By Antonio & Laura Moore | September 7, 2021 | Marriage Means Moore Inc.
Arguments about money can destroy love! Let’s face it… Too much or not enough money adds challenges to your personal lifestyle. Now add a relationship to the mix with money and the arguments seem to be endless. While living together or sharing expenses is something you might have been doing for some time – when you’re about to get hitched, your legal obligations change with your marital status. Your financial choices and decisions are no longer your own to make anymore once you exchange vows. Since what you do after marriage impacts the both of you, your monetary circumstances will change with what you and your spouse bring to your life together.
One of the most unavoidable conflicts in a relationship comes about when figuring out how to pay the accumulated debts when one or both partners struggle with their finances individually. While managing your money and marriage adequately is crucial for establishing a healthy relationship with your spouse, you have to build a strong base before you even say the words, ‘I do.’
First let us put it into further context this particular aspect of pre-marriage commitment before moving on to other vital factors.
Arguments About Money – Mistakes Most Couples Make
The first mistake most couples make when they are about to step into a relationship or marriage is to keep their financial status from each other. Understandably, talking about money with your partner is far from exciting. However, once the papers are signed and the new lovers phase ends, the lack of communication about your finances will ultimately put a strain on your relationship.
Contrarily, when you and your partner put everything out in the open, the chances of handling your finances adequately become much better afterward. Granted, full disclosure about your assets, liabilities, debts, and credit scores might not be what you want to discuss with your partner before you get serious. However, taking just one day out of your schedule is all you need to get this mandatory talk out of the way. After all, it should be considered as a moral obligation to let your significant other know what to be prepared for in the future.
What You Need to Know | Money and Relationships
Money issues are easily the number one cause of strains in relationships. However, you can easily avoid this scenario from your relationship when you know how to confront the potential problems before they even arise. For example, choosing to engage in an open and honest conversation regarding your financial plans can help you and your partner establish a concrete baseline. Honesty and transparency can work in your favor and lead to improved finances in the long run.
Here are six factors that you need to know about when it comes to managing the ‘money and relationship’ aspect of your life efficiently:
1- Paying Debt
Most couples find themselves walking down to the altar with financial baggage in tow after accumulating debts from their college loans to credit card payments. Moreover, when one partner has more liabilities than the other or when their significant other is completely debt-free, it can create an unavoidable strain on your relationship on the go. However, the main issue strikes when one spouse expects the other to help pay their debt out of their pocket instead of working toward them together.
2- Determining Individual and Shared Expenses
Taking the financial approach of ‘what’s mine is yours – and vice versa’ can help both partners in some matters. However, pushing the limit and expecting them to pay every time is never a good idea. Even splitting the bills in half on all occasions can become a sore point ultimately when you and your spouse don’t see eye to eye on the purchases. That’s why most happy couples prefer to agree upon some other mutual ground that they find fair rather than sharing every single expense they spend money on.
3- Spenders vs. Savers
You and your spouse’s personality can also play an essential role in managing your money. Some people are spenders by nature, and they find it somewhat challenging to stop themselves from opening their wallets for every other thing they like. On the other hand, most people are savers by nature and remain mindful about how their expenditures may affect their already piled debts. When both partners stand on the opposite poles, it can get somewhat difficult to satisfy each other regarding what they bring into the marriage and how they spend their money.
4- Power Plays
Power plays can become a habitual occurrence in marriages under four different scenarios, including:
When one partner has a job and the other chooses to stay home for any reason whatsoever.
- When both partners would like to work but one of them is unable to find a job.
- When one of the partners earns comparatively more than their significant other.
- When one spouse comes from a well-off family with a rich background, and the other doesn’t.
When any of these scenarios come into play, the partner who earns more money often becomes prone to dictate how the money should be spent. This unbalanced power-money dynamic creates resentment in marriage more than any other factor.
5- Raising Children
It’s one of the biggest questions in marriage – are we ready to have children? There are several things to be thought about when it comes to making this particular decision. However, the leading stress factor is, without a doubt, money. Both partners need to be confident about their abilities and resources to raise children while managing their finances before coming to any decision. When that’s not the case, the financial problems often lead to conflicts so severe that the ultimate outcome pipes down to broken marriages.
6- Extended Family
Lastly, spending on extended families while co-managing the finances can become a bone of contention among couples when the limits aren’t pre-defined. Contrarily, when both partners know what to expect from each other through constructive communication, the chances of altercations decrease significantly from both ends.
How to Deal with Money Issues in Marriage
After considering the six mentioned factors in this article, it becomes clear why it’s necessary to practice empathy and create a mature relationship with your partner. To stop the constant nagging about financial issues between you and your spouse and encourage a healthy relationship, it’s best to follow the nine enactments given below:
1- Focus on the ‘After’
If you’re still in your wedding planning phase, let us give you a sound piece of advice – don’t set yourself up for disaster by spending all your savings on the big day. While it’s perfectly alright to make your day a memorable one, it’s best to draw your limits when you’re close to accumulating debt. Because while you may make your day a magnificent one after taking on a personal loan, your marriage will become a stress-stricken mess from almost day one.
2- Understand Each Other’s Mindset
A lot of financial conflicts aren’t about money as much as they are a product of a clash of temperaments. The key to avoiding such unwelcome conversations is understanding each other’s mindsets and learning what upsets your partner enough to fight about monetary issues. Sometimes, the problem isn’t about spending too much on things you can’t afford. It might rather be an underlying fear that may lead to fights, like not being able to pay future bills one day.
3- Get Rid of Your Ego
As we explained before, power plays can turn your working relationship into something ugly in a matter of moments. That is why it is best to remain sensitive about such issues when you’re the one with family money or a winning salaried job. Once you kick your ego to the curb, it becomes easier to appreciate what you have, what you can provide, and what your partner does for you.
4- Set Your Eyes on the Same Prize
It’s not unusual to shift your financial priorities with time. However, it’s crucial to let your partner know about your altering expectations so you can both remain on the same page while understanding each other.
When both you and your partner are income generators, it gets easier to set your eyes on the same prize and buck each other up for reaching the goal. But it understandably becomes more challenging when only one of the spouses earns money. Nevertheless, it is essential to have your goals aligned in either case and work towards them together, so there’s no resentment in your marriage.
5- Discuss an Agreed Upon Budget
Once the financial priorities are set in place, the next thing you can do to avoid unaccounted conflicts is to create an agreeable budget. For example, establishing a limit regarding how much you and your partner spend in a month without restricting yourself unreasonably can yield major benefits, preventing martial turmoils before they can arise.
6- Don’t Keep Your Secrets about Money
Keeping your spouse in the dark can be categorized as financial infidelity, as it puts you on the fast track to conflicted marital mayhem. While it’s never okay to micromanage each other’s finances and to expect your spouse to disclose each and everything, lying or hiding accounts can be toxic to your relationship. Ultimately, this deceiving act gives rise to emotionally wracking issues with your partner moving forward, compelling them to question your loyalty and trust in them regarding everything.
7- Give Each Other Some Breathing Room
Informing your partner about every single purchase you make can often feel downright suffocating, especially when you’re spending on things they don’t endorse. That’s why it is best to give each other some breathing room by allowing each other to spend on discretionary things of their choosing. As long as you’re both mindful about your savings, it shouldn’t matter what items you both indulge in for your comfort.
8- Come Up with a Spending System
However, when you’re already on a limited budget and must only spend on justifiable things, it’s ideal to come up with a system. The most effective approach is to develop a plan where you divide the total cost of the object you want to purchase by the number of times you’ll use it. For example, suppose you like a branded pair of high heels, costing $400. If you’re going to wear them no more than four times in total, it means you’ll be spending $100 on them every time come they out of your closet. That’s not a deal you’ll like by the end of the week when your guilt starts setting in.
9- Treat Them as You Want to be Treated
Lastly, it’s important to remember that you must treat your spouse the same way you want to be treated yourself. For instance, if you expect honesty from them, you should make it a point of giving back just as good. However, while this concept seems simple enough, most couples forget to stick by them in the long run.
Nevertheless, it might be a good idea to remind yourself of this fact time and again since this healthy practice can significantly help reduce the number of financial conflicts between you and your partner on more than a handful of occasions.
Contact a Financial Coach!
Is it getting challenging for you and your spouse to agree upon saving and spending your money adequately, and it has started to affect your marriage? In that case, it might be the right time to ask for professional help. Talking it out with an expert or couples financial coach can help you make the right decisions regarding your money and marriage problems, helping your relationship get back on track.
At Marriage Means Moore, we help you come to terms with the troubling financial challenges of your life while providing you helpful suggestions for your future pursuits. To begin your journey with us, you can contact us for a confidential session, and we can take it from there. Also, you can visit our blog page for more resources that can help you climb all kinds of obstacles in your marriage.