Eight Ways That Money Destroys Relationships

It’s often said that “money isn’t everything”, but when it comes to marriage, disagreements over finances can test even the best relationship. In theory, marriages should be easier today in regards to money. There is an abundance of money advice for couples, a greater number of dual-income families, and the standard of living has risen over the generations. However, money is often cited as one of the top reasons for disagreement and friction within a marriage. Research has shown that the way spouses handle money is a significant predictor as to whether or not they’ll have a long-lasting marriage. What are the signs to look out for when it comes to relationships and money? The following is a list of the eight most common mistakes couples make regarding finances:

1. Not talking enough about money: It’s often difficult to find the right time to discuss finances, but communication is an essential part of managing money within a marriage. Some couples schedule a set time to talk about money matters, while others have a rule to discuss purchases over a certain dollar amount. It’s a matter of finding out what works for your particular relationship and committing to it.

2. Ignoring different spending habits: If a penny pincher and a reckless spender marry each other, it’s bound to create conflict. In fact, studies conducted by the University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, and Northwestern University found that couples with conflicting spending habits are unhappier in their marriages than those with consistent habits.

3. Disagreements over how to divide finances: Whether it’s joint or separate accounts or a combination of both, couples need to examine their spending habits and money values. Some couples work better as a team, while others know that separate finances are the key to marital harmony.

4. Taking on too much debt and hiding purchases and debt: Whether it’s a new house or car or high credit card expenses, there’s nothing more stressful about money than debt. And hidden debt or purchases can cause even greater harm within a marriage. Eighty percent of married couples hide some purchases from their spouse, according to a survey by CESI Debt solutions, a nonprofit organization.

5. Lending or borrowing money from family: Borrowing money from family members can come with strings attached, either overt or hidden. The unwritten rule for married couples is when it comes to borrowing or lending money, the fewer outside family members involved, the better.

6. Believing that financial responsibilities need to be split traditionally: In many marriages, the woman handles the day-to-day responsibilities, such as paying bills and balancing the checkbook, while the man handles larger issues, such as investments. Traditional roles do not always work well if one or both partner’s strengths do not fit that role. Discovering which person excels in which area, despite convention and what other couples tend to do, can alleviate money mistakes and disagreements.

7. Failing to see that money matters are also emotional matters: In comparison to other disagreements, fights over money tend to last longer and result in behavior such as yelling. Since men are often viewed by society as “providers”, they tend to take financial conflict particularly hard.

8. Not enjoying money together as a couple: Couples often forget that money can also be a source of pleasure. Whether it’s a vacation together or attending a concert or play, the non-material experiences that money provides can produce long lasting satisfaction and happy memories.

With careful communication, compromise, and honesty, money matters don’t have to become a major source of conflict within a relationship.

Our essential business is open during the pandemic Close