Money can cause big problems in a marriage, if couples allow it. Some couples may even decide to get divorced over financial issues. It has been said a million times, “money is the root of evil”, and in some ways it is true. Unfortunately, it is very hard for couples and families to survive without at least a little bit of money.
During the best of times money issues can cause marital troubles and in rough economic times, well money can be a catalyst for marital wars. It is very important for couples to learn how to get a handle on their finances and work through the resulting relationship woes.
It is crucial to a couple’s financial success to have a mutually agreed upon household budget. One reason a budget is so important is that it can help the couple avoid overspending and ensure living expenses are being paid each month. Another good reason for doing a budget together is so that the couple can see exactly where the money is going and perhaps help avoid accusations and even arguments.
The only way creating a budget works if is if the couple is honest with each other and is willing to stick to the agreed upon budget. The couple must be willing to account for each penny spent such as morning coffee stops or movie rentals or magazine subscriptions. They must write down their monthly living expenses (rent/mortgage, utilities, groceries, insurance, etc.). Then they must write down secondary expenses like cable, cell phones, internet and transportation (fuel, bus fare, etc.). The next category is entertainment which includes things like eating out, concerts, hobbies and movie theater tickets.
Discuss financial beliefs
Most couples that fight about money do so because they have differing views on how to handle the household finances. One might believe in being able to “splurge” once in a while and the other might believe in saving every extra dollar for a rainy day emergency. The fact that each person has his/her own financial beliefs can be grounds for arguments as each one thinks his/her way is the best way.
The couple can spend so much time trying to convince the other one to change that frustration and anger set in. Feelings of not being trusted or being accused of misusing household funds. Instead of waging war against each other, try sitting down and calmly talking about what each one thinks and actually listening to one another. Try to find common ground in the financial belief systems and figure out how to utilize those common beliefs to improve the financial situation.
Openly discuss fears
In times of an economical recession, it is common for people to become nervous about losing their jobs, homes and way of life. There can be an overall loss of the sense of security. If one or both people have lost their jobs then the fears naturally intensify to the point that the couple is taking it out on each other.
The only way to keep the fear and tension from building is to occasionally sit down and discuss it. The couple should listen to each other and try to be sensitive to how the other one is feeling. It can be so easy to get wrapped up in one’s own fear and insecurity that one can forget about what one’s spouse is going through. It is not wise to dwell on these fears and negative things, but to occasionally vent in a positive and productive manner can be very beneficial.
One of the biggest mistakes a couple can make is taking sides against each other. Placing blame for financial hardships does not help the problems at all. It is not a good idea to blame a spouse for losing his/her job or having hours cut down if it is due to the company downsizing due to a recession.
Instead of getting angry and lashing out at each other, couples should try being sensitive and supportive of each other. During the tough times is when a couple needs each other the most. A couple should support and be there for one another, not judge and place blame.
It is no secret that many married couples fight over money and financial issues. The sad fact is many couples divorce over money and continue to fight over it during the divorce proceedings. Couples should learn how to work through financial issues before the marriage breaks down.
If a couple learns how to budget, openly communicate and be compassionate toward one another, then they can work through financial hardships and come out stronger as a couple. It is not easy dealing with loss of income or the fear of not making enough to support the family. This fact is what makes it so important for couples to learn how to deal with problems together.