There is a reason finances are the number one cause of divorce. Struggling financially can put a lot of strain on a marriage and not having a sound plan for money can cause serious conflicts. Lots of couples think if they only had more money, their problems would disappear. However, this is not true. Having too much money can cause fights in marriages, depending on the family’s financial management strategy. If well managed, having a lot of money can be a source of love and joy for the family. The reality is that too much money is not the true problem. Instead, money can be used as a way to hide or disguise bigger underlying issues or differences. In this article, we discuss the major challenges surrounding finances and marriage.
When does too much money cause fights in marriages?
- Keeping money secrets
Marriage specialists advise that it is very key to open up and talk about your finances openly even before saying ‘I do’ to marriage. Let your spouse know everything about your investments, savings, debts, and the amount of money you have lent out. Even though this discussion is not interesting and can be disappointing, you need to talk about it. If you haven’t, you should pause from reading and talk with your spouse.
The major reason why you have to talk about this is that life happens. Before you realize it, your partner will discover the truth about your financial secrets. When this occurs, it kills the trust that you have established with one another. Then your spouse will begin asking, “If she/he has managed to hide from me such critical information about such an investment, how much more is she/he hiding from me?” The worry and paranoia quickly snowball, and your spouse may begin accusing you of things you haven’t even done. For example, your spouse may start to believe that you are not faithful, so he/she may start looking for trust outside marriage.
- Failure to budget
Yes, women do not like budgeting. Even when they choose to budget, it is rare that they follow up on the plan and spend within the budget. If you don’t have a budget, you can be sure that having too much money can cause conflict in your marriage.
When you don’t have a budget, you will have uncontrolled spending. In most cases, you will never have the same level of spending with your spouse. In some cases, one will love to buy anything that he/she comes across. The difference in spending is what will cause fights.
The solution is not allowing your partner to spend as they wish. Budgeting controls the spending. It also brings the family to a common point of spending, so you can have your finances within the same account. This brings order to your finances. Failure to budget is, therefore, a recipe for fights in your marriage.
- Uncontrolled accountability
Accountability is essential in keeping your marriage safe from conflicts. Your partner needs to know where you are and what you are doing. They need to know how much you are earning and what you are spending.
However, when financial accountability is uncontrolled, it causes fights within families. As much as you need to be accountable to your spouse about your spending, you also need some space to breathe. You cannot report every dime you spend.
To have some freedom without destroying your budget, you can designate money to “blow.” If you each have an “allowance,” this will allow you to spend freely without feeling like you have to report all your expenses, which should help prevent resentment and conflicts surrounding money with your spouse.
What is the way forward?
Many would agree that having too much money should be a source of joy and not fights. However, if you face conflict in your marriage because of the money you have, then there is hope. You can still rescue your marriage. Let’s find out how.
- Find out the root cause of the fights.
In most cases, the conflict you are having is not directly linked to your family’s money. The money is just an excuse for what is causing conflict. For instance, you could be fighting due to personality differences. To illustrate, choleric personalities make every step possible to achieve a goal. It doesn’t matter whether it means spending more or not. On the other hand, melancholic are very reserved. They feel very comfortable in one place for a long time, so they practically do not love spending.
Such two personalities will naturally feel a lot of differences. Since none understands their partner, money issues can be linked to their differences. You, therefore, have to determine if the fights you are having are financially connected or not. If you realize the personality difference is the problem, you might have to accept your partner for who they are or find tools that will help you navigate the differences.
- Call for reinforcement
Never call it a quit before you try everything that you can. Reinforcement should help you correct your related financial problems as a family. Normally, when you have financial issues, you can be sure that neither of you are open to accepting blame. It means that even if you spend sleepless nights talking about the problem at this stage, each person will be looking at the other as a failure.
This is why you need a financial expert and a marriage counselor to help you handle your current problems and even help you plan for the way forward. The adviser should not be a preferred adviser by a single partner. Let him or her be as neutral as possible, so he/she does not take sides. However, the two of you should be willing to do what it takes to see the problem solved. Money should never be a cause of fights in marriages, but unfortunately, it is.