by Nancy Pina
Becoming united in your mutual relationship with money is essential to avoiding divorce. When you do not have a shared financial vision, restraint is totally cast off.
It’s certainly not a cliche: How to spend money is the number one argument married couples fight about and, if left unresolved, can lead to divorce. According to a recent article, the upside of marriage is the health benefits of being together; the downside is the stress of unresolved financial goals can negate that benefit. Most people marry someone who has a different view regarding spending. These viewpoints should not be seen as a negative and something to change: It is the coming together as a couple that creates a healthy balance in setting financial goals. A conservative’s restraint will make sure the family has the funds needed to take that fun vacation the more free spending person visualizes. Both are essential: Two conservatives can lean toward selfishness and two unrestrained spenders can lean toward irresponsibility.
The key is to acknowledge the reasons why you have particular beliefs about money individually and how, as a couple, you can combine each other’s strengths and weaknesses to enjoy a wealthy life together. Here are three ways money will break up your marriage if you are not proactive:
1. You avoid talking about money. Unfortunately, most couples would rather not talk about it at all. You find ways to avoid mentioning the topic of money, knowing it will lead to a blowout. But this approach only gives ammunition to the time bomb. For instance, you’re out to eat with friends and your sweetie insists on paying the tab … again. He shows his affection for others through spending and he relishes in the good vibes he receives from that showing generosity. You, on the other hand, are mentally calculating how you can make up the difference in cash flow. It is a source of stress within your relationship. You dare not talk about it because you know that conversation always turns into a huge fight and nothing gets accomplished. However, you feel resentment building. Release it by talking it out!
2. There’s a lack of mutual financial priorities. Your personal financial goal is to pay down all of your combined debt, but you face an uphill battle because your significant other spends the extra cash (every last dime of it). It’s not that his view of money is wrong and yours is correct; it’s just that there’s a lack of communicating to each other where to delegate funds. Many people believe budgeting is negative and constraining, but planning when to spend (or save) your cash will go is a valuable tool. Together, you can agree on what is important and how those goals will be achieved. Without planning and focusing on the priorities, it’s very easy to have prosperity become allusive.
3. You associate money with self-esteem. Society dictates that happiness is found at the ATM; the more cash you spend, the better life will be. Becoming united in your mutual relationship with money is essential to avoiding divorce. When you do not have a shared financial vision, restraint is totally cast off. As a relationship coach, I believe more couples avoid talking about money because they know it will set off a bad reaction. The tension and fighting feels like the other person doesn’t love them anymore and avoidance becomes the norm. That is why is it vital to prepare for love before you enter a committed relationship. Once you take proactive steps to set your priorities, the easier it will be for you to communicate what is important in the shared life you want to create and experience with the love of your life.
No matter where you are in couplehood or marriage, you can make a decision to release the fear of discussing finances and remove that barrier to the love and mutually fulfilling life you deserve to experience.
Read this article in Your Tango
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.