Money problems in marriage is common. All married and unmarried couples discuss and argue about money. All relationships will encounter financial troubles together. All partnerships will have one person that will make money mistakes that can frustrate and drive the other crazy.
But not all of them end up in flames. In fact, some of them even get out of it a lot stronger than before.
Marriage and personal finances can be a dangerous yet necessary mix. When two people are bound in matrimony, you have two different personalities coming from separate backgrounds trying to live and build a life together. And you also have two money personalities that are not only different, but can also be contrasting.
All type of relationships will have one aggressive and one passive personality. It is quite obvious who will be taking the lead when it comes to financial matters. But regardless of that, you know that any money problems in marriage should be expected and treated the right way to keep it from destroying the whole relationship.
Important reminders when discussing money matters with your partner
It is impossible for you not to talk about money with your other half. After all, we live in a society that is built on consumerism. We need to have the money to pay for the things that we need to survive. We need to pay for food, shelter, drink, clothing – among other things. We also have to deal with the rising cost of living that is increasing a lot faster than our incomes. That means we need to worry about trying to fit all the expenses in our limited budget.
That is not necessarily the best conversation that you will make with your spouse. So how can you keep your finances from destroying your marriage? Here are a couple of reminders that you should always keep in mind when you discuss your finances – especially when it involves money problems in marriage.
It’s normal to argue. We are not saying that you need to argue all the time. But if you feel like your spouse is saying or deciding on something that you know is not right, then you need to speak up. Some people choose to be passive and silent until everything blows up in their faces and the blame game starts happening. You have to remember that by not saying anything, you are also to blame. Regardless if you are not the breadwinner, you need to be part of the financial decision making. If something does not feel right to you, then you need to argue your case. At least, ask your spouse to convince you why you need to agree with him.
Know where your spouse is coming from. Always remember that even when you have similar personalities, your minds are still wired differently. That is why you need to communicate all the time. That is how you will understand where the other person is coming from. It is important that you hear out what they are saying for you to arrive at a peaceful agreement on the money problems in marriage. Listening is sometimes the key to keep the conversation from heating up.
Find a common ground. In case you cannot agree on something, find a common ground. For instance, let us say that your child wants to go to sports camp. You want to give it to them even if it means you have to take the money from the child’s college savings. Your spouse disagrees and thinks the money should be left alone. Both of you have a point so the argument is to be expected. But here’s one way to solve it. You may have conflicting ideas but it has a common theme – the well being of your child. Concentrate on that common ground and together, map out how you will approach the problem. Is it really on the best interest of the child to go to the sports camp? If you really want to, maybe you can appease your spouse by coming up with a plan to pay back the money so it is like you never took money from the college fund.
Treat the discussions as you would in a professional situation. Now this will be quite difficult because money problems in marriage can make you emotional. But make sure that you hold it off as much as possible. In a survey published on Lexisnexis.com, it is revealed that 26% of Americans avoid talking about finances. One can only assume that it is because they feel embarrassed or they know it will only hurt the other person. While that may be true, especially when you made a mistake, you need to approach it as you would in the professional world. When something goes wrong in the office, you dread it but you still talk to your superior about it. If you approach it professionally and set aside the emotions, you will realize how clear both of your minds will be.
Do not force to agree after one conversation. Some money problems in marriage take time to solve. If a decision has to be made about it, you have to remember that you do not have to solve it immediately. Talk about it two or three times more before you really decide. Space the conversations between days or weeks if you can afford to wait that long. That way, you can think things more thoroughly and you can view it in the perspective of your spouse.
Sometimes, consultations can put things in a new light. If you find yourself at an impasse, call in someone else and discuss it with that person – together. It can be a financial adviser or a trusted friend or relative. A third party opinion may be what you need to make a decision and keep the money problems in marriage from being destructive.
Money difficulties can destroy relationships
We’ve discussed in a previous article why money problems can drive you and your spouse apart. It is important that you understand why money is such a sensitive issue so you can keep your financial relationship smooth.
Here are a couple of ideas from that article and some new ones that should give light about why money can drive you apart.
You cannot survive without money. As discussed, you need to buy things to survive. Study reveals that money can buy you happiness – at least until you are able to pay for the basic needs. If you do not have this, everyone in the family will feel unhappy.
Some materialistic frame of mind will use it as a measurement of success. That being said, you know that money can affect your self esteem. A low self esteem can make you quite disagreeable and even resentful. You do not want that in your marriage.
It reveals an underlying problem in the marriage. Financial infidelity is sometimes more damaging for couples. The effects of money problems in marriage will have a ripple effect on everyone in the family – not just in the present but in the coming years. According to an article published on MSN.com, although one partner is to blame, financial infidelity is a result from the couple’s actions. As mentioned, even if you failed to speak your mind and let the other make the mistakes, it is also your fault. Or if you are too overbearing and that prompted your spouse to not be honest with you. These are problems that you need to fix together with the financial problem.
It can quickly turn your life around. Another reason why marriages can be destroyed by money is because it can change things about your life drastically and negatively. That can make you extremely frustrated and stressed about your life.
You will always have money problems in marriage but it is just a matter of knowing how to deal with it to help keep your relationship secure. If you really want to save the marriage, you need to be more open minded, understanding and wiser about your decisions. Remember that you are in this together. Make sure you come out stronger and not the other way around.