Money Problems? Don’t Let Them Ruin Your Relationship

Posted by on Mar 31, 2015 in Couples Counseling | Comments Off on Money Problems? Don’t Let Them Ruin Your Relationship

There are a number of studies that reveal the impact of money problems on relationships. Discussions about money are one of the greatest sources of conflict for couples. Finances tend to be more commonly thought of— and argued about—than work or sex.

Money is also one of the biggest contributing factors to divorce. Consider these tips for keeping money problems from ruining your relationship:

1. Discuss Financial Values

Conflict is likely to increase if your partner’s monetary values are very different from your own. Differing backgrounds, ideas about money, and economic experiences can contribute to mismatched beliefs about money and how it should be handled.

It makes sense to have the money talk early on, but if you didn’t, it’s never too late to sit down and ask tough questions about debt, savings, and bank accounts like:

  • How do you feel about accumulating debt?
  • How will pre-relationship debts be handled?
  • Will money be combined or kept separate?
  • How will financial power be divided?
  • Who makes financial decisions if only one partner generates income?

It can be difficult to directly deal with money issues. Many people find it to be stressful and overwhelming. Still, planning well is best for your finances and connection.

2. Develop a Financial Plan

Come together as a couple to identify your financial goals. Develop a plan and discuss how to implement them. Finally, review your financial plan annually to reduce stress, stay on the same page, and feel empowered. This way, you’re both aware of your financial destination, and how you’re going to get there.

Many people feel intimidated by the financial planning process, but it can be accomplished with the assistance of a professional financial planner if you need help. More importantly, planning will help you and your partner recognize and make the necessary sacrifices for you both to reach your combined monetary goals.

3. Play Your Financial Strengths

Take on the financial roles and responsibilities that are a good fit. One partner may be better suited to detail-oriented tasks like bill paying or balancing accounts than the other. A global, “big picture” thinker may best suited to handling the long-term goal and savings plans in your relationship.

This doesn’t mean involvement in any part of your finances should be restricted from each other. Just be aware that it doesn’t make sense to force you or your partner into financial tasks that are uncomfortable, burdensome, or stressful.

4. Don’t Attempt to Change Your Partner’s Financial Style

People tend to be spenders or savers in varying degrees. When a couple is mismatched, partners often spend too much time trying to get each other to match their own style. Instead of fighting a losing battle, try to acknowledge the benefits of both money perspectives. Work on accommodating each other. For example, consider maintaining separate accounts in general, then equally combine your money for agreed upon projects or goals to avoid resentment.

5. Beware of Underlying Issues Contributing to Financial Stresses

Determine whether there are other issues being masked by financial disagreements.

Money is often used as a means of control and manipulation.

  • Are there feelings of resentment because one of you earns more than the other?
  • Does one of you repeatedly spend beyond your means?
  • Are you or your partner keeping financial secrets?
  • Is one of you spending money to get back at the other?

If so, there might be underlying issues of neglect or distance in the relationship. Dealing with the deeper issues is necessary before progress with financial planning can be successful. It’s a good idea to seek professional help to deal with the underlying relationship problems.

Online Therapy Available NowRead More