5 Acts That Will Keep Money Problems From Ruining Your Marriage

couple arguingThere are many things that could turn your life into a living nightmare and money problems is usually one of them. Thanks to the consumerist society that we all live in today, money has become a necessary tool for all of us.

In fact, it is powerful enough to affect how we live our lives and the relationships that we can keep. One of the most prominent relationships that finances can destroy is our marriage. Actually, it can destroy all kinds of relationships – married or not. We are putting married couples in the spotlight because it is a relationship that is bound by the law. Ending a marriage is not as easy as packing up your bags and leaving. It involves a legal process that can oftentimes turn quite ugly.

Since money problems is one of the leading reasons why married couples argue, we want to help in making sure that it will not ruin yours.

Money remains to be one of the leading cause of arguments in marriages

The National Center for Health Statistics, through CDC.gov revealed that in 2011, there was a reported 877,00 divorces and annulments in the country. That is more than ⅓ of the marriages that happened in the same year (2.1 million). While there may be many reasons why these marriages failed, you have to understand that a lot of them is something that you can control. Meaning, if you act fast enough, you can keep that problem from destroying your marriage.

DivorceSource.com cited a study done by Jeffrey Dew that tells us that those who fight about money early into the relationship is most likely to get divorced. The study done in 2009 at the Utah State University mentioned how couples that have financial disagreements once a week are 30% more likely to file for divorce. At least, they are more prone to do so compared to those who only fight about money a few times every month. While it does not specifically point out that it is the main reason for the separation, it is a great indicator of a fail marriage. The more you fight about money problems, the bigger the rift will be between you and your spouse.

5 ways to keep your financial discussions from becoming a fight

There are many facts about divorce that can harm you financially and it is more than a necessity for you to try and work things out before you let it ruin your family. It is not all that difficult for you to do this but it takes a lot less pride and understanding to accomplish. According to a  divorce infographic from InsuranceQuuotes.com, the number one cause of divorce is lack of communication. That mostly includes inability to communicate feelings, thoughts, plans and most of all, money problems.

It is true that it can be difficult to talk about money because there is a high chance that you can end up fighting about it. But if you practice these 5 acts, it might not break you regardless of how sensitive the topic is.

  • Listen first. Even if the problem is not something that you did, it pays to listen to your spouse first before you try to judge them. There is always two sides in every story. We always want to air out our thoughts immediately but sometimes, that is how things get worse. You may want to keep your mouth shut so you can listen to what the other has to say. Then you can make sure that the thoughts you wanted to air out can help in resolving the matter at hand. That is how you try to understand and approach the subject with an open mind.

  • Breathe before you speak. After listening, you can air out your thoughts but make sure you take a deep breath first – especially when you are feeling a negative emotion quite strongly. You need to calm yourself because speaking when you are angry is never a good thing. And more than calming yourself, you want to really dissect what your spouse is trying to say to you.

  • Speak your mind. In some cases, only one person does the talking because the other fears that it might lead to a fight. This is not how you solve money problems in a marriage. You need to say what you think is right and if you have to disagree just make sure that you phrase it nicely. Do not let the other dominate the financial decisions because that is oftentimes how financial abuse begins – when the other is always keeping silent. Be involved and trust that your opinion should matter when it comes to household financial issues.

  • Ask so you can clarify. Misunderstanding is a common cause of hurt in a marriage. So if there is something that you do not understand, make sure to ask. Sometimes, when the explanation is there, the problem that you thought you had was not so bad after all.

  • Learn how to compromise. Lastly, you want to be ready to compromise. Some marriages happen between a spender and a saver. You may think that the difference will definitely end up in fights but that is where you are wrong. There is nothing like a healthy dose of compromise that can help you settle differences. This is what communication will help you arrive at. You should learn how you can satisfy both of your personalities so you can live together more harmoniously.

Why is money such a sensitive factor in marriages?

There are many ways that money problems like lack of income or credit card debt can destroy you.

While it is important for you to keep it from ruining your marriage, it is also a good idea to try and understand why it can have such an effect in your life. Here are some of the reasons why we think that problematic finances can be a threat to your marriage.

  • Money is needed for your basic needs. If you do not have the ability to buy what you need, it can cause you a lot of stress. Too much stress can sometimes spill over to the people living with you. Since you are closest to your spouse, that stress will spill on them and sometimes, tensions rise. That is usually how some financial fights begin.

  • Lack of money can affect your self esteem. Our consumerist society believe that money is the measurement of your success. That means a lack of money can seriously affect your confidence level. A lot of times, those with a low self confidence are emotional and easily hurt. Even if their spouse means well, they will think of it as an insult aimed at them.

  • It brings out the differences in your lifestyle choices. This is usually true for couples who have different financial personalities. A different spending style will lead to varying choices about life in general and unless you can compromise, that can drive you apart.

  • A wrong financial move can break your trust. There is a thing called financial infidelity that can ruin the trust between spouses. Make sure you learn how to communicate. That way, you won’t have to betrayed all the time.

The bottom line here is that your money problems does not have to ruin your marriage if you know how to handle it. People make mistakes and it is important for you to learn how to work as a team when it comes to financial matters at home. For some people, financial problems tend to bring them closer and develop stronger ties. Make sure that this is how you deal with your own money struggles at home.