Don't let money ruin your relationship.
Too often, money and financial issues can cause stress in a relationship.
You are told that money will make you happy. Maybe you didn’t have much money growing up or maybe you had everything.
Whatever the case, you need to define your relationship with money and not let it control you or cause marriage problems.
We live in a country that puts a high value on money, but it can leave you feeling like you don’t have enough. You really can’t buy love.
But, money can also cause marriage problems, even in healthy relationships. It can't replace the time you spend with your loved ones. It also can’t take back the past or predict the future.
The truth of the matter is you need money to survive in this country. It will put a roof over your head, clothes on your back, and food on the table. This is something everybody needs.
So, why is money the root of all evils? For many, money is power and status. So, you really need to be careful here. If you idolize people with money, you will not see them for who they really are.
And, if you want to know how to have a healthy relationship, even when you're stressed out about money, you need to pay close attention.
Here are the 6 signs money and financial issues are putting stress on your relationship.
1. You play the comparison game
It’s easy to compare your relationship to others. Do you have as much money as another couple? What is their house like? Do their kids go to private schools? The list goes on.
When you compare your relationship to others, you will always feel disappointed. The truth is everyone is at a different spot in life. It’s also true that everyone didn’t start at the same spot.
2. You don’t talk about money
This is a really important topic to discuss in your relationship. If you have to, set up a time to have a meeting about it. You definitely want to have done this especially before moving in together.
Will you have a joint checking and savings account? What are your credit scores? Will you invest or put money into a savings account? How much money will go for fun?
This doesn’t have to be a painful area in your relationship. But, if you don’t talk about it, it will.
3. You keep money secrets from each other
Many couples report hiding their spending habits from their partners. This can feel like a betrayal in the relationship.
Communication is important in this area. You should feel comfortable bearing your financial soul to your partner, without judgment.
4. You are separating the money and splitting the bills
Marriage is a partnership. Both parties need to be involved with the finances.
Don’t use money as power or keep it all to yourself. Work on the budget together as a couple. You both have dreams and, most of the time, you need money to support them.
The last thing you want is a power struggle and this can destroy a perfectly good relationship.
5. You have different financial priorities
You both need to be responsible with money. One person shouldn’t always have to monitor the other’s spending. You need to talk about your financial priorities.
If one person wants to save for a trip to Spain while the other drops $500 on a night out with friends, then there is a fundamental difference. You need to trust your partner with finances. It’s much easier when the two of you have similar goals.
6. You have a lot of unsecured debt
You are a slave to your credit cards. This means you use them a lot, but you aren’t able to pay them down. This leaves you paying a lot in interest. It also makes it harder to get out of debt.
When you have less debt, you have a happier relationship. Sometimes, being frugal can actually pay off. Start to use coupons and buy things on sale. This will pay off in the long run.
I want you to define what money means to you and then talk about it with your partner.
Dig deep here. Start with your family of origin. What are their beliefs about money? Did you grow up with nothing or did you grow up with everything? Is money about wealth and status? How far you would go to make a lot of money?
Money problems and financial issues don’t have to divide you. With a little hard work and following the right relationship advice, you can come to a compromise. This is an area where things can change.
Learn to accept influence from your partner about money.
Lianne Avila is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, in San Mateo, CA who has helped many couples resolve their money problems and have a reasonably happy relationship. For a free 15-minute phone consultation or more information, please visit Lessons for Love.
This article was originally published at Lessons for Love. Reprinted with permission from the author.