My Man…My Money…and Me

I think I just hit pay dirt…the reason I’ve had such trouble talking money with My Man.  It happened last night.

I’ve been an avid journal writer since the 5th grade. Every once in a while, I’ll go to the big cardboard box that holds my old journals and randomly pick one to read.

Last night, I selected a green spiral Mead notebook. It was from 1993… a very painful period when I was struggling with money…not long after the government told me I owed them over a million dollars (for back taxes my ex didn’t pay, for illegal deals he got us in).

As I read what I wrote on February 7, 1993, my jaw dropped:

I think I just made a discovery. Why I have money problems. Watched a video with Susan [a girlfriend]. A woman comes on who says she’s having trouble with finances because she’s afraid people would be jealous if she had too much.

“Susan looked at me. “Can you relate to that,” she asked?

“Could I!!! I instantly felt the shame and secrecy of having money growing up, of being different from everyone else…and the almost pride I now feel when I talk about all my money problems. I can see how my need to be like others, to be accepted, has me sabotaging my success.”

I’ll be damned! The same discovery…16 years later! I had forgotten how self conscious I was, as a kid, about being rich. Sure there were advantages to living in a big house, having a famous father. But, at the same time, I was embarrassed.  I never felt like I fit in. I was never quite sure if people liked me for me, or because of my family. I was always trying so hard to be just like everyone else. If I’d ever told anyone how I felt, which I rarely did, they’d always say: “Gee, I wish I had your problem!”

No wonder I was so scared to reveal myself to My Man. It suddenly made sense. In fact, writing this now, it seems downright obvious. I’m afraid of being different from him…of not being accepted.

Isn’t it astounding, how unconscious, irrational fears like these take hold with such an irrepressible force, it feels like we’re going against gravity?

So, here’s my current question: Now that I’m enlightened, will the conversation be easier? I’ll definitely let you know!

Barbara Stanny

The leading authority on women & money
[email protected]

Sign up for Barbara’s free newsletter at

Twitter Barbara at:

Filed under: News & Updates

Comments & Feedback

  • My husband says he’ll praise the day I make more than him…we’ll see.

  • Michelle

    Congratulations on the breakthrough, Barbara! Sharing actual financial statements may not be necessary, but figuring out expense responsibilities is. After all, you wouldn’t start a business with someone without managing this piece; why move in before this is agreed upon?

    Good luck sorting this out. You’re so great – continue to respect yourself! (And being candid with your partner means you respect and trust his ability to hear and handle the information, too.)

  • Kelly

    Great post. I can really relate to this. In a previous relationship I almost felt guilty, and certainly a little awkward, for being financially savvier than my partner, who had much more money than me (but knew less about what to do with it). Just my two cents (and the bias that comes along with studying gender roles for my PhD), but I think feelings like guilt and not wanting to feel different are related to the taboos about women and money (real or imagined) that you talk about in Prince Charming Isn’t Coming.

    Keep up the good work!

  • AJ

    Great post. I am sure you will work through it.

Use The Form Below to Share Your Feedback And Opinion

Meet Barbara Huson

When a devastating financial crisis rocked her world, Barbara Huson knew she had to get smart about money… and she did. Now, she wants to empower every women to take charge of their money and take charge of their lives! She’s doing just that with her best-selling books, life changing retreats and private financial coaching.

Top Back To Top
Site Design Rebecca Pollock
Site Development Alchemy + Aim