When I learned that Tony and Alisa DiLorenzo used their experience of getting out of $50,000 in debt as a means to transform their marriage and improve their intimacy, I asked Tony to provide a guest post for you detailing how they achieved this success. Here’s their story, in Tony’s words …
You might be wondering how a financial guru can save your sex life. Let’s put it this way, the financial intimacy you have in your marriage can either drive a wedge between you and your spouse or it can bring you closer together. I never really thought about how much it impacted my marriage until my wife, Alisa, and I attended a recent weekend marriage retreat.
While at the retreat it hit us … Our freedom from debt and the ability to talk about our financial goals has allowed us to be closer when it comes to our sexual intimacy. During the retreat, we talked a lot about intimacy. But it was when our financial pastor, Bill Besalski, got up to talk about financial intimacy when we looked at each other and realized the impact this financial guru had had on our sex life. We weren’t always this close.
Backup: Ten years ago we were up to our eyeballs in debt—student loans, mortgage, cars, credit cards—you name it we had it, to the tune of $50,000. I started listening to the Dave Ramsey Show and realized how out of control we were and how much sense he made. I asked Alisa to listen as well, and that’s when we got serious about getting out of debt and living debt-free.
At this year’s retreat, when Bill handed out a couple of financial worksheets for each couple to go over together, we realized just how far we had come. As Alisa and I talked about our finances openly, there were many couples who wouldn’t even make eye contact. The financial walls we so big and tall they couldn’t even attempt to talk. It is my belief that when we are unable to discuss our finances, our sexual intimacy will suffer as well.
Here are the questions that were on that sheet (and our answers).
Answer True or False to the following:
- We pay off our credit card balances every month. Not Applicable (We haven’t had one in almost 10 years)
- We have a liquid “Emergency Fund” equal to at least 3 months of household expenses. TRUE
- We have a budget in place that establishes long term priorities (savings, retirement, kids education, etc.) and assures we do not incur inappropriate debts (i.e. credit cards). TRUE
- We have an automatic system (i.e. payroll deduction) in place to fund our retirement. TRUE
- We have checked our credit scores within the past year and monitor them regularly. TRUE
- We understand that it is “All His” & as a result give generously and joyfully at least 10% of our income to God’s church. Tony=8 & Alisa=9
- We frequently discuss our financial goals as well as our progress. Both=10
- When it comes to our finances we have discussed and agree on our respective roles in managing our money, but share equally in the responsibility and accountability. Both=10
- As a family we read the Bible and pray together regarding the significant challenges and/or concerns in our life. Both=10
- There are few unresolved conflicts in our marriage when it comes to how each of us manages and/or spends money. Both=9
To what degree do the following describe your approach to finances in your marriage?
(0=Not at All to 10=Living It!)
It was during this session that we realized the fruits of our labor & God’s blessings. If we hadn’t made financial intimacy a priority 10 years ago, who knows what our intimacy would look like today. When we came together and attacked the problem (debt, credit cards, car loans, etc.), this process brought the two of us closer together. We were no longer on separate sides of the fence arguing at each other. Instead, we were holding hands and using all of our energies to rid ourselves of the debt. The couple of years it took for us to eliminate our debt has changed our intimacy.
It has taken a decade to fully sink in, but we now understand how important it is to be on the same page when talking about our finances. We have regular financial discussions now. Doing so takes the stress of money out of our bedroom, where sexual intimacy is both beneficial and enjoyed by both of us.
We’re not the only ones who realize that financial intimacy is so important. Here’s what Jeff & NeCole had to say about their financial intimacy during the 7 Days of Sex Challenge, “Day two turned out to be a blessing. After spending the day taking a hard look at our finances and sitting down to restructure them, we both were more than stressed and welcomed the chance to forget about it and focus on each other. Afterwards, we both felt much less stressed and our thought processes were clearer. And instead of tossing and turning all night because of the stress, we both slept like babies.”
It’s time to save your sex life! Make it a point to go over the above questions with your spouse and dig into your financial intimacy.
What has been your experience with financial intimacy in your marriage?
Tony and Alisa DiLorenzo podcasters, speakers, authors of Stripped Down: 13 Keys to Unlocking Intimacy in Your Marriage, and the founders of ONE. For many years Tony and Alisa have helped couples achieve romance, passion, and intimacy in their marriage. They’ve been called Champions of Extraordinary Marriages and they truly have a passion for igniting marriages. Learn more about Tony and Alisa at ONE Extraordinary Marriage.