Financial Intimacy in Marriage

Financial intimacy in marriage

A major topic in all relationships is intimacy. Being intimate emotionally, spiritually, and sexually are all essential in a good relationship. However, you can also be intimate financially. Many people are shocked by this. Getting naked with your finances?


Joining bank accounts with your spouse can be one of the scariest aspects of a relationship for some couples. Some consider it more difficult than meeting the in-laws!


In previous generations, it was common for couples to marry by their early twenties. They would then move in together, get their first jobs, and open a joint checking account. They learned about finances as they went through life together.


A good majority of couples today tend to get married later in life. In many cases, they go to college and start their career path before deciding to get married. By the time they are ready to wed, they have already been managing their own finances for years. Joint bank accounts are not a necessity anymore, and many married couples are choosing to keep their accounts separate as they did when they were single.


However, keeping separate bank accounts within a marriage does have its downsides. Here are some reasons why you may want to get financially intimate.


  • For one thing, the majority of states consider a married couples finances as communal. This means that for every $1 you earn, your spouse earns $0.50 and vice versa. You own half of everything you own as a duo and owe half of everything you spend as a duo. Although Prenuptial Agreements do allow for some leeway if the marriage results in a divorce, most state laws consider your finances as a joint account.
  • Another downside of separate finances is the inequality of handling the joint bills. It is not fair for one spouse to have the full responsibility and stress of managing the finances. Sharing the control of your money can lead to less resentment and a greater sense of equality in the marriage.
  • One of the best aspects of married life is working together to make your dreams come true. When finances are kept separate, couples can lose some of the intimacy of shared goals. Many spouses have ideas for the future, and taking part in them together makes them more meaningful. It brings the couple closer together.

Stay tuned for my next post where I discuss how you should go about joining your finances with your spouse.

Mary Kay Cocharo, LMFT, "The Couples Therapist", has been working with couples and families for over 25 years through her private practice in West Los Angeles, California. Her work focuses on helping couples rediscover the joy of being together, deepen communication and resolve conflict.

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