Money, how we make it, when and where we spend it and how we save it - all of these are daily decisions and all of them can cause stress and conflict in relationships.
How big a problem can this be? This quote with references cited puts it in perspective:
“You are sharing a life, a home and your pocketbook with your significant other, and maybe even some kids. Among all of the things you could fight about with your significant other, financial disagreements are a major source of strife in many relationships. In fact, 70 percent of all divorces cite money as the reason for their split (Palmer and Palmer; Paull 2013).”
These tensions and disagreements are not just for those making very little money. These tensions are available to all couples, sadly.
More than likely you grew up in a house where finances caused some tension and if you grew up with more than one parent, where disagreements came with that tension. Few of us got to witness an effective decision-making pattern between parents. Now we are trying to figure that out with our own partner.
Many things did not get modeled well for most of us, this is sure one!
One of my strongest memories of the model my parents used was of my Mom telling me how she would get creative with the grocery budget so she could sneak some out for more clothes. I find that funny looking back but also realize that I got to at least watch a couple really using a proactive budget for their monthly spending!
Although just about all of us would agree that talking about finances is important, it is a topic loaded with stress and emotional landmines. Here’s another startling quote from this great article:
“This hesitancy to talk about finances leads to only 25% of couples aged 18-35 having a clear picture of each other’s income and debt. Baby boomers tend to be more transparent - 60% of Baby Boomers clearly understand their financial footing (Paull 2013).”
Whether you’ve been together a long time or are just getting started, open conversations about money is so critical.
When we hide the truth about finances from your partner:
1. it is way worse later when they find out;
2. it means you are carrying something that keeps you from being as close as you could be, limiting your relationship intimacy;
3. the road to a solution may be a road your partner can help get you on more quickly;
4. the shame you live with will likely make you defensive and reactive around other decisions; and
5. It feels really awful.
There are many resources available out there from tools on how to budget to human beings trained as financial advisers, etc.
Do yourselves a favor and reduce this stress by having the tough conversations you may need to have and then agreeing on strategies and systems that will support you moving forward!
Until next time,
Marilyn Orr, The Luv Life Coach
Palmer, S., & Palmer, B. (n.d.). 3 Reasons Why Married Couples Argue About Money. Retrieved from Your Tango.
Paull, J. (2013, February 11). Spender vs. Saver: How to Live (Financially) Happily Ever After. Retrieved from Learnvest.
Marilyn Orr, MA, CEC, PCC is a relationship coach with Luv Life Coaching, passionate about equipping couples with the tools for real and lasting intimacy. Is Luv Life Coaching an appropriate next step for you? Take our online questionnaire to find out: http://luvlifecoaching.com/questionnaire
Posted on Thu, August 9, 2018
by Marilyn Orr filed under