First Comes Love, Then...

Having love in your life increases your longevity and vitality. Love can help you live a more centered and balanced life. In fact, love may even be the key to maintaining your sense of purpose in the world.

When it comes to romance and finance, how much does love really count?

Before I remarried, I did not think it was possible to fall in love again much less find someone to commit the rest of my life to - who would also be agreement with me about love, romance and... finance.

When I looked into my husband's eyes on that fateful day, all I could see was pure joy and a lifetime of happiness. I hoped the financial part of lives would just fall into place.

This year my husband and I are celebrating 5 years of a mostly, blissful marriage. Well, I could call it all bliss, but what fun would there be in that? Chances are, you wouldn't believe that anyway. Ha!

Truthfully, even as we boarded the plane for our week-long honeymoon in Maui, Hawaii, the cost of our sensibly medium-sized wedding and the week long trip ahead, lingered ever so slightly on our minds. We wanted to create an amazing experience to celebrate our new life together, but we didn’t want to create a lifetime of debt.

We had talked about our finances prior to sharing our forever pledge to love and honor each other. However, we didn’t go deeply into the aspects of saving and investing for our future. We each brought our individual thoughts on money and budgeting into our relationship, along with past debt and financial obligations.

Thankfully, early on, we agreed to make smart money decisions together. Although our methods and individual belief systems could have been discussed more in depth, over the years we continue to get stronger in our communication about finances.

When it comes to romance and finance, how much does love really count? Shouldn't love just be enough without the worry of money to mix it all up? And isn't it true that in life, no matter how much you love someone, there is always going to be an uphill battle or a mountain to move? As country music sensation, Miley Cyrus so poignantly reminds us, it’s all about the climb - gotta love the story in a country love song. The journey to our living comes paved with ups and down that help us to grow along the way.

"Love may be the key to maintaining your sense of purpose in the world."

With this global pandemic going on, being quarantined with the man of my dreams has been more than a notion. I am a hopeless romantic; I could stay locked up in the house with my hubby for days on end and not complain. Everyday we are grateful to have so much time with each other. If anything, the pandemic has brought us even closer.

Dwayne & Valerie Winrow Worship Together

We still have our awkward moments - times when he and I would rather be on opposite ends of the house for alone time. Fortunately my husband has a great sense of humor, he is smart, witty and nice on the eyes - so being with him 24/7 ain't too band. However, his opinion of unending time with me slightly varies.

I mean, he thinks I'm cute and all, but I can admit that there are times when I can be a bit much. I tend to nag, get a bit whiny and pout like a little kid when I am bored or just want his attention. I know, silly right? Despite my antics, he takes it all in stride with his mild-manner and sincere


Faith and Finance

My husband spoils me with love, attention, gifts, laughter and understanding. When we decided to get married, we wanted every aspect of our relationship to have a foundation of faith. Since we met, we have worshipped at church together mixing our faith together, daring to believe that by keeping God first - our finances and anything else will be taken care of. Dwayne takes amazing care of our family and supports me in all my endeavors, affirming me in my music, writing, acting, changing careers, and as I am now growing as an investor.

Since we met I have not had to worry about even the most basic of our needs being met. Dwayne epitomizes everything a husband and father should be; he is kind, caring, considerate, thoughtful, discerning and committed to his family.

He is just so amazing, I could brag about him for hours. When it comes to dealing with his sometimes "drama queen," its as if God gave him a sixth sense to recognize one of my brat attacks before it even starts, so he readies himself for whatever mood I may be in.

Men Are from Mars

So, not to beat up on myself so much - Hubby has his moments too. I have developed my own keen sense of awareness of his needs as well, like when he wants peace and quiet or to be left alone to watch his favorite television shows or simply stare into space while listening to some chill music. In others words we know when to give each other space and how to come together for major cuddle time when that's needed too.

"Women seek to share, while men seek to fix. He says women are articulators, while men are doers. When a woman hurts, she wants to open up about it. When a man hurts, he wants to locate the problem and resolve it." - Dr. John Gray, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus

I may not understand my husbands infatuation with his rare comic book collection, keen sense of numbers or weird taste for sushi, but I let him be who he is because that is the man I fell in love with.

He is a fixer and a problem solver. He will be patience and listen to me when I am emotional and wrought with worry but ultimately he likes to get to heart of a problem and tackle it straight on. He tends to be calm and composed when we are up against a challenge, which drives me crazy at times because I want him to jump and and down and panic with me.

Thanks to his strong stance on making sound financial decisions we have avoided making some costly mistakes, like when the stock market recently took a huge downturn. I wanted to sell everything and run into hiding, but Hubby simply said relax, this is the time to buy more!

It is no secret that my husband is adviser on the bulk of my investment decisions and our collective finances. Even though he is super smart and savvy with managing our money, he refuses to operate in a silo, insisting that we talk about our money and plan together.

Love & Good Money Management, Conquers All

We may argue on occasion, but we never fight. We are so connected and drawn to each other, we can't stay mad over anything.

Maybe it's because we are older, we would

rather not exhaust our energy on frivolous things.

We met each other later in life, after making the bulk of silly mistakes with certain life decisions, such as finances which is the most common thing that comes between couples.

My husband is great with money and budgeting, he is a planner. Honestly, I have struggled in this area most of my life - so having him focus on our finances has been a blessing. It leaves room for me to focus on being creative and running my blog/podcast business and real estate investing among other things.

We obviously had lives before we met, where we made mistakes and learned things the hard way. As a result, we are focused on making the best and most prudent decisions about how we spend our money and time.

Before we jumped the proverbial marriage broom, at his prompting, we sat down and took a focused look at our credit, budget, and finances. We worked together to agree on a financial plan moving forward.

We established joint accounts for our household and long term investing affairs; and individual accounts for each of us to do what we want with a portion of our income. This has kept down a ton of confusion and since we each agreed early on about how we would spend our money - finances have not had the chance to wreak any havoc in our lives.

Dwayne & Valerie Winrow, the Perfect Blend

We Got Something in Common

On the surface, my husband and I appear to be more different than we are alike, but opposites attract. I am the risk taker. I would say that I am more of an extrovert. I asked him out first and even kissed him first. Whereas, he is more laid back and reserved. Dwayne tends to take more calculated approaches; having had a long term plan to make me his wife before I even realized it. I have spread tidbits of our whirlwind romance into various character situations in my soon to be released women's fiction writing series, under the pen name October Snow. More to come on that, so stay tuned!

We are both blooming creatives, with an appreciation for visual and performing arts. We both take a no nonsense approach when it comes to caring for our children and my aging parents. We enjoy fine wine, travel, romance and experiencing a variety of food cuisines from around the world. Some of our most productive time is spent working out together. We like being active and helping each other to maintain a well-balanced diet.

Above all this, coffee is our most common theme. It was a little coffee shop that allowed our paths to cross. To this day, coffee helps us to keep creativity at the core of our relationship.

With so much information coming at us in our busy world, it is easy to feel busy but not productive or to become overwhelmed with our various roles and responsibilities.

Whenever we travel, visiting a cozy quaint coffee shop is on the agenda. In what we call, Creative Days, Dwayne and I are committed to taking a full day every other week or so to just sit and be still at a coffee shop (or home on our patio - since COVID-19).

We literally shut out the noise of the world to dedicate uninterrupted time towards focusing on each other and on what is most essential to us. While sipping on our favorite mocha blend, we talk about our hopes and dreams, discuss our future plans to build and grow our businesses, and take inventory on our recent goals and aspirations.

Making time for each other is a priority and also, its our way of maintaining accountability to our relationship.

Communicate. Take Action. Avoid Confusion

When all is said and done, it is important to know how to speak your spouse's love language. My husband and I both know that the little things mean the most and what seems to be the most challenging battles aren't worth the fight. We have loved each other through job losses, external family issues, crazy exes, illnesses and more. None of life's challenges have broken us, but only brought us closer and made us stronger.

When all is said and done, communicate, take action and take whatever necessary steps to avoid confusion in our marriage. We know that we are mature enough to admit when we are wrong, we can agree to disagree when necessary, and we always put each other first, above anything else that may happen around us. We love hard. We love on purpose. In love, we keep it moving.

For more tips and resources on love, romance, and finance, check out the "Top 5 Money Books for Couples."

Guess who decided to drop by the YTG Studio! Meet my husband Dwayne as we talk about love, money and marriage on this week's "Yes That Girl!" podcast.

Valerie Winrow is an author and a women’s lifestyle writer/blogger with focused content on health, wellness, and finance. Her “Yes, I'm That Girl!” blog and "Yes, That Girl!" podcast, share inspirational stories and anecdotes to encourage others to live a life of purpose. This post/website contains affiliate links. When you click on products/ services here, we may receive a commission. We only promote brands we trust/use ourselves. Your support is appreciated in helping us to continue to provide meaningful content to readers like you!

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