This will be a short little update as I'm running really late today but I wanted to get this out there before it becomes old news... I was finally able to bring up finances with S without going to battle! Because of his new job we had talked about splitting the household expenses more equitably but we still hadn't ever sat down and actually figured out what that meant. Almost every time finances have come up between the two of us in the past, we've left the discussion (argument) with a sour taste so I was dreading having to hash out the new household budget.
Thankfully, I've been doing some reading on talking finances with your partner and some of the tips were pretty easy to handle. The first tip, not waiting until your angry or bitter about the finances to talk to your partner, has generally been my biggest stumbling block in the past. I wait until the last minute, as in when our landlord is on his way over to pick up our rent check last minute, before I bring it up with S. By that point I'm so irritated that S didn't take the initiative that I explode (and yes, I do have a temper).
To minimize our financial outbursts we've tended to stick with a once-a-month hand-off when our rent is due. Instead of waiting until today to bring it up I forced myself to bring it up a couple times calmly and casually over the last week so he knew it was coming. Then two days ago after we'd had a nice relaxing morning, I brought it up again very casually. I had come prepared with my excel spreadsheet totaling up our monthly expenses and the division between the two of us. He wasn't really interested in anything but what he owed (which is another issue that I'll have to write about later) but I firmly asked him to review the household expenses, asked him if he felt like all the amounts were correct and if the division was fair, he wrote his check and with that, our first successful financial discussion was over!
The whole encounter lasted 5 minutes so it seems ridiculous the amount of time I spend dreading having to talk about it. It gives me hope that with time, effort, and understanding we may just be able to handle our finances together after all.