Money and Marriages: The affect one has on the other

Money issues are the top predictor of marriage failure. Specifically, the failure to resolve money issues is the top predictor of marriage failure or divorce. Many of those issues revolve around differences in habits and personality traits that were deeply rooted before the couple even met. Failure to resolve these differences can cause an otherwise happy marriage to breakdown. It may not always result in divorce but the constant fights about money problems and the tension that results will rob the marriage of much of its happiness. Money is generally not the root of money problems in marriage, rather there are underlying issues such as selfishness, pride and control issues that need to be addressed.
It is always a good idea to prepare a monthly budget together and spend according to the budget. Dave Ramsey states that preparing and using a budget will remove many of the money fights from your marriage.
It is important that couples get on the same page where money matters are concerned. Debt, spending versus savings, who and how money decisions are made, and extended family assistance are all issues where couple find themselves on different pages.
An important tip for couples desiring to get on the same page financially is open communication and honesty about their feelings toward finances. It is also very important for each partner to make an effort to understand each other’s point of view rather than taking the “my way or the highway” stance. Be willing to compromise in order to preserve happiness, but don’t allow yourself to be taken advantage of. Take the time to get to know each other’s money personality. This can help you understand why your spouse may disagree with your decisions and give you direction on how to improve.
Another tip is to always resist the temptation to marginalize or patronize your spouse no matter which side you happen to be on. This leads to resentment that may linger long after the money issue itself is resolved.
If debt is an issue, recognize that when you were married, you chose to marry that person along with his or her debts and a discussion of who brought how much into the marriage is certain to be counterproductive. This is an opportunity to work as a team to get rid of it.
If the issue is secret debt or debt that was concealed, and it is causing concerns about honesty it may be time to consider working with a professional counselor to help work through and find meaningful solutions.
Couples should decide early on that their marriage is the first priority and anything and anybody that threatened the unity and harmony of the relationship should be avoided. It is important to remember the worth of your marriage. When it comes to extended family, discuss and agree on a policy on what you will and won’t do when comes to extended family. Never agree to something regarding extended family without speaking to your spouse first.
Money issues damage relationships and replace love and happiness with hurt and bitterness. In most cases, the issues themselves are marginal in comparison to the importance of your relationship. Rather than focusing on the problem, focus on the solution and how you can improve your relationship.
To learn more contact Ethen Gillespie at the Building Strong Families office at 662-615-0033 or 662-769-1723. Building Strong Families is a federally funded grant awarded to the Starkville School District’s Department of Family Centered Programs.