Money is often the root of marital problems. Money is essential to funding our lives, and not having enough creates stress for everyone. If financial communication isn't clear or one spouse isn't honest about where they're spending money, trust issues can arise and spread throughout the marriage.
How many of you have felt the pressure and stress of money in your life as a couple? Well, you are not alone... One of the most common problems in couples involves financial issues. Very few couples are free from this type of stress. However, most marriage & money problems are not just about disagreements over financial needs or debts.
Talk about Money with Your Spouse.
Reluctancy to discuss and compromise with your spouse when it comes to financial decisions can create major problems for a marriage. The stress of family financial arguments is one of the biggest challenges couples face, and is one of the most common reasons for divorce, after infidelity.
In most cases, when dealing with a disagreement over money, it is usually about another matter: relationship burnout, differences in your core values and needs, and, of course, money-related struggles. The good news is that, if you have the will and determination to change and improve your partnership scenario, there are ways to do so.
Know Your Financial Goals.
First, you need to become aware of your current situation. Collect all the financial information you have available: bank account and credit card transactions, debts, assets, financial commitments, investments, inheritances, etc.
Once you have a complete picture of what your financial situation looks like, the next most important thing to do is to have a meeting with your partner as soon as possible to have that inevitable talk; one that will certainly change the future of your life as a couple.
Talk, Understand, and Respect Your Partner's Point of View.
We have always been told communication is key to understanding which is why it is so important to have an honest and open dialog with your partner regarding issues within your marriage; especially when it comes to finances.
In that conversation, it is important to consider the following:
Begin the discussion by being very open and honest about your finances, habits, goals, and concerns.
When talking about money, it's crucial to check your egos, your fears of losing control, and your ideas about who does what in the marriage. Don't forget that you can always do more when working as a team.
If debt is the main problem, compromise to define a plan to solve the problem and adopt different skills and strategies to achieve it.
If you have children, it is important to talk openly about your ideas related to parenting and values, as well as how you are going to find the resources to pay for the expenses associated with raising children.
Be Honest About Your Spending Habits.
If you’re having trouble managing your finances, start by being honest with yourself. Are you spending more than you earn? Do you spend money on things you don’t need? Is your credit card bill getting out of control? These questions should give you an idea of where your financial situation stands.
If you or your partner find it difficult to talk about money, don’t hesitate to ask a professional for help; take the initiative to seek out a marriage counselor, financial planner, or advisor. Help from a trusted expert can give you sound, neutral advice.
Many of these worries can be eased by making money a common topic of conversation. You can also use an online financial planner to help you build your budget and make a clear plan for savings in order to give you more control over them.
Seek Sound Advice. We Can Help
Our team at Sims & Purzer has recognized experience in family law cases in which these types of conflicts often occur with couples. We can help you focus on your family life and the best way to move forward to resolve the issues most important to your family. Throughout your family law case, Mediation can also be a way to help you alleviate financial stressors and other issues by reaching an agreement that works best for your family in order to avoid the stress of having an unpredictable outcome decided upon by a Judge.
Don't let problems like this take advantage of your peace of mind. Whether you want to save your marriage or wish to move forward with a divorce, becoming accountable for the money issues within your family will allow you to rest assured this stressor has been addressed as you move forward with your life.