Fidelity's Couples & Money Study is a survey we conduct every few years where we ask both sides of a couple how they communicate and plan when it comes to their finances. This year's results resonated with me more than usual, as my own late-August wedding was quickly approaching.
In advance of my wedding, I asked some of my Fidelity colleagues from around the world to share their best marriage advice, and it was just too good not to share. Whether you have been married for 30 years, about to get married like me, or new to a relationship, there is a lesson to be learned for all of us.
Salt Lake City, UT, Married: 13 years
"Positivity and support are contagious. The more you give, the more you'll get!"
Radnor, PA, Married: 5 years
"Be open and honest—always!!! You don't have to always agree, but communication is key."
Dalian, China, Married: 7 years
"Don't try to change your wife or husband but try to understand each other. People can be changed when they are willing to change, but you cannot force them."
New York, NY, Married: 5 years
"Meet with a financial professional sooner rather than later. Even though I work for Fidelity, we didn't meet with a representative as a couple until after our second child was born. It was really beneficial to put our income and expenses on paper as well as discuss our financial goals."
Washington, DC, Married: 25 years (in July!)
"I asked my wife to weigh in here (!) and our best advice is to always make time to break away from the stresses of daily life and spend time with just each other. Use these times to resync on individual, mutual, family, and yes, financial goals! Talk about those goals constantly, transparently, and very honestly and you'll keep growing together."
Southlake, TX, Married: 7 years
"Money is often a tough subject in a marriage, trying to blend two people with separate financial lives who now have common expenses and savings goals. I recently realized that in my own marriage, since financial planning is my life and passion, I have controlled most of our financial decisions. We are now investing time in each other to ensure that we are having healthy conversations about money."
Raleigh, NC, Married: 5 years
"Always make time to date one another. Life moves at a fast pace that is full of competing priorities, it is always important to take time to enjoy each other's company and remember where you started!"
Westlake, TX, Married: 17 years
"Marriage is complex. Marriage is about change as you grow and mature. However, friendship between two people goes beyond any other human bond, even siblings. The best advice I can give is this: marriage is the ultimate commitment of friendship—marry your best friend."
Raleigh, NC, Married: 6 years
"We think and approach things very differently so we try to communicate and acknowledge each other's feelings, and without judgement even if we don't see eye to eye. We can't control how we feel but we CAN control how we handle how we feel. Also, laughter can solve a lot or at least make it better!"
Boston, MA, Married: 17 years
"Things will change over the course of your marriage—you may have children, different jobs. Make sure you are making time to be together and aren't taking each other for granted."