Will Money Ruin Your Relationship?

Will Money Ruin Your Relationship? [EXPERT]

With tax season around the corner, relationship stress may be mounting. I have three actual couple's financial situations to tell you about.

First, a couple filed their taxes early because they were expecting a refund. Due to back taxes owed by the husband that the wife knew nothing about, their refund was applied to his debt and she had to make some serious financial adjustments to cover this "surprise." I Deceived My Wife; Our Tax Return Didn't

Another couple filed their taxes. He is an employee at a car dealership and she has her own business. Somehow during the 2011 year, she neglecte" to run payroll and never paid any income tax for herself. She learned she owes the IRS $15,000 and doesn't know how she is going to pay it. He was totally taken off guard.

A third couple filed their taxes early expecting a refund, only to find out they owe about $3500. She was ready to go into their savings to withdraw what was owed, only to discover their savings had been depleted to almost nothing. Upon further investigation, she found that her husband has been using their savings at the activity his wife knew nothing about.

What do all these scenarios have in common? Money, trust and transparency. When you enter into a marriage agreement — like it or not — you create a shared financial profile. What's mine is yours and what's yours in mine. 8 Tiny Signs You Aren't Ready For A Relationship (No Matter How Badly You Want One)

In my book, Secrets of Happy Couples, I talk about how each person in a relationship has a different need-strength profile. People with a high survival need are very concerned about the future. They don't like risks and don't like to amass debt, tending to save up and pay for things as they go.

A person low in survival is just the opposite. They are very spontaneous, often taking risks without thought of future consequences. They are unconcerned about financial debt and are not risk-adverse. When these two people come together, there is often a conflict regarding safety, security and money.

The freedom need comes into play regarding how much privacy one needs in a relationship. A person with a high freedom need tends to be more private, enjoys alone time, doesn't like being told what to do and requires space in a relationship. Someone low in the freedom need is the opposite, often wanting more together time. This person doesn't keep secrets and is generally a rule-follower. Why You Aren't Happily Ever After Anymore

Next: Negotiating conflicts of money and privacy...

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