If you and your partner are finding yourself fighting about finances, you aren’t alone. Couples fighting over money is as common as it gets. Financial issues in marriage lead to serious marital discord.
Is there a way to clear the air about finances without having this discussion turn into an argument?
Opening up about finances without getting angry
You’ve gotten to the point in your relationship where it is essential to have a cool, adult conversation about your fiscal responsibilities.
Money in relationships is a delicate topic to discuss and you need to tread with caution, while also maintaining transparency on the matter of marriage finances. Money becomes a problem in marriage when couples are not willing to address the proverbial elephant in the room.
This may need to be done in the presence of a neutral third party, such as a financial planner, who can help guide you through what may be a difficult conversation. A formal intervention can also help you in identifying why money becomes a problem in marriage.
It isn’t always necessary to bring in a professional, however, especially if the expense of hiring a financial planner is going to add fuel to the financial fire. You can approach money matters yourselves in a way that allows for both of you to feel heard.
Schedule a moment with your partner to sit down and talk about money and marriage.
Allocate enough time for the exchange, and make the space where the conversation will be held pleasant and orderly.
Maybe have your computers on hand to access online accounts and household budgeting software.
The goal is to work through the finances in an organized fashion, so both of you can see what money is coming in, and how you need to be allocating it so that your lives (and relationship) stay on track. This will help you from derailing from your financial goals, engaging in money fights and ultimately wondering, why money becomes a problem in marriage.
Looking for tips on financial management in marriage? Here’s how to begin addressing money issues in marriage.
1. Pull back and take a snapshot of your entire financial picture
Write down what each of you is bringing in in terms of salary or freelance earnings.
Is it enough?
Is there potential for promotions and raises that will allow you to evolve financially?
Do either of you want or need to be earning more? Talk over any plans for career changes.
Write down your current debt (student loans, automobiles, house payments, credit cards, etc). Is your debt load something you are mutually comfortable with? Are you both keeping this at an even level, or does your debt appear to be increasing?
If so, why? Answering these relevant questions will prevent you from lamenting over why money becomes a problem in marriage.
2. Make a list of your current living expenses
Ask each other if these seem reasonable. If you decide you want to contribute more to savings, are there any day-to-day expenses you could reduce in order to make that happen?
Can you cut out your daily Starbucks run?
Switch to a cheaper gym, or use YouTube workouts to stay in shape?
Remember, all cost-cutting decisions need to be made in a spirit of togetherness, and not one person coercing the other.
To circumvent money problems in marriage, it is best to reach an agreement that you both are comfortable with in regards to how much you want to put into savings, and for what purpose.
You’ll want to remain actively listening to your partner’s input in order for this conversation to continue smoothly and in a positive way. Alongside this, you will be able to prevent situations where money becomes a problem in marriage.
“It sounds like paying for private schools for the children is important to you,” is one example of active listening. “Let’s see if we have the resources to make that a reality” is a non-threatening prompt to get your partner to closely examine each financial goal.
3. Be mindful of these things as you talk
If you sense the conversation’s tone escalating towards conflict, you’ll want to remind your partner that the goal of sitting down together is to show how you both want to ensure financial stability for your home.
Remind them that you love them and that these mutual decisions are vital to your relationship.
Take a short break to bring the level back down if you need to, but do come back to the table to keep talking so that you can come away from this with a viable plan you have both agreed upon. Remember, addressing the question, “why money becomes a problem in marriage” is instrumental in maintaining marital harmony.
4. Make money meetings or financial dates a monthly event
You now have a clear view of your financial situation and where you want to go from here.
You have agreed on important points and feel comfortable with any budget cuts or career changes.
To keep yourselves connected to these goals, why not make these meetings a monthly event?
Having a scheduled time to sit down and review how you did with sticking to this new budget is a positive step in maintaining the momentum that you have created.
Both of you will leave these meetings feeling more secure financially and as a couple while finding solutions to financial problems in marriage.
Taking the stress out of your finances and replacing it with this feeling of security will enhance your overall happiness as a couple and let you grow and thrive together. The question, why money becomes a problem in marriage will become redundant in your marital partnership.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.