

In any case, always check the professional’s credentials and experience before working with him.

You may find a professional with financial therapy training in Financial Therapy Associationor a Certified Financial Conduct Specialist In the Institute of Financial Psychology It was founded by psychologist and CFP Brad Klontz.


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