Don’t Let Money Ruin Your Relationship
Love is a wonderful thing but finances can have a bigger impact on your relationship than you want to admit.
Whether it is a low credit score, tremendous student loan or credit card debt, financial infidelity, or any other financial baggage, it may be more than your partner could potentially handle. Research has shown that 7 out of 10 couples have tension within their relationship due to money- causing many to put off talks about money or entirely avoid them, especially early on. Often times this avoidance only makes the problem worse. The key to a healthy relationship is communication- especially about the tough subjects such as money.
Here are a few tips on how to talk with your partner about money without causing stress on your relationship.
Make Sure Money is the Issue
Whether you are a newlywed or retired couple, money issues may often be deep-rooted in other issues such as self-esteem, control, and gratitude. It is important to discuss these issues with your partner and figure out if they are at the root of your fights about money. Whether one partner makes more than the other, feels taken for granted, or views it as “their” money versus “your” money, these can all be deep-rooted in more emotional issues which are being projected onto money. It is important that you and your partner are as honest as possible with each other and yourselves, that is the only way you can truly solve the problem.
Talk on Even Ground
It is important to make sure you discuss money issues with your partner in a way that is as neutral and relaxed as possible. You should both say your opinions on how to resolve money issues, how to handle joint accounts, spending habits, etc. without feeling attacked and without holding back true feelings. This is the only way to create fair compromises which both partners will truly be happy with; the goal is to find a solution, not a Band-Aid to put off the problems even longer. This is also when it is important to try to understand your partner’s feelings and where they are coming from. Doing so will make compromising easier and make each partner more comfortable.
Set Rules and Limits
Once you have figured out the root of your issues and talked openly about your views on money. You and your partner should come up with guidelines together about everything from spending limits and big purchases to how you should pay for everyday things such as groceries and utilities. Should you use a joint account for necessities? How should you set up a joint saving? How much should each of you contribute to those joint accounts? It is important to be on the same page with all of these things to ensure further communication and minimize misunderstandings.
Establishing trust when it comes to issues about money with your partner can be key in avoiding major issues down the road. Having a talk about money is important at every stage of life; sometimes it may even be beneficial to revisit your talks if one gets a promotion, loses their job if there is a major unexpected expense, etc.
Do you have more ways to prevent money from interfering with your relationship? Have a story on a money talk you had with your partner? Leave a comment below!