Why Do We Argue Over money So Much?


Why Do We Argue Over money So Much?
We bring hidden fixed money beliefs from our families of origin into our relationships

                                   Denise Wade PH.D.

How you approach money is typically how you approach all areas of your life. Do you operate out of fear, scarcity, abundance, insecurity, overconfidence, optimism, or extravagance? When you and your partner argue about money, money most likely isn’t the real issue. Often the argument is about two very different belief systems. We operate from powerful principles of lack and abundance downloaded in our subconscious. Four sources of influence around money assumptions are parents, painful childhood experiences, religion, and social programming/ media. Some common examples include:


• Money is sinful.
• Everyone that has money just got lucky.
• I don’t deserve nice things.
• Women who marry men with money are gold diggers.
• Why save? People who save are miserly and cheap.
• Money grows on trees.
• I worry about money constantly.
• I work hard; I can buy anything I want, even if I can’t afford it.
• I will be looked down upon if I don’t wear designer clothes.
• Charge it or borrow, I want it now!

Attitudes around frugality, reckless spending, wealth, hoarding, borrowing, and saving are the automatic responses that influence our behavior in money related matters. We tend to cart this same mindset into other areas of our life such as dating, childrearing, communication, work habits, sex, and relating. Five common mindsets include:

1) Being Conservative and Conscious
2) Frugal and Insecure
3) Free Spirited and Spontaneous
4) Driven and Goal Oriented
5) Extravagant and Reckless

When we come into a relationship with our partner, we both unload a boatload of false spending assumptions and earning habits, some healthy and functional, many irrational and dysfunctional. They don’t belong to us; we temporarily adopted them from Mom, Dad, Grandmom, Teachers, Religious Authorities, an Ex, Advertisements, even the kid in the playground who mocked us for having too much or too little. Interestingly enough, painful childhood experiences impact our spending behavior much more than positive ones. These negative influences drive how we perceive and judge our partner, which accounts for 77% of all marital squabbles.. Typical behaviors of ourself and our spouse that bring about fiscal conflict in our relationships include:


* Manipulating People through Bribery
* Refusing To Save
* Maxing Out Credit Cards on Frivolous Items
* Refusing To Have the Money Conversation
* Blaming or Judging Your Partner
* Hiding Credit Card Bills
* Excessive Borrowing from Family Members
* Refusing To Budget
* Being Overly Frugal
* Refusing to Earn a Better Income
* Using Guilt about Money to Control People
* Buying Cars, Houses, Clothes for Status that You Can’t Afford

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Denise Wade

Marriage Educator

        Denise Wade Ph.D.,CMRC

Location: Philadelphia, PA
Credentials: PhD
Specialties: Anger Management, Communication Problems, Couples/Marital Issues, Divorce/Divorce Prevention
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