Many marriages are hampered by financial disagreements. It’s no surprise that financial issues are a top cause of divorce when over a third of individuals with partners say money is a major source of tension in their relationships.
This is for a very good reason: Money and worry frequently go hand in hand, whether it’s due to an overextended budget, a financial emergency, or the revelation of your spouse’s hidden credit card. And money problems don’t discriminate – they can destabilize marriages of both wealthy and insolvent couples.
What are the causes of this destructive force that is often overlooked? The following are the financial difficulties that are separating couples.
Read: How to Tell Your Kids About Divorce Gently?
1. Financial Infidelity
Financial infidelity, like sexual infidelity, may have disastrous effects on trust and honesty, which are the cornerstones of every marriage. It can cause a lot of difficulty in a marriage, whether it’s having secret bank accounts, a secret card that’s maxed out, disguising purchases, or gambling.
When both spouses work and can’t agree on financial matters or find the time to discuss them, they may decide to split the expenses or assign them in some other fair and equitable manner. After the debts have been paid, each spouse is free to spend the remaining funds as they see fit. Although it appears to be a logical idea, the procedure sometimes breeds animosity toward the particular purchases made and it can lead to financial infidelity.
2. Overextending Budgets
Budget overstretching leads to debt. Debt can also cause marital troubles.
Some couples begin their marriages in debt of some kind, whether it’s debt from the loan they took out for the wedding, vehicle loan debt, mortgage debt, or credit card debt. When the debt is large, it may be a topic that couples would rather avoid, knowing that it would just add to their stress.
When the bills come in and the debts grow, this puts further strain on the marriage. It applies to everyone, regardless of their financial situation. People with high salaries are just as likely as those with low incomes to overspend.
When two people marry and combine their wages, they may feel powerful financially, but they subsequently make a succession of poor purchasing and spending decisions that put them in debt, regardless of how much money they make.
Tensions can emerge unless you agree on a spending strategy to help you manage your debt. The home that a married couple purchases, tying them to a mortgage they cannot afford and adding to the marital strain, is the most prevalent example of overextending budgets.
Read: What Mistakes to Avoid During a Divorce Process?
3. Inability to Compromise on Spending
Although it may be hard to ever agree on everything, learning to compromise is essential to maintaining a good and happy marriage. Many relationships fail because they do not recognize this.
For example, you may not want to spend money on going out to eat as frequently as your partner would want, but making a place in your budget for a date night once in a while can make both of you happy.
Many couples avoid discussing money because they know it will lead to an argument. This can be incredibly detrimental to a relationship.
Couples frequently believe they will be unable to compromise on expenditures. As a result, each partner merely repeats their previous habit, spending in the same manner and exacerbating the problem.
Such couples may be on the verge of a “collision path.” Avoidance, unwillingness, or inability to compromise and find a solution is likely to become a major problem in the marriage one day.
Read: Discussing Prenups: How to Avoid Conflict with Your Partner
4. Clashing Money Habits
Even if both partners are debt-free, the age-old battle between savers and spenders can manifest itself in a variety of ways. It’s critical to understand your own and your partner’s financial personalities, as well as to freely discuss any disparities.
In general, some people are natural savers who may be perceived as frugal and risk-averse, while others are huge spenders who prefer to make a statement, and yet others enjoy shopping and purchasing. Others amass debt haphazardly, while others are natural investors who save for future self-sufficiency.
Many of us may exhibit more than one of these traits at any given moment, but we tend to stick to one major type. It’s best to notice harmful habits, address them, and control them, regardless of whatever profile you and your partner most closely suit.
5. Complications from Combined Bank Accounts
Separate bank accounts may exist before a couple marries.
Having shared accounts is a frequent way for married couples to bank. You are not, however, compelled to do so.
Combining accounts can often be a source of contention, particularly if one partner feels confined by the move or is perceived to be spending more than the other. Separate accounts may also be advantageous for tax purposes.
If the accounts are kept separate, there may be less stress. Another approach is to keep three accounts: one for the couple and one for each partner. When one spouse spends too much money in the joint account, it might lead to major disputes. You can reduce these types of conflicts by having three accounts.
Read: Navigating the Emotional Rollercoaster of Divorce
How to Handle Financial Issues in a Marriage
If you’ve read this far, you’re probably not shocked that the best way to deal with such stressors in your marriage is to communicate and be honest about your expectations, hopes, ambitions, and worries. Couples should also cultivate empathy, be mature enough to check their egos, and let go of any control complex. They should work together to deal with financial issues like debt, budget, family emergencies, and so on. Yes, saying it is much easier than doing it. No, there isn’t a magic bullet.
Before and after the wedding, good and sometimes painfully honest communication can soften the sting of negative financial news and lead to open discussions about each partner’s financial fears, habits, and expectations. You and your partner owe each other such a chat if you’re thinking about starting what you hope would be a long-term relationship.
Many marriage problems stem from a lack of communication. This is where a lot of the hard work of marriage takes place. Financial anxieties, like common health problems, can grow into much larger problems with much more difficult answers if not addressed. The best approach to ensure that you and your husband are on the same page when it comes to your joint finances is to discuss them on a frequent basis, honestly, and without judgment.
Couples may find it beneficial to check in on short- and long-term goals once a month, once a quarter, or once a year. An annual financial plan and regular check-ins can help to relieve the stress of discussing money and keep you on target. You might wish to get expert, unbiased counsel from a financial advisor or planner.
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