Why Money Matters


Money matters can tank a marriage faster than you can say zero balance. Here's why.


Money makes the world go around but it can also tank a marriage faster than you can say “Mutual Funds” which is true especially if both of you aren’t on the same page, financially speaking, Looking back I see that not only were my ex and I not on the same page but we were reading completely different books. 

Because we had lived together for several years before tying the knot my husband insisted that we continue to keep separate bank accounts after we said “I do”.  But over time, keeping “Un-mutual Funds” divided us in a fundamental way and once that fissure occurred, we were never the same again.

I never knew how much money he did or didn’t have and whenever I tried to broach the subject, he would change it. This allowed my secretive husband to spend his money as he saw fit, which, most of the time, meant pissing it away on whatever little treasures he decided to buy. Even though he made twice what I did, he insisted I pay half of all the household bills, which left me with no excess cash of my own and, needless to say, this made me very cranky and resentful.

Saving for a rainy day wasn’t something he thought about. So when the mother of all typhoons hit and he found himself unemployed and broke he did a 180 on the subject; merging our assets suddenly seemed like a great idea after all. I saw this as a good thing; finally we would be like other married couples who pooled their resources and made financial decisions together. It would be like being married to a grown-up, I thought to myself. Yeah. A grown-up with no job, no savings and an over-inflated sense of entitlement; not the combo-platter I had been hoping for. 

The absurd part of all this is that before I married him I’d thought he was responsible; a safe bet. He was great at taking care of other people, especially his employers. He was all about making them money and anticipating their every need. But he failed to apply this caretaking to us and suddenly, I was put in the position of supporting us. He refused to look for employment outside of his field, but he had no problem with my working three jobs to keep us afloat, which I did for the next two years. Once again, this made me very cranky and resentful. I think I see a pattern emerging here…

In the end, it comes down to this: money matters and it matters more than many of us are willing to admit. Maybe if I’d understood this at the beginning of our marriage, I could have averted the financial disaster that ultimately brought our marriage to its knees. Really it’s like a game of rock, paper, scissors: matters of the heart are crushed by money matters every time. And that’s the bottom line.