Can You Reconcile Your Financial Issues in Your Marriage?
One of the biggest financial issues that can negatively impact a marriage is how each spouse handles and views money. Each spouse may have different views of money, one spouse may primarily seek to save money for a rainy day, and another could have a spending fetish.
It’s very difficult for partners who view money, saving, and spending in fundamentally conflicting ways to manage household finances successfully as a team. This type of conflict will typically raise trust and intimacy issues in the relationship. After your last fight over money with your spouse, did you spend time kissing, cuddling, and getting passionate? Probably not. Money issues can eventually cause resentment and a lack of desire for intimacy, paralyzing your relationship.
Two big issues that can destroy a marriage are:
- Who does the money belong to?
Very few people talk about finances before they are married, so it is easy to get into problems when each spouse has a different view of who us entitled to the marital money. Some spouses pool their money into a joint account and treat it as a joint asset by splitting expenses down the middle. However, in another marriage, one spouse may believe that since they bring in the lion’s share of the earnings, the money belongs to them. In that case, they may become controlling and insist on keeping track of the finances themselves and require the other spouse to seek their approval before spending any money.
- How’s your credit?
One spouse may be perfectly comfortable using credit cards and taking out loans. Another spouse may be very wary of using credit. Do you know your partner’s credit score? knowing your partner’s credit score provides some insight into your partner’s past financial decisions. Money is a common source of stress in a marriage, so it is helpful to know how your partner has handled money in the past. It is not unusual for a spouse to find out after the marriage that their wife or husband has a run up a lot of debt and has a poor credit score.
While marriage does not automatically make one spouse responsible for another spouse’s debts, it can cause problems for the future. If you jointly apply for a credit card or a loan to purchase a house or car, the lender will consider both credit scores and, chances are, the poor credit score will result in higher interest rates and fees than if both credit scores were high.
How to Reconcile Financial Issues in Your Marriage
Financial compatibility is rarely discussed before a couple makes a long-term commitment.
However, money issues are one of the top 5 reasons for divorce. Here are three steps to take to begin reconciling your financial issues.
Don’t Play the Blame Game.
Many partners, rather than working together, start to place blame on the other person. This creates discord and resentment in the relationship. It will be impossible to fix your financial issues if you are bickering, blaming, and fighting.
Gently break the ice on a conversation with your spouse about money.
Talking about money is stressful for most people. It makes them uncomfortable and defensive. To minimize and prevent “money fights”, start off trying to understand each other’s financial priorities and dreams for your future together.
- What two dreams do you have for our life together?
- What dreams do you have for your own future?
- If you could splurge on one thing, what would it be?
Talk openly about ideas to make your dreams come true.
Once you have some positive dreams to work toward, you can talk about how you’ll get there. You and your partner need to agree to review your current finances together and make a specific plan to save for your future together.
- Do you know how much money you have?
- Do you know how much money you owe?
- What do you do with any excess left over?
Commit to meet and communicate regularly about your finances.
Working together and communicating openly about how to use, keep track of, and manage your money will help you avoid the “money fights.”
- How can we pay down our debt and curb expenses?
- How will we keep track of our money?
- Do we know how to invest our money to make it grow for the future?
As you plan regularly and share your dreams, you will be strengthening the bond of your marriage and enjoy the priceless love in your marriage.Learn more about our Couples Therapy Exercises Sign up for a free trial of the Marriage In A Box online tracking tool!