7 Ways to Stop Money Arguments From Destroying Your Relationship
Money arguments and problems are one the most significant factors that can lead to divorce according to numerous studies. Research by Kansas State University found that this is because money arguments decrease relationship satisfaction and are harder to move on from than other marriage arguments.
If one spouse is more reckless, frivolous and carefree with money (whichever way you look at it) and the other is more cautious, tight and careful conflict can arise. These differences can ruin a relationship in the best of times, but when you add to the mix financial stress, unemployment and a negative economy it can lead to divorce.
Financial issues also often trigger feelings of shame and fear which can lead to angry outbursts or withdrawal that further destroys the connection. So to help you move forward here are 7 ways to protect your marriage and stop divorce caused by money arguments and financial conflicts.
- Overcome any deep rooted issues causing money arguments
For many people (and I have to say I was one of them) money has a powerful influence on them. Not in the sense I was materialistic, as I can easily and happily live on little if circumstances dictate. But I used to get really anxious and stressed when I lost money and worry about not having enough in the future, even when I didn’t need to. My financial fears relate back to my childhood. Where I witnessed the pain a lack of finances caused the family. It destroyed my mum’s happiness who was forever stressed, angry and always very strict with money. Only because she had to be rasing 5 children on nothing. A lack of money in our house led to constant bitter rows between my parents, shame and hunger. Money arguments between my parents only got worse after they divorced. So I learnt a lack of money equals pain and you must avoid it at all costs, even if that means overworking yourself or being tight on yourself to save.
If you grew up not having much to live on, struggled in your college/university years or have had periods of unemployment, a lack of money may literally freak you out. Where it impacts every area of your life, including your ability to sleep and function. The worry may be so great that you can’t relax becoming easily irritable or too controlling as a result. Which for obvious reasons can cause a great deal of tension to family life no wants to be around someone controlling or uptight. The pressure can increase if your spouse spends money very differently to you or you experience periods of financial stress.
The opposite is also true, you could have a financially difficult childhood and become a spendthrift, lavishly buying everything you didn’t have as a child and spoiling your loved ones and any children with gifts. If you grew up where money was plentiful you may also continue to spend like that even if your money is not currently plentiful, which I also see cause a lot of money arguments between couples.
If you grew up where money was plentiful you may also continue to spend like that even if your money is not currently plentiful, which I also see cause a lot of money arguments between couples.
The key is to be aware of your own and your partner’s financial history and work out a way forward. I had to do some healing and coaching work to clear my money fears and blocks, so it didn’t cause issues in my personal and love life.
I now regularly help couples with this, by doing some individual clearing money blocks and changing limiting belief work.
- Share debt and be honest about poor spending habits
All relationships require Transparency and Trust and in the area of finances, this is crucial. If you can be open about your financial habits and any debt then you have a greater chance of working through them. When Katy and Mark got married Mark didn’t share that he had credit card debts owing $30,000. Mainly because he was ashamed and knew he would handle it somehow. But for Katy his hiding felt like deceit, which hurt her and the relationship. I’ve also helped couples reconcile after years of financial cheating later in the marriage, and it is certainly not an easy path to rebuilding faith, trust and closeness. The safest way is to be open and honest right at the start.
- Agree when and if savings are touched
If one of you have spent years or decades building savings and the other starts eating away at them, it may destroy respect and even love. Savings are a sign of sacrifice for a greater purpose and seeing them wasted without permission or agreement can be soul destroying for some…
- Adopt a policy of joint agreement
As soon as you start to pool your money together it is important to set some rules about independent spending. Some couples have a limit they can spend without sharing and others have a joint account and keep their own access to separate money. You need to determine what works best for you and at what price point you are going to talk to each other about a purchase.
Making decisions together also helps prevent controlling behaviour. No one wants to be controlled and both deserve an opinion even if one is not earning. It can damage a relationship if one person demands to keep track of all of the money and won’t let the other person make any decisions or have no spending power.
Another financially controlling behaviour is to criticise each other’s decisions, through discussing and agreeing together this can be avoided. As when you discuss you lower your risk of resentment, anger and fights happening.
- Keep to your financial agreements
If you are responsible for paying certain bills in the marriage, stick to it and discuss if you can’t. If you say you will do something then it is important to honour that. Otherwise, you may break trust and damage your partners and the family’s credit ratings which can lead to further fallout.
- Create financial goals and a plan
Most of us have dreams for where we want to live and travel to, what objects and experiences will symbol a well-lived life to us. When couples figure out how much they want to save and what their future goals are together it often brings them closer together. Without discussing dreams and goals finances can often lead to more conflicts meaning your closeness takes a hit.
- Change what is not working
If the way your finances are being handled is causing strain and distance between you then change it. Having worked with countless couples now, adopting a new strategy can literally save the marriage. If one is getting stressed with all the tracking and paying of bills, split the responsibility or hand over control. If lack of communication around finances is igniting fear or resentment, create regular financial meetings. If saving is difficult for you, get a savings plan (be sure to educate yourself first though). If a joint account or pooled savings is not working discuss and try a new way of working it.
In summary, the best way to avoid money arguments is to be transparent, open create a budget, understand each other’s money personality, family history and dreams. Try to align your money values. Couples that have similar money values have a lot less drama in this area. Although you don’t have to match identically there is growth in differences as long as you are both willing to adapt and consider each other’s history.
I hope you enjoyed reading this if I can help at all let me know I love supporting in this area.
From my heart to yours, Nicola
P.S Check out my free e-book the 7 secrets to saving your marriage here https://training.nicolabeer.com/7-secrets-marriage
Or if you are really serious about changing your relationship join me on my live webinar where I talk for an hour on how to have the relationship you really want. https://training.nicolabeer.com/webinar-signup