Articles by Alex Ryder, Communication, Conflict, Couple's counselling, Couples, Family counselling, finances, money

How to discuss finances with your partner.

Conflict due to financial stress is one of the most commonly reported problems couples face.


The high cost of living in Sydney doesn’t help, and it is unsurprising that many couples raise financial issues when they attend couples counselling at Sydney Couples and Family Specialists.

A lot of couples find it difficult to have a conversation about finances. Often, one partner will feel they can’t raise the subject because they are worried about what their partner will say. Sometimes both partners avoid it due to the commitment and trust a financial discussion represents. The discussion might also be avoided due to family legacies of wealth or debt, which are uncomfortable to speak about. And many couples are able to dance around the topic and function okay for even a number of years.

But unfortunately, we frequently see that when finances are not discussed, couples end up with secrets, built-up resentments and relationship stress.

So when a couple comes to me with financial conflicts I help them understand how each person attributes meaning to money and what values they may take into the relationship. I also help them to have the conversation in a safe way.

If you have never had a conversation about money try working through the checklist questions below:

How did you go?

If you were able to cover all these questions with your partner and find common ground, then congratulations!

If you had difficulty asking or answering any of these questions with your partner; or don’t feel comfortable in having the conversation at all (perhaps trust has already been broken), consider making an appointment with a couples counsellor who can help you out with this. It is important for your relationship that you are able to be forthcoming and honest about your beliefs and attitudes towards money, and your financial position and spending habits. Otherwise you will find secrecy, stress and ultimately resentment.

If you would like the support of Sydney Couples and Family Specialists, we will help you have a safe and productive conversation about finances that will build both understanding and trust in your relationship. Contact us today on 02 8968 9397.

About Alex

Alex is an accessible and compassionate therapist.  His clients appreciate that Alex listens with the intention of genuinely understanding them.  He’s lovely with adolescents, who seem to warm to him

immediately, and he creates a space in sessions for any or all participants to have their say and feel heard.

Alex’s particular strengths are in the area of working with couples and he has extensive experience and training in this area.  He is both Gottman and Systemically trained and draws on practical ideas that clients can immediately make use of to enhance their relationships.

Alex comes to Sydney Couple and Family Therapy Specialists from backgrounds as a Lifeline Crisis Line Counsellor and Trainer and Therapist at the highly-respected Jansen Newman Institute.  He has supported individuals and couples through trauma, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation and adolescent struggles.

Alex has helped many people through intensely frightening and painful life events – and to a place where they have the skills and confidence to carry themselves forward.

Alex is married with a young family and therefore easily relates to the stress and struggles that many couples and young families face today.

“It takes a lot of courage to share a moment of crisis with someone you don’t yet know.  Even more so, to entrust your intimate relationship over to them.

I have been in the fortunate position to be trusted with that responsibility many times and have helped people – through their own bravery, honesty and effort – to transcend their suffering and improve their key relationships.”

Alex also runs the pre-marriage counselling course at the Sydney Couple and Family Specialists

Qualifications and Professional Membership

Alex holds a Masters of Counselling and Psychotherapy from Jansen Newman Institute Sydney, and a Bachelor degree from the University of Sydney.  Alex also holds a Gottman training certificate.

He is a member of the Australian Association of Family Therapy, the Counsellors and Psychotherapist Association of Australia, and the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia.

Why see a Couples Counselor?

Are you wondering if couples counselling is for you? In this interview Alex Ryder answers common questions we hear from people who want to understand more about this process.

And remember, if you are a new client you can book a free 15 minute telephone session with Alex.

“We really like your approach. The other couples counsellor we saw left us stuck in negativity.  Right from the start we felt hopeful with you.  Your positive approach helped us out of the slump, so we could address the real issues.” – Murry (36) married to Tasha (39); One Child (3) – Clients who saw Alex Ryder for Relationship counselling.

“I’ve wanted to refer you to so many people.  Obviously I haven’t given the circumstances, but we are huge fans and are so grateful for your help.” – Tom (49) married to Sarah (43). Two children; 15 & 13 – Clients who saw Alex Ryder for Relationship counselling following an affair.

“I think we told you in our first session that you were the last couples therapist we were going to try. Everything was on the line.  So thank you for… well everything.” – James (55) married to Philippa (53) – Clients who saw Alex Ryder for Relationship Counselling

Sign up today to get tools and strategies to build your relationship

Call us Today Book FREE Consultation