Money is the number one issue that married couples argue over, and when it comes to marital problems, fights about money are the second highest cause of divorce, behind infidelity.
The secret to a solid and long-lasting relationship takes time and work. No matter how much you love each other, merging two lives and your finances can be a difficult one. So how do you address money in a relationship?
It’s an easy topic to avoid and it is commonly agreed to be a personal matter that isn’t often discussed between friends or family, but why is it the elephant in the room between two loving partners that share everything?
The key to a successful relationship is communication. Avoiding discussions about sensitive topics such as money can lead to secrecy, avoidance, frustration, and denial. So how can you approach it?
Research carried out by TD Bank shows that 31% of millennials would consider splitting with their partner if they found hidden debt or a bad credit score. They also found that over a quarter of people hide a financial secret such as credit card debt.
As much as we try to ignore it, money seems to make the world go around. We live in a materialistic culture where value is often determined by cost, and we allow money to define us, whether that be by success or status. Money also allows us to make relationships more easily and can change how we perceive one another. It’s no wonder that money is such a touchy subject when it comes to relationships. The idea of talking about money in a relationship is a scary thought, but many couples do survive this and come out stronger.
From the start, make sure you are as open and honest as you can be about your financial situation. If your relationship is built to last then your bank balance or credit score should have no impact on your feelings for one another. Hiding something out of guilt is not going to solve anything and it will only worsen the problem as time goes on.
Here are some pointers to how you can handle finances when it comes to relationships.
Listen to one another.
If you seem to be overspending each month or feel that your partner is being unreasonable then it is good to sit down and talk it out. You will both have your individual budgets but if you see a future with this person, be honest with them about your feelings around spending sprees.
Agree on larger purchases
It’s important to be on the same page. To avoid any secrecy or guilt you should make sure that anything over a certain cost is agreed on between the two of you.
Placing blame doesn’t usually solve anything. Arguments that come with money are likely to shame one of you. Focus on how to move forward together so that you can achieve the best outcome.
Try not to be defensive
Look at the truth and embrace the situation. How can you contribute to the situation so that you can make the best of it?
If spending money is a concern, think of ways to have fun without breaking the bank. Maybe a picnic in the park with some outdoor games instead of an expensive trip abroad. Memories can be created anywhere with the right person.
Are you and your partner are struggling to talk about money? Don’t worry — you’re not alone. Financial infidelity is a common problem in relationships, but Maclynn International can help. Our in-house relationship coach and dating expert, Madeleine Mason Roantree, has over 15 years of experience helping couples work through all relationship issues, including the often highly sensitive subject of financial infidelity. Get in touch with Maclynn International today and let’s get you talking openly, honestly, and candidly about money with your partner.