Everyone knows that the top two things couples fight about are money and sex. I've always thought Fred and I were lucky, because we are consistently on the same page regarding both: the more, the better. But what I've realized is that even if you're not fighting about money ("I can't believe you paid $300 for a pair of jeans!") it can still cause problems in your relationship.
When I moved down to Atlanta, I gave up a full-time, well-paying job to try my hand at freelancing. It's been going well, but it's not a steady flow of income every week. I have months where I make more than I expected and months where I make less than I want. The past two months have been slow ones for me. And following Murphy's law, these past two months have brought unexpected expenses: my car has been at the mechanic five times (no joke), Uncle Sam is taking a much larger chunk of my 2007 income than I had planned for, and well, weddings aren't cheap.
Fred's using the majority of his paycheck to work on getting us out of debt before we get married, which leaves my meager earnings to cover these expenses. To say the least: it's stressful. And while we agree how to spend our money and don't fight about those details, the stress of dealing with not having enough money is what takes its toll. For
instance, last week I was thinking about the car and how much it's going to cost. Fred asked me what I'd wanted for dinner, and I snapped at him. We got in a full-blown fight over nothing and I felt terrible.
Ever since, I've been trying to be really conscious of not taking my stress out on Fred, but it's hard when that's the person you're around all the time. So I think I've found a solution: I figure the less money we have, the more sex we should have. Sex is scientifically proven to relieve stress and it's hard to yell at each other when you're naked. If it works, I'll be writing a relationship self-help book and hey— if it's a best seller, our money problems will be over.