How To Stay Together

My amazing playwriting aside, the Jeff Bezos/MacKenzie Scott divorce is an illuminating tale for people committing to one another for the long haul.

The conventional wisdom is that a lack of money and related money fights explain why so many relationships fail. That’s certainly true, but not the whole story. Even people with money can have devastating money disagreements because everyone has a unique money history and no two people will ever think about it the same way.

The bottom line. Couples don’t explore their “money compatibility” nearly carefully enough in the early stages of their relationships. The key is to figure out whether you and your partner are more similar in your thinking about saving, spending, gifting, and investing than not. No, that’s not particularly sexy, but do you want to measure your relationship by decades or not?

One little complication, by which I mean, huge complication. People change over time. Maybe MacKenzie didn’t know Jeff wanted to be the richest person in the world because he may not have wanted to be until his first or one hundredth billion.

What to do about the unknown? Anticipate that your thinking about money will change over time, not radically, but moderately. Similarly, anticipate that your partner’s thinking will change too. Meaning “money compatibility” is always a work-in-progress. Talk about saving, spending, gifting, and investing with some regularity or run the risk of serious differences creating dangerous cracks in the foundation of your relationship.

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