"Money can get in the way of love, even in the most romantic, compatible relationships. Of all the intimacies you share, the sharing of money sparks the most arguments, kindles the most resentments, and creates the most confusion. From what I've seen, it also causes the most divorces." [Felton-Collins, 1990, p. 1]
In these most trying of economic times, financial problems can present more than just worrying about how to pay the bills. It can cause fights, arguments and failings in your relationship. Some experts consider financial problems one of the main reasons for divorce and marital problems.
No matter how you ended up in this situation, whether it was because of poor decisions and judgments in your past or whether it was because of situations beyond your control (such as losing a job), accept your current situation. Let go of blame, anger and resentment. These emotions will ultimately keep you in the situation, or worsen it, rather than helping you move forward.
Financial problems, more than many of the other struggles a couple faces, requires the partners to work as a team. When money problems are faced together, it can relieve the pressure each person feels. Knowing there is someone going through the difficult times with you can help immensely. So, instead of alienating and blaming your spouse for the problems you are facing, enlist their help to find strategies to move forward and overcome the financial setback.
Communicating honestly with your partner is extremely important during times of financial stress. Together discuss the household bills and look at where your money is being spent. Being honest during these discussions is paramount. Many couples will try to hide expenses from one another. Maybe one does not want the other to know they are spending $20.00 a day going out to lunch. Or maybe one person is splurging each week on non-essential items. Whether the financial problems have come from small over-expenditures or large mistakes now are the time to discuss how all of your money is being spent in order to determine what can be cut out of your expenses.
Create a family budget both of you can agree on and stick to the budget. Budgets can help to curb the overspending and help you move money from the non-essentials to paying off credit cards or other debts.
When couples work together to find solutions to life's problems, they can actually strengthen their relationships rather than destroy them.
Published On: October 10, 2008