How Invisible Wounds Sabotages Love and Money

How Invisible Wounds Sabotages Love and Money

This is the story of Linda and Dan. Their wedding is six months away and they are making final decisions about the wedding budget. They are in their 30’s and paying for the wedding themselves. She said, “It’s our big day. Once in a lifetime event. I want it to be as beautiful and special as our love. Let’s go for the high price band”. He says, “That’s $7,000. That’s 25% of our budget. I was hoping we’d save some money and put it towards the down payment on our house”.

They began to debate the money issue and it leads to an argument. Linda ends up in tears, “You just don’t understand. All my life, since I was a little girl, I’ve dreamed of marrying the man I love on a day that is like a fairy tale”.

When they call me for help to work through this, it wasn’t a surprise because I’ve had the same call from so many couples over the years. By now, I’ve probably counseled literally thousands of couples, either privately or in our training sessions around the world. Money is the number one thing those about to be married fight over and the number one thing spouses fight over during their marriage.


Money never means just money.

It has one of these six core meanings for most people.

  1. Security
  2. Significance
  3. Safety
  4. Fulfillment
  5. Control
  6. Love

Growing up, as a child, if I had change in my pocket, I could buy candy and share it with all of my friends. This made me feel both significant and loved. The invisible wounds we all have from childhood occur when our feelings are hurt, unusually by parents, no matter how well meaning. And the child ends up feeling unloved, not safe, and not important. This is why money takes on the significance it does. I’ve even worked with couples from extremely well to do families. The parents gave the children money and materiel things instead of their time and energy. For those people, money equals love.

As a child, Dan’s father lost his job. Money was always tight.

Linda’s mother showed her love by buying her pretty things.

My job was to help Linda and Dan spot the invisible wounds, heal them and create a money script that will protect their marriage and allow them to make financial decisions in a loving and supportive way.

If you can see it you can heal it. Once they could see their money patterns, they laughed about the arguments they were having and agreed that their new money script would be a combination of what would make her feel loved and special and what would make him feel secure, and that they would direct funds 50-50, each choosing where they could give their 50% to help the other meet their emotional needs.


By Dr. Brenda Wade Internationally recognized relationship expert, author and trainer