Studies show that 7 out of 10 couples say that money causes tension in their relationship.
With the economy putting a crimp in everyone’s budget, are you and your partner constantly disagreeing about money? Do you find yourself frustrated and angry about your partner’s spending habits? Well, you are not alone. Money can be a source of conflict for many couples. Studies show that 7 out of 10 couples say that money causes tension in their relationship. Here are The Love Doctor's 5 Tips to deal with money issues in your love relationship.
1. Talk Money. Couples don't usually talk openly about money, so when money issues do arise, it becomes a sensitive subject and leads to conflict. Don’t be afraid of sitting down with your partner at least every three months to have a “money talk.” List your short- and long-term money goals. Ask questions such as, “What are we spending?” and “What are we saving?” If you have concerns about your partner’s spending habits, financial decisions, or your role in managing money, make sure you express those thoughts during this talk.
2. Share Responsibility. It is not unusual for one partner to play the primary role in managing the finances, but it is vital that both partners are involved and aware. Be certain you can clearly articulate your partnership’s assets and debts and locate the necessary back up documentation. Also, studies show that couples have less conflict when they share (or consult one another) in all big financial decisions. Big financial decisions should not be made only by the partner bringing home the most money.
3. Expectations. As a couple, it is important to come up with some spending rules or limits. Couples can pick from a number of possibilities. For instance, you can agree on a threshold amount (like $100, $200), that you can spend without needing to report or consult one another. Above that, you need to discuss it before the item is purchased. Alternatively, for some couples it is important to keep a budget, which includes tracking the couple’s spending on a weekly or monthly basis.
4. Opposites Attract. When it comes to money, men and women often have different views. Women see money as a sign of security and stability. They like to save for emergencies and when financial problems arise, they become very concerned and worried. Men take more risks with money and see financial problems as a threat to their self esteem and confidence. Put yourself in the other’s shoes to try to understand money from your partner’s perspective. Compromise is often essential. It is okay to disagree on some issues, but don’t let them get in the way of your overall goals as a couple.
5. Underlying Issues. Too often disagreements about money have little to do with the money itself and more to do with issues of control, security, self esteem and love! Money is a tangible part of a relationship, so it is easy to project emotional issues onto concrete money matters. Be honest with yourself about how you feel about money. If you've always been independent, for example, it may be hard for you to be "taken care of" financially. Think carefully as you discuss money issues with your partner, to make sure there isn’t a larger problem at the core.