Is Money Destroying your Marriage?
Do you know what the number one reason couples
give for their marital breakup in the United States? It’s not adultery or abuse or emotional problems: its money.
Marriages suffer when there is financial conflict or financial infidelity, where important financial decisions
are made without the spouse’s knowledge or consent. Perhaps money is the “root of all evil” in marriage, but it
is also an inevitable issue that all marriages have to deal with.
Husbands and wives need to work together to
decide how to make and spend their money, and what to do with what’s left over. This can be difficult, as each
partner is probably used to making financial decisions on their own. What you do with your money is in many ways
an expression of your personality and character; arguments about money can be very hurtful because they often address
the core personality differences between husband and wife.
So, the question is: how can married people
plan their finances together and healthily resolve conflicts about money? Here are some tips that may help:
1.Keep each other informed
It is common in marriage for one partner to
be responsible for taking care of the family finances; however, it is important that both partners are informed
and involved in the decision-making process. When one partner is kept “out of the loop,” they might feel as though
they are a less important part of the relationship, and feelings of resentment may grow towards their spouse. Set
a time to go over finances once a week; though talking about money isn’t usually much fun, when you take some time
to review expenses and savings and make financial plans, you will not only save money, but you will both be informed
on your financial status and be able to contribute ideas and solutions.
2.Share your finances.
Don’t think that just because you earn more
money than your spouse that you are entitled to spend more of it as well. Marriage is about sharing resources equally,
and the spouse who is not working is supporting the family in other ways. Sharing resources is one of the important
ways that spouses become unified and strengthen their relationship.
3.Set spending rules
Make a budget and stick to it. Make sure you
both have a little pocket money for small things, and set some money set aside for entertainment (for money-saving
coupons and great dating ideas, visit coupons4dates.com). Decide what purchases can be made with or without the
spouse’s consent. For example, you might set a cap and say that any purchase of $10 or more needs to have the spouse’s
consent (these rules may be flexible according to your income and your needs). When in doubt, ask your spouse.
Making important financial decisions without your spouse betrays their trust and can be interpreted as marital
4.Plan for the future
Your income and your needs will change over
the years. You can save your marriage from a lot of stress and anxiety by being prepared for the future. Prepare
for major expenses and create a retirement plan. Discuss life insurance needs and prepare wills. By mapping out
your financial life course, you will be establishing a secure environment in which your marriage can thrive and
succeed. There are usually many free local resources that are available to help you with financial planning; ask
your bank or credit union, or see if your employer provides any financial planning resources.
Money can’t buy love or happiness, but it can
cause a lot of problems. However, if you plan well, work with your spouse and make a few sacrifices, you can minimize
the problems that money can cause in your relationship and increase the level of trust between you and your partner.
In the end, you’ve got to decide which comes first, your money or your marriage?
to read and print a pamphlet we created on Money and Marriage that contains additional information.
Learn even more skills and information that
can help you form and sustain a healthy marriage by taking a healthy marriage education workshop. To find one in
your area visit the directory of marriage education programs at the SmartMarriages website by clicking here.